Healing is an art. It takes time; it takes practice. It takes love. Maza Dohta
Everyday living can be complex to navigate.
Some of the daily events can turn to be overwhelming and stressful. When these events are too much, too soon for too long, in combination with not enough for too long of calming experiences, can lead to a sequence of “small t” everyday trauma or mental health issues.
I like to invite clients in trauma and grief therapy to recognize events and situations in their lives that encourage restoration and nourishment.
We need to find ways to restore mind, body and emotions from the states of self-protection, so frequently find in trauma and move towards a state of connection that facilitates growth and resilience.
Anchoring means to find “something that serves to hold an object firmly; a reliable support.” (Merriam-Webster dictionary). We can practice some safety cues and find our way back to emotional regulation when we experience overwhelming feelings.
Creating a ‘tools-box” of your safety anchors.
Make a list of the people dead or alive, pets, spiritual mentors that bring a sense of safety, calmness, welcome and comfort.
- A friend you can count on no matter what.
- Someone who is your anchor in the workplace or the professional world.
- Someone you can rely on for the “joyful moments,” which maybe is different from someone else who is your “angry moments” or “sad moments” anchor.
- Cuddling your pet while working on a stressful project or having a panic attack.
- Reading a book authored by one of your spiritual mentors when feeling lost and confused in emotions.
- Bringing to mind someone in the past, dead or alive, who used to comfort you.
Pay attention to the things that bring micro-moments of soothing and relaxation. Notice small actions that you experience as nourishing and offer a sense of vitality and flow.
- Looking at the tree outside of your window.
- A warm bath.
- Deeming the lights at the end of the day.
- Listening to music or,
- Listening to guided relaxation meditation.
- Any artistic activity.
- Watering your plants.
- Checking the horoscope.
- Listening to a podcast.
- Holding a meaningful object (a picture, a stone, etc.)
Look around and find the physical spaces in your home, workplace, neighbourhood where you feel an emotional and spiritual connection.
- Under any tree or your favourite tree.
- At a nearby park.
- By the water.
- At a friend’s house.
- In the kitchen, garden or patio.
- By the window.
- At your favourite coffee shop.
Take note of the moments in time when you feel safe, nurtured and relaxed.
- The very early hours of the morning.
- Your first morning tea or coffee.
- Climbing into bed at the end of the day.
- Late evenings when the kids are in bed.
- Times when you are alone and relaxed at home.
- Hiking or walking with your dog or a friend.
- Heading back home after work.
- Driving and listening to music or radio in your car.
- Going to the movies alone or with friends.
- When you watch your favourite TV show.
Having a variety of anchors to choose from makes it easier to hold onto when needed.
One benefit of mindfulness is that it invites us to pay attention to the micro-moments that evoke calmness, soothing, and safety throughout the day. You can start creating your personalized list using the Who, What, Where and When cues.
Reference: Duros & Cowley, 2014