To be aware, centered & present each day
irrespective of life's challenges is to be grounded.
Grounding is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days.
But have you thought about what it really means?
One common place we hear about grounding is in a yoga or a fitness class. Typically, an instructor will tell us to ground ourselves. I remember when I first hear it in a yoga class. Initially, I thought “well, I’m on my mat on the floor, so isn’t this what grounding is?” But I kind of knew intuitively I was missing something in my understanding. I had lots of questions that were never really explained by a fitness expert or anyone for that matter. If you have questions too, read on.
Well, through some research, I discovered what grounding really was. Quite simply, it means being present and connected to the present moment. It means not getting caught up in your thoughts, worries or emotions. In basic terms, grounding is about not thinking about the past or the future but simply paying attention to what’s going on right now.
As I researched some more, I discovered that grounding involves anchoring your mind first, and then your body. So, instead of letting your mind drift away into the past or future, you become aware and mindful of not being swept away by rapid random thoughts. When you intentionally ground yourself, you are here in the present moment.
Life is full of waves that go up and down. Of course, all waves eventually meet the ocean. By grounding like an anchor in the ocean, your mind and body know how to withstand the waves of life. You can be just find when stormy waters surround you. Grounding is your anchor to feeling more centered, calm and focused every single day.
So, how do you ground yourself?
Well, there are many ways to get grounded. Let’s take a look at some common techniques.
Without your breath, you’re nothing.
Unquestionably, breathing is something we take for granted.
Shallow, rapid breathing becomes our default when we are stressed out.
But did you know that focusing on your breath can help you tune out distractions? It can actually shift your attention back to the present moment. More specifically, it is deep breathing that lifts you out of anxious thoughts.
Conscious deep breathing is also called pranayama in Sanskrit. And there are many time-tested techniques to calm yourself down simply by becoming mindful of how you’re breathing and feeling. Through coaching, I help my clients explore different breathing techniques that feel good for them.
When was the last time you really paid attention to how you were feeling?
I know it’s hard to do. Like you, I tend to slip into autopilot mode at times. You get so busy caught up with life until you get sick. And then you’re forced to take rest. But what if there was a way to tune into your body ahead of time so that you don’t wind up sick? Well, that’s possible. It involves learning a technique called sensory awareness.
Paying attention to your senses can help you feel present and connected to your surroundings. For example, when faced with a stressful situation, the first place it can show up is in our gut as constipation or diarrhea. Or we might get headaches, back aches, hair loss, skin rashes or something else.
Ask yourself: what’s going on in your body right now? If something is feeling not quite right, could any of your symptoms be the result of stress? By tuning into how stress appears in our bodies and what it’s trying to tell us, we can begin taking steps to ground ourselves.
Sensory awareness involves noticing how you’re feeling in difficult situations and tuning into the messages you’re receiving. To summarize, you want to become aware of how the sights, sounds and other stimuli are influencing your overall sense of well-being and then figure out what steps you need to take to eliminate your stressors.
I often hear people saying they don’t have time to meditate or that it doesn’t work for them. In short, I believe many people are missing the point of meditation. If you don’t slow down, life will literally run you over in some way.
Moreover, meditation isn’t an extra thing to do. It shouldn’t ever feel like work. In fact, it can and should be done quite effortlessly. And I’d like to point out that meditation is not about removing all thoughts. That’s impossible. And we are not our thoughts! Rather, meditation teaches us awareness of our thoughts and how to detach from them temporarily.
When you practice meditation daily, even for just a few minutes, it can help you cultivate a sense of calm and stillness within yourself. With a regular practice over time, you will begin to notice how less reactive you become to every day stressors.
As a grounding coach, I can show you how to effortlessly drop into a meditative mindset to instantly diffuse your anxiety or stress.
To begin with, there are many types of meditations. There are mantra-based ones (originating from South Asian traditions), loving-kindness meditations (based on Buddhist teachings), and non-secular practices like meditations by candlelight. Any and all types of meditations can help slow down and calm your mind.
Undeniably, physical activity offers many health benefits. Of course, everyone’s level of physical activity will be different.
But to be clear, you don’t need to be working up a sweat every day to get some good benefits. A simple daily walk does wonders to ground your mind and body, along with ancient Eastern practices like yoga, tai chi and qi gong.
Walk barefoot on the grass or on a beach every day if you can, for the ultimate grounding experience that gives you the greatest health benefits!
So, find an activity that you enjoy and can commit to, and you’ll see positive results over time. If you’d like some help with getting started, I can help you explore options in a coaching session that will give you great grounding benefits. But always check with your healthcare provider before starting a new fitness routine.
Generally speaking, mindfulness means slowing down. It involves paying attention to what’s going on around you, more than you typically do.
Engaging in mindfulness practices like journaling, mindful eating and mindful living at all levels can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions.
Mindfulness trains your mind to observe your thoughts, emotions and circumstances without getting swept away by them. And when practiced over time, mindfulness keeps you rooted in the present moment irrespective of whatever is unfolding in your life. Clearly, I believe mindfulness is at the heart of feeling grounded, and the scientific research backs it up.
To summarize, grounding is about finding your calm in the daily chaos of our world.
By learning how to stay connected to the present moment, you can feel more grounded, centered and resilient in the face of life’s challenges.
Contact me to schedule a free discovery call to begin exploring how a daily grounding practice can change and transform your life for the better.