Life can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster and it is normal to experience triggers – large or small. So, sometimes we might want to ‘ground ourselves’. But what does this mean? And how do you do it?
Grounding ourselves is about re-establishing a feeling of calm, stability and composure. Anything that produces this effect could be considered grounding. A cup of tea can work wonders. The soothing presence of a friend. A deep breath. Connecting with something familiar – like a particular seat in your living room. Whatever your method, it is wise to dedicate some time to grounding, if you feel rattled or unsettled in some way.
If we don’t ground, we can just shove things under the carpet and keep on keeping on, carrying a low level anxiety with us. This is not good for the nervous system and it does not enable us to bring our best to whatever we need to attend to. The skilful approach is to take care of our state first, to ground, and to create a more equanimous foundation.
A really effective way to ground is to literally tune into the contact between your body and what is holding it up – the floor, the chair. Feel your feet on the floor. Feel the weight of the body going down through your sitting bones on the chair. Feel how you are supported. Lie on the carpet and feel your whole body in contact with the ground. Try lying on your front, placing your forehead on your hands and take nice deep breaths, feeling how the belly squeezes against the ground on the in-breath. See if this helps you to ground. We need to discover what is effective for us individually.
Even better, make contact between your body and the ground outside. Take your shoes off and feel your feet on the earth, sit or lie on the grass. Stay a while. This is called ‘earthing’ and is a very literal way to ground.
In the report, ‘Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons’, it is stated “Emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth.” Electrons from the earth bring various positive benefits to our bodies, including promoting more calm. Earthing also supports our physical health, sleep and energy levels.
Many of us will know the positive experience of being in direct contact with the earth, by how it feels to walk barefoot on the sand, as opposed to keeping trainers or sandals on. The photo above is of me on holiday recently enjoying some barefoot walking. As the wise sufi poet, Kahlil Gibran said in one of my favourite quotes, “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet & the winds long to play with your hair.”
Various restorative options are presented above for grounding. It’s so important to take these moments to create balance and ease in our system and to have this centredness as our base point.