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Grounding, what do we actually mean?

Being grounded can mean two things:

  1. Being fully present in your body and/or

  2. Feeling connected to the earth.

We’ve all experienced being grounded. We feel “at home”. But this is a fleeting experience.

The first part of grounding is to get rooted in your physical body.

Grounding is a similar concept to centering. The Center is expansive, including your body as well as your mind, heart, and spirit.

Once you learn how to ground yourself, it’s easier to find your Center. Grounding techniques are designed to redistribute the energy from your head or mind into your body. Doing so has an almost instant calming effect.

Most of our stress and anxiety results from a disconnection from our bodies. The more rooted you are in your body, the less stress and anxiety you experience (S. Jeffrey)

13 Signs of Being Ungrounded

You are ungrounded if you:

  • Get distracted easily

  • Space out

  • Over-think or ruminate

  • Engage in personal drama

  • Experience anxiety and perpetual worrying

You are also ungrounded if you are:

  • Possessed by desire for material things

  • Easily deceived by yourself or others

  • Obsessed with your personal image

Physical signs of being ungrounded include:

  • Inflammation

  • Poor sleep

  • Chronic pain

  • Fatigue

  • Poor circulation

Grounding exercises recommended by many mental health therapists and wellness experts are listed below.

1). A very effective albeit unusual method is to put one hand, palm down on the crown of your head. If safe to do so, close your eyes to avoid distractions. Leave palm on head for between 30 and 90 seconds.

2). Follow your natural breath. Take a few minutes and just practice following your natural breath just as it is. Not trying to change anything- just letting the body breath. This is another example, like the 5-4-3-2-1 exercise, that needs to be practiced regularly to be most effective. Time: 1-3 minutes.

3). Feet on the ground. When possible removing your shoes and socks and standing or sitting just place your feet on the ground. Sensing into what you can feel, notice the temperature, the texture/solidity of the ground beneath your feet, sensing where your skin meets the material on your foot. Placing all your focus on your feet and cultivating the awareness of the connection to the ground and the earth beneath you. Time: 2-5 minutes.

4). Mindful Walking. Where safe and possible take a walk and stay present to your surroundings/environment. Consider focusing on sounds (leaves underfoot, trees swaying, birdsong). Bring each step to mind, focus on walking- heel, ball, toes. Its not about going far its more about connecting to your surroundings and being present in the moment as it arises. Time 5-10 minutes.

5). Practicing self-compassion. Offering yourself the loving-kindness phrases you have practiced or phrases that are appropriate for you at this time. Suggestions might be: "May I be well, May I be strong, May I be kind to myself in this moment, May I treat myself as well as I treat my best friend, May I be safe, May I live with ease."

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