We often say that mindfulness is about noticing thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in the present moment, without judgment. While mindfulness encourages a deeper self-understanding that is rewarding, sometimes introspective practices are challenging for people who are experiencing more immediate stress. If you're overwhelmed by your thoughts or emotions and need a quick way to relax and feel safe, consider grounding.

Grounding helps draw our attention to the physical world around us and solidifies our bodies in the present moment. One simple and effective strategy is to engage any of the five senses to take inventory of our surroundings. These practices can be structured (e.g. - Calm Classroom's Bell Focus) or they can be done with the everyday sights, sounds, and sensations in your room. Bringing awareness to the living sensations in our bodies--and away from our busy minds--can help us relax and return to a state of equanimity.

Grounding can also help us feel safe. Understanding and verifying our relationship with the physical world--while taking a step back from mental stressors--can help us confirm that we are indeed in a safe environment. Establishing a feeling of physical safety is often necessary for triggering the body's parasympathetic--or calming--response.

We hope you enjoyed the video above! If you're looking for a grounding practice to share with your students, try picking up Fall leaves and describing them with your five senses! Here's a helpful worksheet!


Want to support mental and emotional health in your school or classroom?

Mindfulness exercises provide children with the tools they need to self-regulate when facing difficult or stressful situations. Check out our blog for more tips on how to integrate mindfulness and social-emotional learning into your school community!

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