This month we want to share some tools for maintaining mental health as we work to bring awareness to mental health issues in our world!
One of the tools we often teach kids and teens to utilize when they feel anxious is called Grounding. When your mind is racing, grounding can bring you back to the present moment. It is a great way to calm down quickly.
Grounding basically means to bring your focus to what is happening to you physically, either in your body or in your surroundings, instead of being caught up in a cycle of thoughts that might be causing you to feel anxious.
There is some SCIENCE behind all of this, too!
When we start to think about something stressful, our amygdala, often referred to as the “feeling center” of the brain, goes on alert. It is really great for getting us ready for an emergency but sometimes it kicks in to action even when there isn’t a threat present.
Here’s how it works –
First: We have a negative thought about a situation (remember a thought doesn’t necessarily mean it is real),
Then: Our amygdala says “emergency! emergency!” and triggers changes in our body such as tightening muscles and revving up the heart and lungs,
And Then: Our amygdala starts to think that these body changes as further evidence that something is actually wrong and it’s off to overwhelmed and worry-land!
Grounding techniques help us break out of this vicious cycle. Re-focusing on our bodies and what we’re physically feeling, we can get out of our heads and into the moment.
Below is a great graphic to use and print for your fridge or to have in a binder to remind yourself of some great grounding techniques!
Image credit: @gmf.designs
Stay Grounded and Be Wise!