“You have to ground yourself, it’ll help!”
That’s what we tend to get told when we’re struggling with anxiety and depression but what does it really mean and how do we achieve it?
What is grounding?
Grounding techniques are useful skills to utilise when you’re feeling unbalanced, to calm yourself down when you are having a panic/anxiety attack, when your thoughts are going wild, when you’re distracted by negative thoughts and when you just can’t settle.
Grounding helps us to reconnect to the here and now and to be in the present moment when our minds are somewhere quite chaotic.
Perhaps you have experienced a moment when you are thinking ahead of times, asking yourself ‘what if’ or you may have been thinking about the past which has triggered a negative thought?
Grounding brings you to the present moment to assist you to remain focused on what is current. Grounding can reduce pain and even help you to sleep better.
Many people find that their minds are quite lively when they try to sleep at night. This tends to be because there are less distractions at night, the lights go out, everyone else is sleeping, there’s no one to talk to and nothing to do, they close their eyes and then a ‘thought party’ goes on in their head.
That’s the time to ground, to re-connect to the Earth and the physical world.
Find inner peace, feel inner stillness.
How to ground yourself
Reconnect to Earth
It is the cheapest form of medicine although I must insist that you go to the Doctors if you are contending with mental health issues or experiencing a lack of sleep as there could be a further underlying issue however, grounding will help as well and a reconnection to Earth is always soothing for the soul.
There’s never an excuse not to connect with nature.
Go for a walk, even if it’s raining, feel the rain on your skin, stop by a tree or sit on a bench. If it’s sunny then feel the rays on your face (although don’t forget sunscreen if it’s really warm outside). Put your feet flat on the floor, turn your mobile phone off or turn it on silent at least so that no-one can disturb you.
Stay quiet, breath deeply and continue to do so. Breath in and out, long deep breaths and close your eyes.
Feel the ground beneath your feet, the breeze against your skin, the rain drops trickle down your nose or the sun rays caressing your skin. Hear the rustling of the leaves of the trees or bushes around you; take note of the sound as it whistles past your ears. Listen to the birds singing beautiful melodies especially for you, in this very moment. Everything else can wait, work can wait for a few minutes, you might be on a lunch break, in which case, this is your time. There’s no need to think about what happened before work or what will happen later. We spend too much time behind or a head of time. Just be present in this very moment. Just BE.
Remind yourself that you are here connecting your physical body to the here and now.
Many people also find it useful to visualise being a tree. You may find it useful too. Imagine you’re deeply rooted in to the Earth; you can almost feel the Earth’s pulse beneath your feet. You’re strong and sturdy. Think about the texture of the bark, the colour and what type of tree you might be including the colour of your leaves, the berries or nuts that you may have and what might dwell in your canopy.
Some people will do this whilst sitting near a tree; they will also touch the tree trunk to feel the texture of the bark.
Whatever you choose to do, keep your feet flat on the ground and breath slowly and deeply. You might even find a deeper connection if you take your shoes and socks off.
You can connect to nature just about anywhere, even at home in the garden or sat by a window looking out at trees. If you have a house plant, you can sit next to it and do the same. You can go for a walk on a beach, through a field or even paddle in a stream.
You can do this whenever you want to. You don’t have to wait for a panic attack to jump out at you or for a day when you are feeling low in mood. You don’t have to wait for a day when you’re feeling unbalanced either; you can do this at any time.
Grounding can be as ‘basic’ or as ‘intricate’ as you want it to be. You may find that the more you practice your grounding techniques, the more you want to do. Once you have found your inner stillness you may even find Meditation is useful.
There’s nothing to lose, except stress and tension.
‘Buddha was asked, "what have you gained from meditation?"
He replied "Nothing! However." Buddha said, "Let me tell you what I lost; Anger, anxiety, depression, Insecurity, fear of old age and death". Reference: www.subhashitani.com
If you work with crystals and you’re looking for something to help you to ground yourself or to work on balancing your root chakra, these are a few which you may find beneficial to you. Hold on to one while you’re grounding yourself or carry it in your pocket:
Always remember when grounding, this is your moment, there will be no other moment like this one.
This is the here and now.