Grounding is a set of simple strategies to detach from emotional pain for example (cravings, self harm urges, emotional eating behaviour etc.) Grounding can also be a way of returning your attention to the outside world and away from yourself. In the case of dissociation.
WHY PRACTICE GROUNDING TECHNIQUES?
When you are overwhelmed with emotional pain, you need a way to detach so that you can gain control over your feelings and stay safe. As long as you are grounding, you are more likely to be able to overcome urges. Grounding ‘anchors’ you to reality.
Many people with PTSD and dissociative disorders struggle with either feeling too much (overwhelming emotions and memories) or too little (numbing and dissociation). In grounding, you attain balance between the two—conscious of reality and ability to tolerate it.
Grounding can be done any time, anywhere and no one has to know.
Use grounding when you are: faced with a trigger, having a flashback or dissociating.
Keep your eyes open, look around the room, and make sure the light is good to stay in touch with the present.
Rate your mood before and after to test whether it worked. Before grounding, rate your level of
emotional pain, or your level of dissociation. Then re-rate it afterwards. Has it gone down?
Try not to make judgements or think negatively. The idea is to distract from the negatives.
Stay neutral—no judgments of good or bad.
Focus on the present, not the past or future.
Grounding is much more active than relaxation exercises and focuses your attention.
Grounding is deemed to be a better way of coping with PTSD and dissociative disorders than relaxation practice. As during relaxation the focus is too much within the body, which at the worst may bring on flashbacks.
“And the Great Mother said: Come my child and give me all that you are. I am not afraid of your strength and darkness, of your fear and pain. Give me your tears. They will be my rushing rivers and roaring oceans. Give me your rage. It will erupt into my molten volcanoes and rolling thunder. Give me your tired spirit. I will lay it to rest in my soft meadows.” ~Linda Reuther
Moon water is cradled in the umbilical cord with Moon in the 4th. Although the line is cut away, the powerful connection between individual and mother tightly bound for a lifetime. This is a sensitive position for the Moon, and her lunar songs are symphonic in her own Cancer ruled house. The attachment to home, family, and loved ones is physically, spiritually, and emotionally binding. Stability is important, although her childhood may have involved a lot of moving around and change in residence. The core is gentle, emotional, and loving with Moon in the 4th. Healthy experiences during the upbringing prime empathy, appreciation, and soothing lifelong memories. But, if the earliest expression of emotion were invalidated by the parents, the individual can struggle longterm with emotional lability, instability, and dependency. Much of her coping skills centre around developing emotional resiliency and the ability to self comfort. The individual is a safe guarder and the nature is defensive and protective. She dips her mermaid tail in the moon lagoon, the water in her spirit, and she frequently drifts into fantasy and comforting reverie. Remarkable memory retention can be a blessing and a curse.
The 4th house is the residence of spirit guides, and the moon’s psychic nature accelerates the connection between soul and body. She can receive intuitive guidance through sensations, feelings, and her direct intimacy with Mother Goddess. Ancestors may communicate with her in the home through appliances like switching on lights and changing room temperature. The close presence of spirit guides is very much a protective force. There are always angels hovering close by. No matter her physical age, she is always a golden child of the heavens. Family is the joy, despair, and repair of life with Moon in the 4th. Nothing brings her more delight than having everybody she loves together again. She may be a great lover of holiday season, birthdays, stormy nights, and cooking for friends and family. Family is what keeps her balanced and feeling safe, because she may be constantly threatened by loss of security, abandonment, or the death of a family member. There may be a deep affinity with tracing back ancestors and discovering her family history. Photographs are essential, and she may like to keep a journal. Her home is her bungalow and sanctuary, and she absolutely needs a safe place she can retreat from the world and crawl into. There is a natural and commanding harmony with the cycles of the moon. She is the lunar mirror whose moods wax and wane to reflect the hollow and full white diamond in the sky. She can experience consuming and suffocating mood states where she feel everything at once, and then she feels nothing at all. There may be difficulties with fluid retention and managing sugar and dairy cravings. The individual can fall easily into destructive rituals to cope with emotion, she may binge eat, impulse buy, or refuse to get out of bed.
Moon in the 4th people are natural mother goddesses, and the individual expresses her maternity and wisdom from a very young age. The fourth house represents the psychological base. Dane Rudyhar calls this the symbolic tap-root of the human organism, the place in which the total human person finds his centre. The Moon is the astrological expression of feminine energy and matriarchal consciousness. As a child, the feminine influences of her life condition her and shape her as a person. There may have been a close attachment to the mother, aunt, or grandmother, and possibly all three. Psychic abilities are generally inherited by the women in her heritage. The moon is attached to the earth’s gravity field the same way a baby is attached to its mother. It’s possible that she experienced and still does experience a high degree of psychic activity with the mother, like she was a vessel of the mother’s sensations and moods. She may feel very safe with the mother as the intuitive bond is so strong and provides her with a sense of comfort in a way nobody else does. It is possible that she will care for the mother in old age as she undertakes the mothering role herself. Also, the mother may have been quite emotional and unstable, so it may have been difficult for the individual to predict her mother’s responses and exaggerated her instability fears. The home life is a reflection of her inner values and sentiments. Milky lunar drops fill her home and inner experience with the frothy creamy comfort of unconditional love, shelter, and belonging. She is the place everybody comes home to.
[ art Victo Ngai - See Babies Before They Are Born]
7 Secrets to Stop Emotional Eating: On my weight loss journey, I discovered lots of ideas that helped me to break free of dieting and start healing my body. Here are 7 secrets that I uncovered on my healing journey that helped me to address my emotional eating so that I could start losing weight naturally.
Secret #1 - Stop dieting: Dieting is a vicious cycle of self-abuse. Depriving yourself of food or restricting your food intake is not the path to losing weight for good. It is a form of control and it indicates that you feel out of control in other areas of your life.
Secret #2 - Realize there is no ‘one size fits all’ diet: Even the experts disagree about what you should and shouldn’t be eating. You do not have to wait for them to agree! Instead, experiment with eating healthy foods that are found in nature. Start by eating a high percentage of real foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, seeds and drinking water, knowing that you can tweak things as you go along. You don’t have to get it perfect, especially at the beginning – give yourself permission to make mistakes and then make changes as you go along.
Secret #3 - Eliminate all fake foods, fast foods and highly processed foods: This includes soft drinks, refined white sugar and flour and any other food that is man-made, such as artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavorings and preservatives. These are not foods, just food products. They are foreign to your body and your body does not know what to do with them. It’s best to avoid them.
Secret #4 - Shift your focus to health and nutrition: Eat fresh foods that are high in nutrition as these are the foods that are easily available for your body. These foods are alkalizing, nourishing and healing. These are foods that your body can recognize, digest, assimilate and eliminate effectively.
Secret #5 - Experiment with food to find healthy substitute foods: Find healthy substitutes for your favorite ‘comfort’ foods. For example, instead of processed chocolate, try organic chocolate, dark chocolate, carob-based treats or raw chocolate. If you experience bread cravings try eating organic wholemeal breads or gluten free breads instead. If you experience cheese cravings, try goats’ cheese (or if you want to get creative), learn how to make your own nut cheese.
Secret #6 - Recognize ‘emotional-eating’ patterns: Become conscious of your emotional eating triggers and patterns. Ask yourself questions and use this clarity to help you understand yourself and your feelings. Am I physical hungry or emotionally hungry? What triggers your emotional eating? What types of foods do you crave? Do these cravings occur at regular times? What are your favorite foods to comfort you and make you feel better? What emotions are you really feeling?
Secret #7 – Express yourself: Emotional eating starts with a thought for a craving, such as “I want ______” (fries, crisps, cake, chips, chocolate, cookies). Instead of acting on your thoughts, express yourself by doing something physical or creative. Physical activities might be to try drinking a glass of water, going for a walk, doing some yoga or playing with your children. Creative activities might be painting, scribbling, writing, studying, singing or reading a book.
It is possible to end emotional eating. The desire for emotional eating happens when you are feeling repressed or denied. Over time, when your feelings are not expressed, they can become stuck in your body. If left unaddressed, they manifest in your life; as low self esteem, food cravings, emotional eating and, over time, excess weight and chronic health problems.
So, the next time you feel the desire to eat emotionally, realize that you are being called to look a little deeper at what is really going on inside of you and how you are really feeling. Working with identifying and expressing your emotions will end emotional eating and allow emotional healing to happen instead.