23 Mar Grounding: Finding your center
Grounding is to ‘find your Center’ by moving the energy from your mind and into your body so as to stay in the present moment increasing focus and emotional stability.
In many ancient practices, we find grounding techniques rooted in the connection with mother earth. They involve planting your feet firmly on to the earth, hugging trees or monitoring breathing. Yoga’s Tree Pose or a quick barefoot walk in nature, for example, encourage the feeling of being rooted to the Earth.
In recent decades, grounding techniques have been increasing popularity ass a means to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, overthinking, materialism and PTSD, among others; especially in CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy).
Usually, it takes more time for our mind to decide that it is a “good time” to spend some time grounding, than the process itself. The techniques we describe below can take as little as a couple of minutes. The results will improve your quality of life and overall well-being feeling. You might ask how much is my happiness going to increase? Well…that depends on how often you center yourself. The more you put in, the more you get out. Not surprisingly like most things life, the more work you put it, the best & more lasting the outcome becomes.
12 grounding methods:
1. Tracing your Breathing: Envision gold air as you breathe in through the nose and into your lungs. Hold for 5 seconds. As you breathe out slowly envision gray or red air being released from your body. Repeat for a few minutes.
2. Earthing: Stand barefoot outside on grass, sand or soil for at least 10 minutes daily. This is believed to unload the excess positive charge from our body and into the ground in replacement of negatively charged electrons to help reduce stress, anxiety, pain and increase focus.
3. Crown Centering: Place one hand over the crown of your head, ideally closing your eyes, for 30 seconds to one minute.
4. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana): As previously mentioned, this yoga pose helps to ground an individual by helping with concentration and focus while naturally cooling them off and balancing the fight or flight response. It is contraindicated in individuals with the recent or chronic knee or hip injury. For this pose, stand with your feet together while your inner ankles and inner knees touch. Bring your hands together at the center of your chest, exhale and root down through your feet as you imagine a straight line of energy through the center of the body running from your inner arches up to the crown of your head. Shifting your weight onto your right foot, bend your left knee and move it into the chest while reaching down and clasping your left ankle. Place the sole of the left foot on the inner thigh while keeping a long spine and standing tall. After 5 to 10 deep breaths, repeat with the opposite side.
5. Root Chakra (Muladhara): this is the first chakra and it’s located at the very base of the spine where we store our sense of belonging, of being present, supported and safe. The chakra can be worked on through affirmations such as “I have all I need” and “I am here”. Working with grounding gemstones such as hematite, red jasper, smoky quartz, black tourmaline and black obsidian which are within the root chakra’s signature red/black/brown color realm. Eating grounding foods are also believed to help restore energy to the root chakra. Food such as potatoes, radishes, onions, strawberries, red peppers, tomatoes, and ginger all help with recharging this area. Meditating on the color red as you chant the word “Lam” will help cleanse and recharge the crimson chakra.
6. The 5,4,3,2,1: This encourages you to take a look at your surroundings and name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Repeat as necessary.
7. Green Zone: Gardening, weeding, and watering will help you stay in the present. Some people find it very helpful to keep a plant or herb on their desk since the color green is known to be soothing.
8. Grounding objects: Carry around with you a comforting object with a special meaning. Something small like a stone, a tiny stuffed animal, keychain, coin, a cross, etc. Even US presidents have been known to carry something like a paper clip to hold on to during speeches as ways to comfort themselves.
9. Journaling/Praying/ Meditation: These methods employ a form of venting and clearing of thoughts and feelings. Many journals are now including spiritual, biblical or meditative verses as well as questions for you to contemplate on.
10. Art & inspiration: Adult coloring books have been incredibly popular in recent years. They not only inspire us to color but serve a meditate purpose as well. We can focus on the colors we’d like to see on all their intricate patterns and designs.
11. Self Care: Enjoying your favorite scent, sipping on your favorite tea, bathing using your favorite bath bomb, exercising, playing with your pet, chatting with a trusted friend/family member or napping may help keep up your “mental hygiene” routine.
12. Consult a Pro: Find out what approach works best for you and possibly narrow down the number of techniques you need through a certified medical provider.
Many more techniques can be employed, which is a great thing since everyone benefits from different approaches and styles. The important thing is that there are plenty of options and we are sure to find many more; as long as we stay focused.