Grounding - why it's important and how to do it
You may have heard the term ‘being grounded’ before and may have heard people described as being very ‘grounded’. But what exactly does it mean?
We are all spirits housed within a physical body. Being grounded means being fully aware that we are within our bodies so that we can fully experience every moment of life. When we are grounded, we are present, conscious and centred. We feel physical sensations and are fully in the present moment. We are looking after ourselves, learning from our experiences, developing and growing.
When we are grounded, we feel strong and healthy. We have a presence and an awareness and we find it easier to focus our minds and make the right decisions. No matter what life’s challenges are, we remain solid, balanced and centred, meaning we can be calm even if surrounded by chaos.
We must be grounded to be fully aware of our mind, our body and our emotions, and to connect to our inner wisdom and intuition.
When we are ungrounded, we may be flighty, disorganised and clumsy. We may often over-react to people and situations and act defensively, getting frustrated, angry or irritable. We may find it difficult to concentrate and focus, appearing clumsy and accident-prone. We might also feel unconnected to our bodies, sometimes unable to tell if we’re hot or cold. We may suffer from dizziness, low blood sugar, insomnia and frequent colds or illness. Our mind is probably working over-time, making it hard for us to switch off and relax.
Our wonderful human minds unfortunately can make it difficult for us to ground. Our mind wanders and without us realising it we are worrying about the future, or re-enacting situations from the past. On our morning commute to work we can easily spend half an hour doing our shopping lists in our heads, re-living an argument we had before we left the house, worrying about a meeting we have later that afternoon… the list is endless – we are on auto-pilot and living within our heads. We arrive at work ungrounded, stressed and unfocused.
In addition to our minds taking over on an hourly basis, there are certain situations which can also cause us to become ungrounded. Trauma and shock will often immediately bring us ‘out of our bodies’ making us very ungrounded – often when faced with these situations our mind tries to protect itself by leaving the body (this is common if people have suffered physical or sexual abuse). Surgery will have the same affect - it can often take three or four days for us to ‘return fully to our bodies’ after surgery. Tiredness, illness, dehydration and jet lag can also cause us to feel ungrounded. In addition, drugs and alcohol are guilty of taking us ‘away with the fairies’.
With so many of our daily activities and our pesky wandering minds taking us away from this desired state of balance and calm, what can we do to help ourselves? There are a number of different techniques to help us ground – they will take practice but persistence will pay off! Try some of the following:
Focusing on your breath is a simple way to ground yourself. It brings your attention away from your mind and into your body. Simply focus on your in-breath and then your out-breath. You may want to imagine breathing in something you want to embody (such as peace) and breathing out something you want to release (such as tension). Or you may want to focus on the physical sensation of your breath at your nostrils, in your chest or in your stomach. Try taking a deep breath and counting to two before exhaling. Then count to two again before inhaling. Spending a few minutes focusing your mind on your breath will slow your system down. It’s tricky to start with and your mind will wander, but every time it does just bring it back to your breath.
Visualisations are a powerful way of grounding. Before any visualisation, take a while to get comfortable and focus on your breath for a while to calm the mind. Then, you can imagine in your mind’s eye anything that will bring you closer to the earth – you might picture roots growing out of your feet and going deep into the earth – imagining a deep red energy coming back from the centre of the earth up into your feet and your body.
You could visualise sending an anchor down into the earth from the base of your spine, feeling the earth’s tug on your spine.
There are also useful visualisations involving trees and mountains (see my root chakra blog for more details on these).
Focus on your body
Doing anything that focuses your mind on your body is great for grounding. Practice doing a body scan (more information in my root chakra blog). Or when you are doing your breathing exercises, practice breathing into different areas of your body – your left shoulder, your chest, your right big toe. Feel the breath go into the area, filling it up with fresh energy, and then breath out, letting the breath leave the area.
As your feet are the closest part of you to the earth, anything that focuses on your feet is helpful. Practice ‘mindful walking’ where you walk really slowly, focusing on each step and feeling all the sensations of your feet touching the ground. Or you may want to have a foot massage. Or a little more off-the-wall - put textured objects on the floor and run your feet over them – try fir cones, or try picking up marbles between your toes!
Exercise is great for grounding. Any exercise is good but those that involve both mind and body together are ideal. Yoga, tai chi and qi gong are great for grounding.
Spending time in nature is a fantastic way of improving our grounding. Trees are particularly helpful – if you’re not worried about being a bit of a loon, find a massive tree and go and lean against it (or even hug it!). If you concentrate you will be able to feel its energy. Trees have roots going deep into the earth so they are great sources of grounding. Looking at plants, fields, flowers and water will bring us back to our connection with the earth and make us more grounded.
You have probably heard the term ‘mindfulness’ – and there will be a future blog post specifically on this phenomenon. In a nutshell, it is about living in the ‘present moment’ and being ‘mindful’ and aware of what is happening inside and around you. A good way of starting to be mindful is to be aware of using your senses. When you sit at your desk in the office, be aware of how it feels against your skin, how the keys feel on your keypad. If you’re having a morning coffee, smell it and focus on the aroma. When you’re brushing your teeth feel the toothbrush against your gums, smell the mint and then taste the mint. Throughout the day, if you’re walking to the shops to pick up some groceries, notice what sounds you can hear, what you can see, what you can smell. All of this brings us back in touch with our instincts and our bodies.
Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet, particularly root vegetables as they come from the earth. Avoid toxins where possible, particularly alcohol. And drink plenty of water as dehydration affects our grounding.
Using any dark-coloured crystals can help with grounding; black, brown, dark red and dark green are all good colours. Carry them with you or leave them in your home or workplace. Try: black tourmaline, black andradite garnet, black diopside, fire agate or red jasper.
If you don’t already meditate, it’s a great way of helping you ground. Ten minutes a day, particularly in the morning, is really beneficial. You can just get comfortable, close your eyes and focus on your breath. There are many different ways of meditating if this doesn’t work for you – you can look at a mandala, focus on a word or chant, do a walking meditation, work with colours and sounds. Watch this space for a blog post which will explore some of the different techniques you can try. You can also download one of the many apps – try Headspace or Calm.
Energy healing sessions will be able to help you ground. A healer will be able to channel the energy into your energy field – not only providing healing energy but also channelling the earth energy to help you ground. Find out more about my energy healing sessions.
Lindsay Heath is a hypnotherapist and energy healer helping people to achieve lasting change. Find out more.