This exercise is really good if you are out and about as you can do this unobtrusively by just sitting at a table or leaning against a wall or tree.

Ground your Energy Using the Four Paws Exercise

o Have both feet flat on the floor and deepen your breathing
o Feel your breathing slow down and become aware of how your breathing moves your body
o Feel your body calming…………….let your breathing calm your body further
o Have both hands, palm down, on a solid surface (perhaps a table, desk, or wall) and press your palms down onto the surface
o As you breathe out imagine that your breath is travelling down your legs and your arms, through your feet and hands and into the surface they are in contact with
o Imagine roots like those of an oak tree growing from the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands and see them growing down and down into the earth until you are deeply rooted and connected to the earth
o Keep up the slow breathing down into the earth until your body systems have slowed right down

Talk to Your Body
If you have become triggered, i.e. something has reminded you of a past traumatic event, or even if you have become anxious without a known reason, and your heart rate and breathing is rapid it is likely that your body is flooding with adrenalin and you are in ‘fight or flight’ mode. This is a physiological response, not within conscious control, and happens very quickly. This means that you have become afraid, not necessarily knowing what of, though somehow you fear a threat of some kind.

Take a moment to deepen your breathing and talk to your body in a loving way. Thank it for warning you that there is danger around and explain to it that as much as you are grateful for the warning there is actually nothing in the present time that is dangerous. It (your body) can calm down and resume normal operating and you don’t need to run or fight or freeze. Keep up the deep breathing and gradually your body should become calmer.

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The Four Paws Exercise