What’s it like to feel grounded? Is it when you’re plane’s delayed, and your stuck on the runway? Well, maybe. But when it comes to feeling calm, the concept of feeling grounded takes on a slightly different meaning.
A grounded state comes about when you feel on top of your mental and emotional game, and not easily ruffled by other ideas or individuals. You operate from a steady internal framework of certainty and knowing that when it comes to life, you’ve totally ‘got this’. Our grounded friends allow life’s little hiccups to simply glide off their shoulders. For example, if someone jumps the supermarket queue, they’ll likely shrug, and think, “Oh, well, they must be in a hurry.” Chances are, they won’t become overwhelmed by, or reactive to, the incident.
And then there’s the earthy connotations to the word ‘grounded’ – why we are encouraged to ‘calm down’ rather than ‘calm up’ in episodes of stress or tension? Being ‘down-to-earth’ is seen to be much more agreeable than having your ‘head in the clouds’? (Language is funny like that, isn’t it?) Even the terms ‘flighty’ and ‘on a high’ suggest a relationship between feeling scattered, over-excited or nervous, with the atmosphere overhead.
Too much time engaged in mental activities – thinking, worrying and planning – tend to shifts energy up and into the mind. This bottleneck can create a distinct disconnect with the rest of the body, shaky emotions, irritability and scrambled thoughts.
On the flip side, being ‘grounded’ or having your ‘feet on the ground’ implies a steady, positive connection with the earth below.
A sense of tranquility comes more easily when we feel grounded, reinforcing an ability to choose to act and think calmly no matter how busy or chaotic life plays out around you.
Make a conscious energy shift from the mental to the physical with some inspired movement – dance around the house, go for a run, or a few yoga poses – whatever activity you fancy.
As corny as it sounds, I reckon the breath is a true friend for life. And just like real friends, you gotta nurture the relationship by spending some quality time with one another! Simply directing awareness back to the breath really draws me back to ‘me’, and to the present moment – both of these things can feel really nurturing, reassuring and grounding. Plus, it’s so easy! Just steer your mind to your belly, or gently place your hands here. Notice the movement of the belly with the breath: belly expands with inhalation, and softens with the exhalation. Allow yourself to be soothed by the natural rhythm of the breath and the warmth of your hands.
So long as you’re upright, you’re head’s gonna be the part of the body furtherest away from the ground and the feet the closest, right? Makes sense then, that when you want to get grounded, shifting your focus from head earthward to your feet will switch a sense of groundedness ‘on’. Some ideas here include wriggling the toes into soft sand, pressing the soles into thick, spongy grass or dipping the feet into refreshing ocean water. Amplify the earthy experience by celebrating all the different textures and sensations underfoot.
Let the movement, hustle and bustle of life and simply wash over you for a few moments and lean into a place of peace and stillness. Feel into your physical shape and appreciate the solidity of your form. Take time to consider the weight of your body, gently tethered to the earth via the force of gravity.
Soothe your belly by favouring warming dishes that feature root vegetables like potatoes and pumpkin, which have grown deep in the earth.
Lie on the floor in a basic restorative yoga pose such as savasana. Pay particular attention to all the parts of the body in contact with the floor. Encourage a deep letting-go of tensions by surrendering the weight of the body to the floor. Know that the surface underneath you will support you. Allow yourself to sink, almost becoming part of the earth beneath your body.
Pack away your electrical devices and engage in authentic relationships. Spend time with family, friends or pets. Hug, snuggle and giggle.
Ready to feel beautifully grounded?
Pick one of your favourite ways from the list and try it out for yourself, today! Pay attention to any shifts you feel in your mental and physical state as you go about your usual activities.
I’d love to know how your exploration of feeling grounded impacts your day – feel free to report in via the comments.