Some tips to calm your anxieties
Spinner rings are wildly popular for their role in the promotion of mindfulness. Mindfulness offers a complete way of living and its philosophy highlights heightened self-awareness and presence in our day to day lives. Studies have shown that paying close attention to our emotional and physical health can significantly improve the way we navigate our personal and professional lives. Mindfulness practice helps us gain a sense of control over our consciousness and can greatly improve the way our mind and body react to stress.
However, to fully experience and appreciate mindfulness, we must find ways to incorporate grounding techniques into our everyday lives. Grounding techniques are strategies that allow us to deal with negatives thoughts and emotions. Moreover, when these techniques are used together at the same time, it can greatly enhance their combined effect.
Today, we would like to explore some popular grounding techniques that mindful people practice and ones that can complement your spinner ring. One of the benefits of owning spinner rings is having them on hand whenever we are overwhelmed by nervous energy. Knowing how to respond in these moments can provide us with a better solution to our troubling thoughts. Here’s what you can do with your own spinner ring.
1. The 4-7-8 method
Also known as the “relaxing breath”, this breathing technique is used to reduce anxieties in the body. Here, you must:
- Breathe in for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath in for 7 seconds
- And exhale for 8 seconds.
Rhythmic breathing is a significant practice incorporated in yoga and has been proven to promote a full body relaxation. Deep slow breathes allow our lungs to fill with more oxygen, which can help to lower our heart rate and blood pressure. This allows our body to move past the ‘fight or flight’ response which is usually responsible for invoking stress in the first place. In times of stress, find a quiet space where you can focus on spinning your ring while you regulate your breathing. Practice this method for at least 5-10 minutes or until your heart rate settles. If breathing isn’t enough, we recommend adding another technique from this list to help your mind and body settle down.
2. The 188.8.131.52.1 method
This grounding technique is often recommended for people who experience anxiety attacks. These are episodes that can cause intense worry and fear in an individual. More often, anxiety attacks consist of racing thoughts and worries related to past traumas or negative emotions on future possibilities. When our thoughts are racing, bringing our mind back to the present reminds us of what we are actually in control of – the present. This works by prompting us to take note of what we can sense within our surroundings. Here’s how:
- Name 5 things you can see
- Acknowledge 4 things you can touch
- Focus on 3 things you can hear
- Pinpoint 2 things you can smell
- Identify 1 thing you can taste.
In the event that your environment is very limited or if you are unable to focus on the environment around you, try to think back to a moment with better clarity. A useful strategy is to spin your ring each time you name something correctly! Giving yourself realistic goals will aid you in completing this technique and calming your nerves.
3. Counting backward
Counting backwards is another popular practice recommended by professionals. The idea is to sit or lie down in a quiet peaceful environment and feel the weight of your body press against the surface you are resting on. This practice is especially helpful for people who suffer from insomnia because it is an effective way to get your body to wind down before bed. If you are looking to sleep count backward from a larger number, but if you are looking to relax during the day, a smaller number will do, Here’s what we recommend:
- Sit or lie down in a quiet environment.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe deeply for 1-2 minutes.
- Start counting backward from 100 or 1000, depending on you.
- Keep a dull focus on counting while you feel the weight of your body pressed on the surface of your bed or chair.
- If you forget where you are, count back from the latest number you were on.
- Do this until you finish counting or fall asleep.
4. Category descriptions
Grounding techniques are all about distracting your mind from the fears and worries that are causing you stress. To accomplish this, engaging your mind in other activities is key. Another way to achieve this is through category and topic descriptions. Think about basic objects and try to name as many of those objects as you can. When you run out of names, move on to another category. Continue until you can feel relaxed and less stressed. Here are some category descriptions to keep in mind:
- Sports teams
An effective way to keep count with your spinner ring would be to switch it from one finger to another after each category is completed.
5. The Anchoring technique:
Anchoring applies the same concepts as grounding, but it has two different forms: external and internal anchoring. With external anchoring, you focus on bringing out a physical sensation in your body to focus on until your feelings of panic subside. As a starting point, we recommend making use of traditional Chinese pressure points. This form of acupressure pinpoints areas in the body that will bring about a calming effect when pressed. Traditional Chinese medical theories highlight points that lie on channels or meridians in the body, these channels are believed to carry our invisible and essential life energy ‘qi’. In times of stress, it is believed that our qi is imbalanced or blocked, and pressing on these points can bring it back to equilibrium. Here are a few places you can focus on:
- Yin Tang point: Touch the spot between your eyebrows with your index finger or thumb, using circular motions.
- Shen Men point: Press along the inside of the upper ear, using soft, circular motions (For the exact location please search online)
- He Gu point: Press the point located between the base of your thumb and index finger.
When it comes to internal anchoring, the process is a lot simpler and catered to you on a personal level. It involves repeating the same phrase over and over again. Repetitive actions like spinning your meditation spinner ring or saying the same phrase again and again can encourage the mind to come back to the present moment. Using both these techniques together is a great way to exercise both external and internal anchoring. For anchoring phrases, we recommend using a meaningful phrase that has been said to you by a loved one. Otherwise, here are some positive affirmations to get you started:
- I am calm and at peace
- I am strong
- I can get through this
With patience, practice, and resilience, we are confident that these practices will create a positive impact on your everyday life. We hope that when used together with your meditation spinner ring, you can find a grounding technique that works best for you. Be well and stay safe!