Managing Emotional Storms can sometimes seem an impossible task. What follows is a well known Acceptance and Commitment Technique (ACT) developed to help us deal with that unwanted inner chatter. Or to deal with those emotional storms that we all sometimes face. Having the right tools available will help us prepare for any internal disruptions we may be experiencing, now or in the future.
Dropping Anchor Through Life’s Emotional Storms
This Technique, usually referred to as Dropping Anchor, was designed to help people ground themselves by staying in the present moment rather than being swept along by strong and challenging emotions you ay be facing. Now imagine you’r in a boat out at sea, when out of seemingly nowhere, a wild storm starts to build. The natural solution would likely be to drop anchor. Your boat would then hold steady and not be swept away allowing your to ride out the storm. That’s why this exercises is called ‘Dropping Anchor’
To drop an Anchor, in the sense of emotional challenges such as anger, panic, pain or sadness, we anchor onto anything that can ground us in the present moment. One of our five senses off Touch, Sight, Sound, Taste, Smell, are used to focus our attention into that present moment. Following our breath, body sensations or body posture we begin becoming grounded within ourselves and emotions.
Now Lets Get Started
First find yourself somewhere you won’t be disturbed and somewhere to sit with your back straight and your shoes off.
Gently acknowledge whatever is happening inside you. The thoughts, feelings, memories, worries, sensations or urges. just simple acknowledge whatever is happening. (Pause 10 seconds)
Now come back into and connect with your physical body. Push your feet firmly into the ground. Notice the sensations as you press the souls of your feet into the ground below. (Pause 10 seconds)
Press your hands into your thighs. Stretch the fingers out as wide as you can go, griping your thighs as firmly as your can. Feel that sense of contact between your hands and fingers. (Pause 10 seconds)
Slowly stretch your hands out wide. Roll your shoulders around in an arc from your back to your front. Repeat this as many times feels good. (Pause 10 seconds)
Now take 3 Deep, Slow Intentional breaths. Breathing in, Breathing Out.
Now acknowledge again those painful thoughts and feelings that may be present. (Pause 10 seconds)
As you do this, notice that there is a body around this thoughts and feelings. A body that you can move and can control. Notice your whole body as you press your feet firmly into the ground, grip your thighs or roll your shoulders.
Now get a sense of where you are and refocus your attention on what you are doing. Look around and notice five things that you can See. (Pause 10 seconds)
Notice Four things that you can Hear. (Pause 10 seconds)
Notice Three things you can touch or Feel. (Pause 10 seconds)
Notice any painful thought, memories, and feelings you may have arise at this point. Observe how these thoughts, memories and feelings are inside of a body you can move and control. A body that is bigger than just these thoughts, feelings, memories it houses. (Pause 10 seconds)
Now you have completed this exercise, I would like you to explore the questions below and answer them as honestly as you can.
- What thoughts did you notice during this exercise?
- What were you feeling? What emotions were present?
- How do you feel now? Do you feel less caught up in the emotional storm you were experiencing?
- How could you incorporate this exercise into your daily life?
You have now finished this exercise and technique in grounding. This is an invaluable tool in fighting any of life’s emotional storms. The more you practice this exercise the more it will become ingrained into your behavioural patterns. Don’t just wait until the overwhelming problems accord, practice on the lower intensity emotions as well.
Further Help & Advice
- It is recommended to practice first with medium intensity thoughts and feelings, rather than high intensity emotional experiences. At first build the skills set necessary to complete this task and over time you will fill fully equipped in dealing with any of life’s Emotional Storms
- Remember that all emotional difficulties will pass. We don’t know if the storm will pass quickly or they mass pass slowly, dropping an anchor will help find solid ground without getting swept away.
- This is not a distraction technique and is intentionally designed to focus in the body and/or the breath. dropping anchor is designed to be grounding in nature bringing us back into the present moment. Try this Body Scan Exercise to further your Positive Tool Kit
Coaching & Training in Positive Thinking
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*Dhamma Tāpasā is a trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. Now a Life Changing and inspirational Positive Coach, a certified NLP Practitioner, Mindfulness Trainer, a Motivational Speaker and a Published Author.
Creator of the highly acclaimed “The Four Trees” a story of learning how we can all live a more fulfilled and content lifestyle.
By using his unique approach of storytelling, mixed with some ancient Buddhist Monk Secrets, 3 Simple Life Principles and all combined with 21st century scientifically proven NLP techniques, Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture your imaginations whilst teaching you valuable Life Skills that will change every aspect of your life.