Coming back to your senses.
We can all acknowledge and recall times when we have been unwilling participants on the emotional rollercoasters of grief or loss. Emotional swings from depression and despair to numbness and back through anxiety can also form part of this rollercoaster.
Navigating this emotional rollercoaster can be exhausting and confusing. Suddenly you find yourself completely unable to control your reactivity. Then you find yourself I’m very shaky ground and slowly losing your confidence in both yourself, your ability and life. To top it off your emotions are invisible to others- so soon you begin to feel isolated. Surely you should be able to hold yourself together?.
A common contributor to the emotional rollercoaster is the minds inability to simply stay in the present moment.
Your mind wanders to the past and begins ruminating, remembering, considering everything that could’ve happened differently, should’ve happened differently, what would it be like if it had happened differently?
Your mind can then flip and start reviewing and predicting the future. Usually a future that’s filled with worry or anxiety what will happen next? Where am I heading?
Grief, loss and life challenges can feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you and you’re in free fall, grasping and trying to navigate without a compass.
A simple way to bring calm to the rollercoaster is to bring yourself back to the present moment for just short moments, as frequently as you can. This is commonly known or termed mindfulness, however it doesn’t need to involve hours of meditation. Coming back to the present moment can simply mean coming back to your senses.
All of our senses help us become more present:
- Your sense of smell- try opening up a fresh bag of coffee and taking three slow breaths.
- Your sense of taste- enjoy a meal and chewing slowly appreciating all of the flavours.
- Your sense of hearing- turning on music and being completely absorbed in the sound.
- Your sense of sight- walking out into nature and appreciating the view.
- Your sense of touch- bare feet on the grass, warm water on your skin, a scalp massage whilst washing your hair.
Your breath is another simple way in to bring yourself into the present moment. Lying down comfortably on the floor and simply taking a slow inhalation, pausing at the top, and a slow long exhalation before pausing at the bottom and repeating this for five or ten breath cycles can give you a moment of mindful presence to calm the storm.
Coming back to your senses with short moments of mindful presence is a simple way of navigating with the emotional rollercoaster that results in the brain flipping from past to future crisis.
Coming back to your senses being present for short moments allows you to drop your anchor.
Watch this short video here to understand mindfulness and how it can help
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