March 16, 2011

Maintaining Balance in Uncertain Times

Current world affairs are causing much distress. The news of the unthinkable in Japan along with myriad other events can easily pull you away from your natural balance. Not long ago we were concerned about the health effects of wifi and processed food. Now it’s massive earthquakes, tsunamis, power plant explosions, and even extreme solar flares on the sun.

I’ll make sure this doesn’t become another CNN news piece. People are suffering from more anxiety and worry than ever before without my rehashing the obvious. So let’s get to the business of wellbeing, and how to maintain it in the midst of crisis.

I’m a proponent of being aware of how grounded you are. This means, literally, how connected to the earth are you? What is your relationship to the ground?

In a state of ungroundedness you can be more easily influenced by others, you might experience injuries and accidents, feel anxiety, panic, worry, irritability, and foggy thinking. Because being ungrounded feels bad, many people overeat, drink too much, or otherwise find a way to “check out.”
Especially in these unusual times, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of when you are not grounded, centered, and calm.  You can then, with conscious awareness, bring yourself back into a state of balance.

How to do it? The first step is to pay attention to your physical body. How does the chair feel that you are sitting in? What do your feet feel like? What physical signs or symptoms are you trying to ignore? For example, are you thirsty? Do you have any pain or tightness in your body?
Then, notice your breathing. This will bring you “back into your body.” Most cases of anxiety I see in my practice are nothing more than being mentally and energetically disconnected from the body. So take a few moments and follow your breath. Bring it into your belly. Slow it down. Lengthen your breath. Do this several times throughout the day.

Connect with the earth. Put your bare feet on the ground. There is scientific evidence that the earth balances your energy field. But you don’t need proof from science when you can just do it and see for yourself. Stand or sit down for a minute with your bare feet on the earth. Do this often.

Be with nature. Notice the weather. What is happening in your natural environment? Feel the breeze, smell the earth’s scents, take note of how the sun feels, watch the trees become full of leaves again. Imagine yourself as a big healthy tree with deep roots going into the earth.

How about if we all make an effort to bring ourselves into a state of balance? There are many changes occurring in our lives, and we want to flow with them and come out on the other side unscathed. Here are a few reminders to help you.

Quick Tips on Becoming More Balanced

Breathe with awareness
Sit in nature
Watch the sun rise or set
Place your feet (and hands) on the earth
Eat food from the earth
Be aware of your surroundings
Notice physical symptoms or signs
Stop, Look, and Listen
Visualize yourself rooted into the earth