Do you meditate? If you don’t practice a formal meditation, do you spend quiet time reflecting? Perhaps you pray or spend time reading inspirational books or you use visualization and positive affirmations? What do you do to prepare for entering that reflective time? How do your clear your mind of life’s chatter or white noise?
Some people meditate as a way to become grounded, centered, anchored in their day. Meditation promotes intentional living. Others use meditation as a specific tool to reduce stress and anxiety. For people who experience anxiety and for people who have experienced trauma, meditation can be very helpful, but I recommend one additional step…
I recommend interjecting your ‘anchor image’ into the process- that is, an image you conjour up in your mind that brings a sense of calm- it can be a person, a place or an object- a relative that felt safe to you, a toy from childhood, a sunset- anything that speaks to you. Think of the image before you go into reflective time and think of the image as you come out of reflective time. Practice this whenever you can because this can become a tool for reducing stress, panic and anxiety.
When you are at work and you begin to feel upset or anxious due to a co worker or a situation on the job just close your eyes for a few seconds and think of your anchor image. If you are an abuse survivor and you are triggered by something around you, perhaps even standing in the grocery store line reading the magazine headlines, think of your anchor image, even if momentarily. You should immediately feel a sense of calm.
This takes time to develop but essentially you are training your body to automatically respond to your anchor image so that your body self-soothes and self-regulates. Be patient. Even 5-15 minutes of dedicated time daily can begin the process.
Calm days ahead!