Grounding in Stress Inventory

We would like to invite you to participate with us in a short exploration of your stress. We ask you to shut your eyes for a moment. Take a deep breath. And go inward, inside yourself. We are going to guide you on a little tour through your body and your energetic being, starting with your head.

What we would like you to do is just gently touch different parts of your head with your consciousness, with your attention, and see if you feel any stress or tension. What sensation is there? You may want to gently touch that part of the body physically, to help you guide your attention there. You may find that distracting. Play around with what works for you.

We wish to guide you in taking an inventory of the stress you might be expressing in your body at this time.

Take your attention to the top of your head. Feel your scalp. Sometimes, in order to feel what is happening there, you can move it a little. Get a sense of whether it is tight or loose, hot or cold, loose or tingly. What is happening there, in your scalp?

Remember to keep breathing. And if you have stress you do not want in your scalp, you can send it out with the out-breath. Take a deep breath and just release the stress. It is not necessary to release it, but that is an option.

Next we ask you to feel your brain. Are there places where it is tight, or loose? Hot or cold? Open or closed? It is a funny sensation perhaps to be feeling your brain, rather than thinking of or looking at it.

Remember to breathe.

Then explore around your head; perhaps you'd like to check out the mask of your face. Your cheeks. Your eyes. Your nose. Your jaw. What about your lips, is there tension in your lips? How does it feel under your chin? The top area of your throat?

How about your ears, what do they feel? If you wiggle them a bit, it might be easier to locate them.

Remember to breathe.

What is going on in your neck? The back of your neck? The sides of your neck? Your throat?

What we are doing with you here is just guiding you through an inventory of sensations, to locate stress or tension in your body, and to help you recognize what is happening in your body. If you wish, you can try to characterize the sensations, going beyond "stress" or "no stress". For some of you this will be an easy task, and for others it will be difficult to take your attention into a specific area and feel what is happening there. You can practice it over time.

What is happening in your shoulders? Are they in their most natural position, or are they out of place? How about your shoulder blades? Your spine? Is there tension somewhere in your spine? You can take a run with your attention from the very base of your spine, slowly but steadily moving upward, just to see what you feel. The muscles? The nerves?

How about your arms, your upper arms? Try tensing them on purpose, then releasing. What do you feel? Your lower arms?

Your wrists... turn them slowly. Your hands?

Your chest. How do the sensations change as you breathe in and out? Remember to breathe.

What is happening in your belly? Do you notice change or movement happen, as your attention sweeps through. Do you notice transformation?

Now your hips... what is tension like when it is in the hip?

Your pelvic region...your left leg, your left foot... your right leg... your right foot...?

Then bring your attention for a moment to your lungs, and the area where you breathe. And see if there's tension there where you breathe. In... out... a couple of times.

Then open your eyes.. You may have grown sleepy with this exercise. Sometimes when you direct your attention inward, and you've been working a long hard day, it can make you go right to sleep. So you might need to shake a little, or move around a little bit to get the kinks out.