grounding in nature

7 Ways to Ground Yourself

The extent to which we feel grounded directly correlates with our felt sense of peace. When we’re grounded we feel at peace. Ungrounded and we’re at the whim of the whirring world around us.

What does it mean to be grounded?

To be grounded is to be home in yourself, in your body. A sensation of safety in your skin and surrounds. Neutral. Serene.
It is to be truly present, in the moment, not transported away on a magical carpet of fantasy and nostalgia. Rooted in reality, at peace. In the here and now, our minds attempts at time travel into the past or future are aborted.
To be grounded is to be connected to the earth, to the ground. An intuitive experience of connectedness to everything – the bare bones of the earth, the soil beneath us, the trees above us. It is the antithesis of separateness.
If we are each a fractal of God, groundedness is the sensation of our tessellation. Ungrounded is to feel an isolated fragment, frenzied, flailing. Our mind a flight, our souls untethered.

“We do not ‘come into’ this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean ‘waves’, the universe ‘peoples’. Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.” ~ Alan Watts

grounding in nature

When we are grounded we feel centred, a sense of inner stability, a spaciousness within. We experience capacity to be the witness, not at the whim, of our elaborate mind talk. We become the oasis in the chaos, balanced in the midst of our surroundings and stress.

Even in the face of triggers we remain rooted, able to allow our body’s physiological response without careening away on the freight train of thought.

What ungrounded feels like

Conversely, when we’re not grounded, we can feel flighty, fidgety, fearful. Our heads disembodied we float around on thought alone. We become tangled in narratives, worrying and projection. Analysis paralysis an intimate bedfellow. Our minds race, we feel spaced out, regret and shame often lurching into the limelight, uninvited.
We are easily thrown off balance, our epicentre flimsy, insubstantial. Our sense of self so messily intertwined with our thoughts, we are buffeted around by our heads, our stories, our circumstances.
No longer unflappable we become the tree that snaps in the wind, not able to bend with the breeze. Inner turbulence our familiar terrain.  

How to ground

It is only by grounding our awareness in the living sensation of our bodies that the ‘I Am,’ our real presence, can awaken. ~ Gurdjieff

1. Immersion in nature

 – walking barefoot on the earth, leaning against a tree, feet in the sea

We have become chronically weakened by our separation from nature. We are outdoor beings but through so-called civilisation, industrialisation and socialisation we have migrated indoors, away from where we thrive.

To be grounded is to be earthed. To dive into nature, to bathe in the innate reciprocity of our relationship with Mother Earth, to breathe in with the trees, is to be truly grounded. 

why grounding is important

2. Any activity that solidifies our connection with our body

 – movement through yoga, dancing, walking

When we’re ungrounded we’re in our heads, puppeteered by the power of our mindtalk. The sheer volume of our inner dialogue can dissolve the sensation of our physical body. 

Movement serves to remind us of our physicality, our nervous system, our skin.
We descend from mental distractedness down into our bodies. No longer floating heads, we become embodied.

3. Breathing

Bringing awareness to our breath can bring us into our bodies, into the present moment. By noticing our inhales and exhales, curiously, suspending judgement, we sink deeper into our skin.
Our breath becomes shallow, sharper, brisker when we’re distressed. Allowing it to organically slow and deepen will help to ground us.

Any form of conscious breathing is profoundly grounding.

how to ground yourself

4. Hearing our heartbeat

Sensing the beat of our heart is a hugely tender, potent reminder of our humanity. To tune into its rhythm, its vibration, is to finely attune to our life force.

We are spiritual beings in a living, breathing human skin and it’s profoundly powerful to remember this. 

5. Put your phone in another room/ switch onto airplane mode

Without wanting to entirely vilify our phones (they yield some gifts for sure), each moment we spend on them is time away from our bodies. When we’re ‘in’ our phones we experience a departure in our attention, from what’s right in front of us to a parallel world. We are transported away, often unintentionally, from the here and now into a pretty damn toxic dopamine-inducing land.
Ever been scrolling and experience a plummet in mood without knowing what actually caused it? Engrossed in our phones, we mindlessly subject ourselves to a repeated and relentless trail of micro-triggers. And it’s so quick most of the time we don’t even notice.
To ground, spend a few minutes/ few hours away from all devices. Drink some tea, eat some cake and relish each of your precious moments in your current time zone.

6. Self-soothing talk

Talking to ourselves can be incredibly grounding. It can anchor us in the moment, where we are, in our surroundings, in our bodies.
We are a complex tapestry of parts and voices and when we start to nurture the connections between them, we’re more able to keep our feet planted on the ground beneath us than tumble helplessly down the rabbit hole of one line of intrusive thought.
To ground, respond as gently and compassionately as possible to any deafening internal narrative. Question its intentions. Challenge its assumptions. Dismantle its generalisations. 
Internal conversations have the capacity to quiet the voices that wrench our attention away from the present and root us more deeply into our bodies.

7. Mantra/ anchoring phrase

To feel more grounded in the present moment, we can externalise and narrate the story of our senses. By speaking aloud what we can see, smell, taste, hear, feel we find ourselves more firmly in the present.
A mantra of ‘I am safe’ or ‘I am loved’ can also be profoundly grounding, and even more effective when combined with tapping/ ‘The Butterfly Hug’

Any of these techniques and more can be used at any time. We don’t need to wait until we’re suffering or enduring anxiety before we try them. The more time we spend grounded the more peace we will experience.

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