Grounding Exercises to Prevent and De-Escalate Conflict
Grounding exercises can play an important role in conflict resolution. They help us prepare for difficult conversations and can even help start a meeting on a good foot. Whether it's frustration about a late bus, or our worries about a family member who is sick, we carry our stress with us wherever we go. Grounding exercises are one tool to help us put aside what distracts us, so we can be present in the room and our bodies, and focus on the moment.
Here is one exercise you can use on your own before a difficult conversation with a loved one, or to start off a meeting with your whole team or organisation.
Sit in a position that is comfortable and helps you to stay alert.
Close your eyes, and bring your attention to your breath coming in and out. Focus on the feeling of air going in and out of your nose, or the feeling of your belly rising and falling.
Watch your breath as it goes in and out for a few moments. Don’t worry about changing it, just watch it as it is.
Feel the pressure of your feet on the ground, or your bum on the chair. Feel the solid connection and the rootedness and stability where you are in contact with the floor or chair.
Spread your awareness to your body – what other sensations do you feel? Are you hot or cold? Can you feel your clothing touching your skin? What parts of your body feel stiff or sore? What parts feel relaxed? Do you feel any itching or other sensations?
Bring your attention to your mouth. Can you taste anything? What does it taste like?
Bring your attention to your nose. Can you smell anything? What does it smell like?
Bring your attention to your ears. What can you hear in the room? Can you hear anything outside of the room? What’s the quietest thing you can hear?
Open your eyes. What can you see in front of you?
Look around the room. What do you notice? Find one thing you haven’t noticed before.
Smile or nod to other people in the room as you catch their eye.
If you want more examples, or more information, feel free to send me an email! Things can go so much more smoothly when people have a chance to be present!