Grounding Techniques

When Creative Flooding becomes overwhelming it is helpful to have a toolkit of grounding techniques or ways to decrease intensity of experience. It is important not to overdo this so much that it stops, just slow it down so the process is gentler and less disorienting.  Over-medication, in my opinion, is the biggest danger in a genuine spiritual emergency.
Many of these tips are taken from this document: Integral Approach to Spiritual Emergency

1) Food – Eat heavy foods, especially those high in protein and fat or complex carbohydrates.
Avoid raw fruit and vegetables, simple carbohydrates like sugar, refined foods and stimulants like chocolate or caffeine.
Eat food with sensory mindfulness.

2) Exercise – For me walking or gentle stretching. Walking a labyrinth or gentle gardening. Focus on sensory awareness. Notice what you smell, see, hear, feel, taste.

3) Sleep – warm baths, power down electronics, keep work out of bedroom, write down ideas and put it away, read boring book, aromatherapy (lavender)
Possible Supplements: Calcium (1000 mg am and pm), Magnesium, Homeopathic remedies for anxiety and insomnia, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) nutritional supplement, 5-HTP and L-theanine, Melatonin.
Herbs: Spearmint, holy basil and chamomile teas are mildly relaxing, passionflower tea calming without sedating, Kava, hops, skullcap are more potent. Valerian tincture is a stronger herbal tranquilizer.
Alcohol: Obviously can be misused but can provide the needed relief to take the edge off.
I feel pharmaceutical medications are over-prescribed and often recommended/used for longer than needed or healthy.  I recommend this guide if you want to get off them. Harm reduction guide

4) Stress – Often this can be psychological/sexual/spiritual stress and as each person is different you will have to experiment to see what intensifies the experience and what helps modulate it.
Contemplative practices are often helpful but can also be overstimulating: http://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree
These are the ones I have found helpful:

  • Mandala coloring
  • Labyrinth walking
  • Mindfulness practices such as focusing on breath or on my sensory awareness
  • Prayer and reading about myths and saints
  • Mantra writing (Likhita Japi)
  • Mandala weaving
  • Music/dance
  • Journaling
  • Concentrating on a candle
  • Flower arranging

4) Nature – walks in nature, looking at clouds, working outdoors, breathing fresh air. I like to go see water and throw rocks. I’ll go into this more as I explore how Ecopsychology has helped me integrate.