You may have heard of the term “grounding” being used in yoga and meditation classes and various wellness retreats before.
What is grounding and why do we need to ground?
To me, grounding means to re-center our energy and bring our awareness back to the present moment and into our body.
Nowadays with information available at our fingertips 24/7 thanks to the internet and technologies, it is very easy to get overwhelmed and overloaded by constant notifications, news, emails, texts, videos and more.
Most of us spend majority of our time in our headspace – thinking, planning, organizing, strategizing, and problem-solving. Our mind may start to get hung up on something that happened in the past, or obsess over the future that we forget about the here and now.
We let our mind take over, and we start to forget to listen to that still, inner voice inside our heart which is our soul’s voice. Anxiety, stress, fear, and doubts may begin to build up.
Have you ever tried eating something, yet because your mind is so preoccupied that you can barely taste what you are eating?
I would say this happens to me a lot more than I’d like to admit. Especially if I start to look at my phone. Yes I can taste something in my mouth, but honestly, my teeth are just chomping down the food to fill my tummy while my mind is busy thinking about something else.
Some people may call this multi-tasking. But multi-tasking has been proven by scientific studies that it is more distracting than productive. In fact, according to this article on verywellmind.com on how multi-tasking affects productivity and brain health, multi-tasking can slow us down, worsen our performance, and increase feelings of stress.
So if we want to feel less distracted, less scattered, and less drained, we need to bring all of our attention back into all parts of our body, and not just live in our headspace. This is where grounding can help.
When we start our day off from a grounded presence, we can carry more calm and strength throughout our day, especially when we have to face some difficult situations or people.
Grounding can also help us rest better at night, so our minds are not constantly thinking of our never-ending to-do list.
One easy way to ground is to go for a walk in nature without any distractions, so we can completely engage our senses with nature.
However, a lot of us may not have access or the time to go for a walk in nature. In this case, I want to share with you my 4 quick grounding tips that you can do by yourself at home.
Start with sitting or standing, and imagine yourself as a strong and sturdy tree. Imagine from the bottom of your feet or your pelvis, that you have imaginary tree roots growing underneath you, extending all the way to the center of the Earth.
As you breathe in, imagine breathing and pulling up the oxygen from the center of the Earth through your imaginary tree roots, all the way up to your head.
As you breath out, imagine the breath coming down from your head, flowing down to your neck, shoulders, arms, torso, hips, legs and imagine the breath leaving your feet back to the Earth through your imaginary tree roots.
Hold this imagery and repeat this breathing exercise for three times or more, until you feel like you are firmly rooted to the Earth through your body and feet.
2. Eat a piece of dark chocolate, or other grounding food
Once in a workshop, a teacher mentioned that eating dark chocolate helped to ground her energy, especially after doing energy healing work. In my own personal experience, sometimes when I feel tired after I teach certain classes or workshops, I have a craving for dark chocolate. And after taking just one to two pieces (not the whole bar, mind you), and really savoring the dark chocolate, I feel better.
I don’t have the exact answer why, it could be because of the spiritual and chemical properties of cacao (learn more about the nutrition and science of cacao by Cacao Mama here). Dark chocolate is loaded with magnesium and other vitamins and minerals, which most of us don’t get enough of in our daily diet, so give yourself permission to enjoy that piece of dark chocolate.
It is important to listen to your body, as your body already knows what food can ground you. Perhaps for some people it will be eating a nice bowl of rice (that’s me), perhaps it is root vegetables. Whatever you are craving for, it can give you a clue of what it is that your body needs.
Note: remember to be mindful with what you eat and the amount you consume. If you are craving for fried food, for example, it could be because your body needs healthy fat, so consider healthier alternatives such as avocado or coconut oil.
For more ideas on grounding with food, check out this blog by Jennifer Racioppi on 4 Ways to Stay Grounded Through Food
3. Move mindfully with yoga, Tai Chi or other movement practices
Any mindful movement practice, such as yoga, and Tai Chi, can help synchronize your physical body with your breath, which is a powerful way to bring your awareness back into your body.
Even if at the beginning of a practice your mind chatter seems to be unstoppable, trust the process and go along with it. Choose a movement practice that resonates with you.
Personally I love the yoga videos from Yoga with Adriene (no affiliation). She offers free and high-quality yoga videos from 5 minutes up to 45 minutes in her Youtube channel. A lot of times I only have time to do her yoga videos that are under 10 minutes, and I still feel grounded afterwards.
4. Pat your entire body
I’ve learned this grounding tip from my friend, yoga and TRE teacher Tammy Hayano, who shares this QiGong-inspired grounding practice after her TRE (tension/trauma-releasing exercise) class.
You can do this by sitting or standing. Start by patting both your feet with both of your palms (as loud as clapping), and work your way up the front of your legs, your torso, your chest, your arms (front and back). As you come up to your neck and face, gently tap with your fingers instead.
Continue tapping your face, the top of your head, and go back down to the back of your head, and your shoulders. Use your palms to continue patting your entire back, and down the back of your legs.
You can repeat this for a few times. The patting can get your blood circulation going and the physical sensation and vibration can bring your awareness back into your entire body.
Grounding can help us feel more connected with ourselves and also the place, the land and this planet called Earth that we are all living on.
Grounding gives us an opportunity to re-center ourselves. It’s like pressing a reset button. It gives us a time-out from our crazy busy life, and to gather our energy back to our core, and allow us to focus on what is truly important for us.
I hope my 4 quick grounding tips can help you feel a bit more centered and calm. You can do them at the start of your day before you go take on the world, or at the end of your day to wind down and to get ready for some restful sleep.
Do you have any other grounding tips that work for you?
Feel free to share with me here, I’d love to hear from you.
What is this Workshop about?
In my free online Mantra Meditation workshop, you will learn how to meditate and chant with a mantra. Mantra is a Sanskrit word that means “tool of the mind and a sacred formula”, and it is a very easy-to-use tool that can help you go through any transitions.
How can this online workshop help you?
- Feel more grounded and calm with mantra meditation
- Find the inner stillness within you
- Listen to your inner wisdom
- Be more confident in expressing your voice
- Immerse in the joy and bliss of singing
- Introduction to ONE mantra that can you go through transition (yes – Ganesha’s mantra)
- Practice japa together (repeating the mantra for 108 times and sit in meditation)
- Time for journaling
- Group sharing
- Chanting mantra for fun
No previous experience with chanting or meditation is required. This free workshop is perfect for beginners in meditation, and anyone who would like to explore the power of mantra.
This workshop recording is split into 8 bite-sized videos with captions, to help you digest the material at your own pace.