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Try ‘orienting’ for relaxation

When life gets hectic and overwhelming, a calming exercise called “orienting” can be invaluable. As Healthy Futures team member Kim Lipsman explains, orienting, which is a Somatic Experiencing technique, is designed to help people re-balance and heal.

“Orienting is engaging in the environment with our five senses,” she says. “It works for anyone, even when you’re trying to re-balance into the present.”

To do this, Lipsman suggests noticing where you are in relation to the four corners of the room. Look at the shadows, your distance from each wall and from the ceiling.

Notice the sounds inside the room and any coming from outside the room.

Notice the aroma in your nose and the taste in your mouth – even if it’s none.

Notice what’s at your fingertips, even if it’s your other hand, or whether it’s touching a fabric.

“Notice what’s happening with your body system when you engage the environment with your five senses. You’re tapping into your parasympathetic nervous system – the one that calms and soothes,” she says.

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