If you are dealing with health or emotional stressors it is easy to become overwhelmed. There were many times I felt like I was displaced emotionally. In all honesty, it was incredibly overwhelming. It did not take long to realize that being in that space for extended periods was not going to serve me well, especially while raising a young family. Over time, I started using a technique I call “anchoring”. This is where I would “hold on”, “grasp firmly”, i.e., “anchor” to what I knew was true in my life. It was incredibly powerful for me and I am hoping these few tips can help you to make it a source of calm and strength in your life.
1. First, think about all the things that would allow you to help a loved one anchor. Your energy becomes loving and calm, yet powerful and safe. You lend your strength so they can relax.
Consider loving yourself through those emotional storms like you would with a loved one.
For example, with my daughter, I have her grab a pillow, come to the couch and lay down in my lap. I touch her face and stroke her hair, until she is in a space where her body relaxes. Sometimes this opens up to conversations so she can unload, or sometimes she falls asleep. Either way, the outcome is getting her anchored so she can have peace. My son is a little more simple in that when he is needing to anchor, he wants a coffee date. This always involves a big conversation, but the concept is the same. He anchors to me, has a cozy coffee and focuses on what he knows to be true. He’s in a place he feels comfy, so he can process.
2. Take the time to physically get yourself into a space that brings peace, so you can focus on what you know is true about your life.
For example, when I am feeling overwhelmed emotionally and need to anchor I will go to my bedroom, lay down and cover myself up. I usually have a window open so I can hear the waterfall outside or I will put on some classical guitar. I focus on my breathing and make an effort to calm my mind. This could be as simple as a prayer, focusing on one word, or focusing on gratitude. If my mind is feeling particularly busy, I also use a visualization of me stuffing all my thoughts into a closet and closing the door. In my visualization my mind goes from messy to clean which helps me be able to calm the noise in my head. It begins with breathing, cleaning up my headspace, then focusing on what I know is true…. I am loved, I am safe, I am taken care of, I am grateful, I am strong and resilient, my family loves me, etc.
I try to engage most of my senses in this process. Being aware of the smell of my room, the sound of waterfall/music and the feel of my blanket etc. helps me to find comfort.
The other way I love to anchor is in nature. I will either go on a long walk near the river or if I just need a quick pick me up, I will go outside by our waterfall. I am content to either stand there barefooted or just sit in the grass with my eyes closed and breathe. Nature is incredibly powerful in reducing my stressors. Then I go through the process again of anchoring to what I know to be true about my life.
I find that staying in that “space” for 15-20 minutes is generally enough to get me up and running again!
This is a judgment-free zone!! There is no room for negative self-talk in this space! This is your time to LOVE on you.