Racism and Wellbeing
The fight or flight response is the body’s defence system. It is activated when a threat is perceived. The fight or flight response can be triggered by direct, indirect, overt, and covert experiences. Experiencing racism can trigger the body’s fight or flight response and can impact on wellbeing in a number of ways, such as changes to emotions, thoughts, physical sensations and emotions. Race-related stress refers to the physical and emotional responses caused by exposure to events involving racism, prejudice and discrimination.
Grounding techniques are useful for regaining focus in situations where we are feeling overwhelmed or consumed by difficult thoughts. They work by diverting our attention towards neutral stimuli in the present moment.

5 items Task

Either:
A)
Look around you and select 5 objects you can see, describe in detail to yourself the objects characteristics, think about shapes textures, colours, how it would feel to touch and how it would feel to pick up.

B)
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste / 1 deep breath

When you go through this exercise it’s really important to slow down and take your time. You want to gather as much detail to really stimulate your mind and engage your senses.

Breathing

Take a deep breath in through your nose, as you breathe in your stomach should come out – you can place your hand on your stomach as you practice this.
Imagine a balloon in your stomach being inflated with the air you breathe in. As you breathe our through your mouth you are letting the air out of the balloon and you should feel your stomach come back in.

Breathe in for 4 counts
Hold for 2 counts
Breathe out for 6 counts
And repeat

This can feel a little strange at first but with practice it will start to feel more natural. Practice this when you are feeling calm for the technique to be most effective when you need to use it.
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