© 2019 by Nicole Steward, MSW 

5 Ways to Get Grounded

March 18, 2018

In the yoga world, to get "grounded" doesn't mean to be sent to your room without dinner.  

 

The dictionary definition of "grounded" is, "to be well balanced, sensible, and reasonable; To be mentally and emotionally stable" (Merriam-Webster).  Grounded is also being fully in the present moment and feeling connected to the earth (or as close to it as possible) in a physically and spiritually stabilizing way.

 

When the world seems especially crazy and it feels like stress is lurking all around, our brain and body crave stability and a solid foundation.  

 

Assuming you've already noticed a need for some grounding, here are 5 techniques you can use to get there:

 

1.  BREATHE.  Stop what you're doing right now and take a deep breath. { b r e a t h e } 

This seems so simple but it's kind of a mindfulness "hack". If you're breathing & focusing on your inhale and exhale, you are in the present moment. You cannot breathe into the future, nor can you breath in the past...so by focusing on your breath NOW, you are, by default, in the NOW. And being in the NOW is the key to being grounded. *Smell is also a grounding practice...

 

2. WALK.  Take a walk outside, preferably in nature, but a city or suburb walk works too! When we go outside and take in the air, trees, and sunshine (or whatever the weather, it's all good), we get a sudden shift in our perspective. Especially if we've spent lots of time indoors at a desk or on a computer. If you are inside and cannot get out, walk around your indoor space as much as you're able. Or walk around the building if/when it's safe to do so.

 

Taking in the fresh air helps deliver more oxygen to the brain and the physical exercise of walking can get just enough feel-good hormones surging through the body to help us feel calmer and more grounded.  Feel your feet on the ground as you walk and remember that you are supported by the ground below you.

 

3. TALK. Talk, not text... Phone a friend, call your parents/grandparent/sibling, talk with your kids, any kind of real connection with another human being. Because all the craziness and stress in the world happens in relationships/community, connection helps us feel safe and rooted in community. When we share how we feel with others or take time to listen to what others want to share, we become grounded in the reality of being part of something bigger than our individual challenges.  

 

4. MOVE.  Movement can help ground us in the present moment in much the same way as breathing...we become so focused on our body's movement, we drop concern about anything else. Whether we walk, run, dance, or do yoga, movement brings all the feel-good hormones out to play. Being mindful as we move is the key to grounding. So pay attention to your feet as you walk, pay attention to your breath as you run, pay attention to the rhythm as you dance, and pay attention to your body as you do yoga...the focus on paying attention as you move will keep you grounded.

 

5. SIT.  Yes, I just told you to move...but sometimes sitting in silence or giving ourselves a few quiet moments alone can do wonders to ground and reset our nervous system. After you've breathed, walked, talked to someone, and moved your body, see if you can find time to sit in stillness.  Maybe at the end of the day, just taking a moment sit still and think about all that for which you are grateful and maybe taking some time to set a grounding intention for the next day or the week ahead.

 

When you are in need of grounding, choose one or more of these techniques to get you back to calm. Any variation of them can also help.  Finding your go-to grounding technique is very helpful and can make this practice more useful in your daily life.

 

I hope you find one or more of these techniques helpful.  I'd love to know how you "get grounded" in times of need!  What is your favorite way to be/stay grounded?

 

Much LOVE,

*nicole

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