Hands on the Table, Feet on the Floor…..A Simple Calming Practice

One of my favorite ways of taking a moment for an impromptu calming practice is what I call “Hands on the table, feet on the floor”. It’s a simple, effective way to calm feelings of stress or anxiety, and it is very easy to do.
I teach this to children and adults in my counseling practice and they love it because it is easy to remember and it works. This practice quickly evokes a calm, grounded feeling and helps slow things down.

Here is the practice: Sit or stand facing a table, desk or countertop. Spread your fingers a comfortable amount and place your palms and fingers on the counter or table. It will usually feel cool and calming. Then feel your feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly, deeply two or three times and relax your face, neck and shoulders on each exhalation. Now breathe softly without effort for a minute or two as you continue to feel the contact between your hands and the surface they rest on. Feel the contact of your feet with the ground. Feel yourself slowing down to a calmer place on the inside. When you feel ready, open your eyes and go about your day.

I love this little calming practice as it is both soothing and grounding. Thinking slows down because of the focus on the sensations of the hands and feet. You can do it almost anywhere. If there is no table or desk on which to place your hands, do it in a standing position with your hands on a wall.

The benefits? This simple little practice has the ability to help you quickly slow down on the inside, feel calmer, quiet your mind and ground your energy. It raises awareness in the present moment, so it is a very mindful practice.

In our busy, busy, plugged in lives I think we need simple tools to help us maintain more mindful lives, practices we can use throughout the day for quick, relaxing and awareness raising breaks. This simple little tool is easy to do and can fit into any part of your day. And if you have children, it can give them, and you, some peaceful, aware moments while teaching them the importance of living mindfully.


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