Do you have fears in your life? We all do. Some are of no consequence like fear of public speaking. You could go your whole life without conquering that fear. But what about problems that are more weighty like anxiety or depression? Those affect your life! They wreak havoc on relationships, physically, mentally and emotionally. You can train yourself to lessen fears and emotions. These will not make you feel like you never had fear or problems. They are strategies to help you lessen the affects.
Grounding is a technique used by people who are experiencing panic attacks as anxiety attacks. It is a way to redirect the explosion of feelings to a more calm state. Grounding focuses on tangible, material and present sensations. Training yourself to use these techniques automatically is attainable, but only when you put intentional work and intentional plan when you feel lousy, anxious or depressed.
I believe training yourself to redirect your brain is helpful when the emotions are running away with themselves. Training does not happen once. If you think of an athlete, it is a lifestyle. It is daily. It is something they plan their routines, meals and schedule around.
I have compiled a list of Spiritual grounding techniques that are based on Supernatural elements. Combining these with earthy, temporal methods can help because they address not only the present, worldly reality, but they tap into the Spiritual, eternal part of our psyche that is the hardest to repair once damaged by trauma or loss a pain. I would love to know which methods work best for you in the comments below.
“Trauma creates change you do not choose. Healing is change you do choose and work towards.”
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Intentionally focusing on what is going right in your life instead of what is going wrong or what may have triggered your anxiety. It helps your mind calm with pleasant thoughts of family, friends, vacations, salvation, good food, forgiveness and grace. These thoughts can help you feel loved, secure and satisfied. Gratitude is the healthiest human emotion. I realize this may be very hard for some. Family is toxic, you may not feel forgiveness and you have no friends. Think on what you ARE grateful for.
MEMORIZE A SCRIPTURE
Memorizing scripture when you are NOT ramped up is important to recall later when you need to redirect your mind from helpless and abandoned to loved and important. Reassuring yourself you have someone fighting for you who gives you comfort can be so helpful in times of stress.
Here are some of my favorites: Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.”
Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear [respect] him, and he delivers them.”
THINK OF JESUS' QUALITIES
There is no one more on your side and fighting in your corner than Jesus. So whether you are recalling these for the 100th time or trying to believe them for the first time, these are characteristics of Jesus that bring peace and comfort.
· 1. Jesus is gentle dealing with the broken and lost.
· 2. Jesus pursues you.
· 3. Jesus gives many chances.
· 4. Jesus would rather die than live without you.
· 5. Jesus shows up in your life over and over. Are you aware of Him?
· 6. Picture Jesus carrying you through the tough times.
LIST CHARACTERS IN THE BIBLE
I bet you can list all the characters on your favorite t.v. series. You can probably list their flaws and strengths. Now, make a list of Biblical, characters.
SPELL BIBLE BACKWARDS
Say the alphabet backwards. Say each letter in your name backwards. This gets your mind focused on a task that takes a lot of mental effort.
TAKE THOUGHTS CAPTIVE
Picture yourself doing exactly what this verse says in 2 Corinthians 10: 5, "We demolish every argument and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." You will not be able to cease every thoughts that triggers anxiety, but you can use this method to place them in a 'box' in your mind until you want to deal with them. Visualize putting your thoughts, feelings and even people in a box and putting them in a compartment that you control. Then, you decide when to open the box and plan an action or boundary that helps you deal with it and make it less intense. And, maybe, the lid needs to be nailed shut because it is out of your control. The only thing you can do is respond by not allowing it I affect you. Out of sight, out of mind can be a useful Spiritual grounding technique. Some people say to feel the feels, but that is exactly contrary to what will make you feel better. Taking thoughts captive at the onset is the key to stopping them from overtaking you.
LISTEN TO CHRISTIAN MUSIC
For this technique, I turned on my Christian radio and heard: Jesus always loves me, my world can change, light from darkness, treasure, can't measure His love, wash my mind clean, new, found, redeemed, no guilt. Do this until you believe! Whether you believe or not, it is Spiritual reality to hope and strive for.
RECALL NUMBERS FROM THE BIBLE
· 40 years in the dessert
· 12 tribes; 12 Apostles; 12 precious stones
· 4 major prophets; 4 Gospels; 4 horsemen; 4 angels
· 3 denials by Peter, Jesus raised 3 people from the dead, He rose on the 3rd day.
· 7 is perfection you can continue the list.
READ SCRIPTURE OUT LOUD
Read it slow. Read it fast. Read it backwards. Find your favorite Psalm and read it over and over and pray Scripture back to God.
WATCH A CHRISTIAN PODCAST or MOVIE
Listen to something inspirational, upbeat and encouraging. Find one you like and save it to listen to over and over.
PRAY WITH YOUR BODY
Bring your request to God with your hands lifted up. Stand out in nature alone and pray out loud. Bow on your knees by your bed or outside under a tree. Even laying flat on the ground is mentioned in the Bible. Be very specific. One lady I know prayed to meet a nice man in a purple shirt and guess what, it happened! Be humble. Confess. Anticipate. And be content when the answer is NO.
Lord, I take a deep breath in my lungs until there is no room left. I inhale your spirit and breath in life you gave. I exhale all the anxiety, thoughts, circumstances and lay them at your feet.
Lord, take my anxious thoughts captive because it is so hard for me to do that right now.
Make the synapses stop firing so I can rest. Help me ease the What Ifs and refocus to the present knowing You are by my side, in my corner, fighting for me and directing your angels to encamp around me.
MAKE A LIST OF HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL
Don't live in the feels. That is what got you to this anxious state in the first place. Write how
you want to feel. If you only write how you feel, there is no goal there. There is no hope there of every feeling different. If you begin writing how you want to feel, there is something to strive for in hope and anticipation. There is something to strive for.
HOLD A CROSS
Having something tangible to hold or rub your hands on or event tap on your leg or chest can refocus your thoughts. I have this really cool cross that fits perfectly in my hand. It was molded to fit a palm with fingers wrapped around it. I think about Jesus dying for me because I am worth dying for.
Do something physical. Get outside and walk, run or stretch. Accompany moving your body with moving your brain and thank God for his creation. Maybe you need a punching bag for the really anxious times.
TAKE A SHOWER
Envision being washed clean of anxiety and depression. Smell the soap. Make the water cold. The shock will help you reset your thoughts to what you choose.
Refocus by writing cards to people who are sick or in college or just any person who comes to your mind that you can encourage. It is hard to stay in an anxious state when you are writing a card FOR someone else and encouraging them and telling them what they mean to you.
WRITE STICKY NOTES
Write positive notes and Scriptures to yourself and stick them where you can see them first thing when you wake up and when you go to bed. Put them on the mirror. Put them on your closet door.
These techniques involve moving and writing and singing and hoping and planning and memorizing and taking your brain down a different path than it is currently going. Making your brain jump the track from a full blown episode is the key. It is a lifestyle, not a one week or one month fix.
I would love to know some of your techniques and how these can be incorporated into your everyday life.