The universe speaks. Its voice is crystal clear if you’re paying attention.
People often mistake its voice as random repetition of messages or signs, like fortune cookies that only pertain to you if you want them to. In my opinion, the universe isn’t random, its a thinking energy, and those signs are its intuition and intent flowing to you in ways you can interpret.
When the universe speaks, I listen. I listen to the cues, the lessons it wishes to teach me. I’ve been paying attention to it a lot more lately as I remove life’s distractions one by one.
The last few weeks I’ve been getting numerous signs about self care. So I listened. Then I acted on what I could.
This week, though, I’ve been receiving several signs regarding mental health.
Depression and anxiety have become regular buzz words for our society. Although there have been several articles published that talk about mental health, there aren’t many that offer realistic, in-the-moment solutions. Since I’m not in any medical field that would empower me to even attempt to diagnose or help self-diagnose actual anxiety, I want to share one way I’ve helped calm my own mental state when I'm feeling chaotic.
It’s called grounding.
And it’s energy work.
If you’re unfamiliar with energy work and you have somewhat of an open mind I would highly recommend you research it more after performing this exercise. Energy work can be heavily physical to exclusively mental (imagine advanced yoga to extended silent, still meditation). Personally, I love the imagery used in grounding, chakra balancing, and other energy practices where you can find the source of your anxiety and give it properties like viscosity, color, density, opacity, shape, temperature, etc. I find it helpful when I can acknowledge where I hold my anxiety and what its properties are because just as with anything - if you ignore the problem it doesn’t go away but if you acknowledge it and work with it, the more willing it is to be tamed.
For those of you willing to try a short mental exercise, here’s a mini class on grounding:
Ideally you should be sitting comfortably with your feet firmly on the ground (with or without shoes is fine);
Take long deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth until you become naturally present. If you can, pause after you inhale for about 3 seconds, then exhale. Maintain your breathing as you follow the steps;
Imagine your favorite part of earth: Water | Beach sand | Forest floor | Desert Sand | Snow | Pebbles | Anything from the earth that you LOVE:
Imagine you’re standing barefoot on your chosen type of earth;
Now feel all the comforts of being in your favorite scape. Is there a breeze or is the sun warming your face? You feel safe. You have nowhere to be. You have all the time in the world;
The earth beneath you is slowly enveloping your feet. It travels up through your toes, around the sides and top of your feet. Slowly, it reaches your ankles which brings feelings of security. You feel connected with the earth;
Slowly bring your thoughts and your visualization to inside your body. Starting at the top of your head and going down to your ankles, calmly scan your body for areas that feel tense, painful, hot, uneasy, or any other uncomfortable sensation you can observe;
If you find an area such as described in the previous step, allow it to give itself properties. Is it a certain color? Is it hot? Is it tender? Is it your anxiety?
If you come across an area such as this, allow it to easily detach itself from you, let it cascade down from where it stayed in your body to your feet, and allow it to exit your feet into the earth;
Now, visually come out of your body and see yourself standing on top of the earth where you can see the core of the earth as well;
Watch as the once unserving sensation leaves your feet, enters the earth, and travels down the center of the earth and becomes lost in the earth's core;
Allow the earth to provide you with positive energy in return. It is normal to feel a tingling sensation in your feet and lower legs;
Repeat every step in listed order until you can scan your body and you find nothing but neutrality or positivity.
I would recommend you repeat this exercise daily until it becomes a natural reaction to an anxiety producing situation. If you found this exercise helpful please e-mail me to let me know or alert me to other topic suggestions.
If you feel your anxiety or depression is severe where you might harm yourself or others, or take part in otherwise destructive behaviors please seek medical attention and/or call 911. At the very least reach out to someone in your support system - a family member, close friend, close boss or co-worker, etc. Literally everyone would rather help you than see you in pain.
You could also call any of the phone numbers below that I borrowed from this article.
Teen Line: 1-310-855-HOPE (4673) or 1-800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336)
Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-3000
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)