A tool for stress reduction
Adapted from Elan Shaprio (2012)
EARTH: Grounding to the present
Notice your feet on the ground and the connection of your feet and body to the earth. Notice
The sensation of your feet in your shoes or your feet on the ground. Use your senses to notice the sights, sound, smells of the physical space you are in right in this moment.
AIR: Breathing for centering
When you are grounded to the present, draw your attention to your breath. Breath in through your nose to the count of 4 and hold for 2 counts. Breath out through your mouth to the count of 4. Imagine you are breathing around a box. The top of the box is the inhalation though your nose. The side of the box is the exhalation though your mouth. The bottom is the same inhalation and the other side is the exhalation. Breath around the box three times.
WATER: Making saliva to activate calm
When our body is activated by our emergency or survival response (sympathetic nervous system) our digestive system is shut off. When we make saliva, we begin to switch on the relaxation and nurturing response. (parasympathetic nervous system) You can chew gum or drink water. You can imagine eating something yummy or something sour. You can move your tongue around the inside and outside of your teeth. As you draw your attention to making more saliva you will become calm, focused and clearer.
FIRE: Imagination to relaxation
Access your imagination to go to a calm, peaceful place. Many people find nature to be a source of inspiration, others find a room or inner space to be calming. Imagine this peaceful space with all of your senses. Notice what the sights, sounds and smells of this peaceful place. Observe your thoughts, emotions and the sensations in your body when you are in there.
To center your attention on each element you can make a chain or bracelet or use colored stones utilizing the color scheme of each element.
Everything you can imagine is real.