Do you remember those spinning games we used to play when we were children? We would spin and spin and spin until we were dizzy, stop, and then race to some designated finish line. Most of us couldn't even take one step forward. We would stand there, dizzy AF, as we wobbled towards our destination. Others would fall to their feet laughing uncontrollably, practically giving up!
Life can sometimes be like this spinning game. While we have our eyes on the prize, circumstances tend to send us into a whirlwind. Our emotions take us for a spin, sometimes caving into despair or overdoing ourselves by piling on more and more work, losing sight of where we would like to be. And depending on the intensity of the emotional storm, this is where our anchors are really put to the test. Basically, how good we ground is what determines how near or far we tend to drift. Where do we let the waves take us?
Managing our emotional thunderstorms differ from situation to situation. When we deal with the natural current of things, we manage to anchor quite well. But how can we strengthen our anchor to prepare us for the bigger waves?
1. Mind Map
One way to anchor yourself is to create a mind map. Let's say you can't seem to leave a thought and you're caught up in it, a good way to explore what is happening to you is to take a piece of paper and write things as they come up. I suggest that you place the core thought that bothers you right smack in the middle. Branch out and see what other types of thoughts it creates.
The next step to the mind map is to take each of the developed thoughts and place them into a table like this:
What the mind map is meant to do is to help you explore what is happening. YOU ARE IN NO WAY OBLIGATED TO SOLVE IT. Just let it unfold naturally.
2. Align with the breath
Another technique to anchoring or grounding is by aligning with the breath. In Kundalini yoga, breath exercises such as the Pranayama can help you align your left and right brain - allowing you calm down, expand your blood vessels, and problem solve creatively. All you have to do is sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. And if you feel yourself drifting, adopt the mantra of ho'oponopono to help you.
Ho'oponopono goes like this - thank you, I love you, I'm sorry, please forgive me. Repeat this until you feel at ease. It is important that you direct the mantra to yourself. Allowing yourself to receive a little more each time.
3. Go back to the body
And finally, when all else fails, it helps to go back to the body. We can do this by engaging in very simple stretching exercises for about 10 to 15 minutes, or by going into a vinyasa flow to help with our breathing. Don't want to think? Then head over to the spa and get a massage.
Remember, our bodies tend to store emotions, and whatever we are dealing with can also be released on the cellular level when we massage muscle tissue. ;)
When I am particularly struggling with my storms, I like to take to the spa, put all workouts on hold, and just indulge in self care. Can't afford the spa? Then use your natural oxytocin to reach out to someone and ask them to give you a hug / short massage.