You may have heard people talking about “grounding”, “grounding exercises” or “being grounded”. What does that mean?
The idea of grounding is from meditation. It involves being connected with the Earth (usually physically through bare feet) and feeling this connection mentally. Some people also refer to a feeling of being “centred”. Your focus is brought to the here-and-now. You can use this to develop feelings of stability and calm.
When you are stressed or upset, especially with many sources of stress, it can be difficult to feel really “here”. You might feel overwhelmed, unable to concentrate, or even frozen into inaction. Grounding exercises are meant to help you cut through the concerns swirling round your head. You might, when anxious, waste energy worrying about things that may or may not happen. You may feel exhausted and struggle with powerful emotions. While grounding exercises cannot fix your problems, they can help you to feel more in control and powerful so you can work through them.
Grounding exercises are very simple, but can take some practice. If you find it difficult, start small! You could begin with a short breathing exercise, such as this one, every day for a week.
Another simple grounding exercise is to take off your shoes and socks and wriggle your toes in some lush grass (you might want to leave this bit until the weather warms up in the spring!). Feel the connection to the Earth and other living things. Breathe deeply. Don’t push at negative thoughts – just let them flit by and watch them as they fly past like birds. You can perform a similar exercise indoors if you like, concentrating on the feeling of your feet firmly on the floor. Then gradually move up your body, feeling the weight of it in the chair and the sensation of your clothes.
There are many different grounding exercises available. Some will work for you better than others. In my next blog, I will look at your senses and how you might use them to feel more in the here-and-now.