During times of uncertainty, it’s easy to feel stuck. We can get stuck in the past by remembering how things used to be and wishing that everything would go back to “normal.” We can also get stuck in the future, worrying about what may or may not happen. While it’s normal to have these kinds of thoughts and feelings, getting stuck in them can keep us from addressing our current needs. The truth is, we can’t control what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future. The only thing we can control is who we are and what we do in the present moment.
When we find ourselves feeling stuck, grounding techniques can help us get moving again. Physical grounding techniques reconnect our mind to our bodies in the here and now.
Many people enjoy practicing yoga, but any form of stretching is good for you. Progressive Muscle Relaxation focuses on stretching each muscle group, beginning with your feet and moving up to your head. Check out this video to learn how to do it. Whichever way you choose to stretch, notice how your muscles feel when they are tense and when they are relaxed.
Connect to your breath
As simple as it may seem, focusing on our breath is a powerful way to ground ourselves in the present moment. There are many types of breathing practices – from energizing to relaxing. Here a few for you to try:
When you do a body scan, you are simply noticing the sensations in each part of your body. This helps your mind connect to your body in the present moment. This video will guide you through how to do a body scan.
Increase your heart rate
Have you ever gone running and not been aware of your body? Probably not. It’s hard to ignore how your body is feeling when you’re doing activities that increase your heart rate and activate your large muscle groups. When you’re feeling stuck in the past or worried about the future, try going for a run, doing some push-ups, dancing to your favorite song, or whatever physical activity you enjoy. You’ll find yourself back in the present moment in no time!
Jessica Hernandez, LPC, LMFT
Manager of Therapy Services