By: Shelley Long
It can be difficult to stay grounded and present when daily life is often so full of distractions, and it is especially challenging to remain present during these stressful and uncertain times that we are in the midst of. Many of us are more glued to the news and our phones than ever before, and much of the content is quite anxiety provoking. While it is important to stay informed on the current events, it is also important to become consciously aware of how much time we are spending absorbing the latest news. Information overload and increased exposure to media news is a recipe for becoming ungrounded and disconnected from ourselves and our surroundings. Meditation and mindfulness are excellent ways to come back to the present moment in times of overwhelm. The following is a basic meditative practice to promote calmness:
Turn off all distractions such as televisions, phones and computers.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your feet on the ground. Eyes closed.
- Breathe in for 4 seconds and out for 6 seconds. Repeat for approximately 1-3 minutes.
- Imagine roots extending from the base of your spine and down into the earth.
- Silently repeat “ I am safe. I am grounded”
You can do this for as long as you are able to. Once you have finished this grounding meditation, open your eyes and stay seated in your chair. Put your attention towards your 5 senses. Make a note of the following:
- Acknowledge 5 things you can SEE in your environment
- Acknowledge 4 things you can TOUCH in your environment
- Acknowledge 3 things you can HEAR in your environment
- Acknowledge 2 things you can SMELL in your environment
- Acknowledge 1 thing you can TASTE in your environment
Once you are finished, I invite you to create an art piece inspired by one or more of the things you acknowledged in the 5 senses exercise. We would love to see your creations – please share your art with us on our facebook page “ Arts & Health Antigonish!” I’ll go first: