When was the last time you really sat down and thought about ways to get grounded? That term is a little abstract, after all (and you may associate it with getting in trouble as a teenager), but taking the time to stop, breathe, and truly ground yourself can open so many doors.
When we’re grounded, we feel calm and whole. We’re at our most reasonable and free, and we’re living in the present moment. While this state sounds amazing, it isn’t always easy to achieve. That’s where grounding techniques come in: In addition to elevating your general state of being, grounding techniques can also be useful when you’re dealing with a panic attack or anxious, circular thoughts.
Here are 17 techniques to help you get grounded.
1. Take off your shoes and let your feet touch the earth
This is the literal act of grounding, and it’s a simple one. Go to the beach, go on a hike, go into your backyard and take off your shoes. Put your feet in the earth, close your eyes, and breathe. Just by connecting with the ground (and nature) in this way, you’ll bring yourself into the present moment and feel a strong sense of grounding.
2. Play some music
Maybe you play a musical instrument — great! If you don’t, simply putting on your favorite song or album works just fine. Music is a great way to bring yourself back to the present moment. Fully immerse yourself in every note or word, savoring its beauty and grace.
Yes, we’re huge fans of journaling here at Silk + Sonder and will recommend it for just about anything — but it’s especially helpful when you want to get grounded. So take out your journal, and ask yourself this: When do you feel truly, and completely present? How can you bring that into your life? This is a great first step toward getting grounded.
4. Pick up and touch the items around you
Observe their weight, shape, and overall feeling. If you’re in your bedroom, for example, you might open your nightstand and do this exercise with your journal, a sleep mask, lip balm, and anything else that happens to be there.
5. Try a body scan
Sit down, close your eyes, and observe how your body feels. Are you holding on to excess negative energy that you could benefit from releasing? Next, bring your focus to every single body part, starting at the top of your head and ending at your toes.
Maybe one of the more obvious grounding techniques, meditation is an excellent way to feel grounded. Even if you don’t have a regular meditation practice, sitting or lying down and breathing deeply can be a powerful exercise that helps you get grounded.
7. Go for a walk outside
Connecting with nature is one of the easiest ways to get grounded, and it doesn’t have to be a big hike. Lacing up your sneakers and walking around your neighborhood works great — just don’t text or do anything else on your phone, because that will distract from your intention to get grounded.
8. When you eat, really savor your food
Life gets busy, and it’s easy to eat our food as fast as we can without really tasting it. Instead, try something else: Cook (or buy) your favorite food and take small, luxurious bites. Really taste each bite, observing the nuances of the flavors.
Movement can be incredibly healing, so if you want to get grounded, start by getting your heart rate up. Go for a run, hop on a stationary bike, or move through a yoga flow. Move in a way that speaks to you, and you’ll get greater grounding benefits.
10. Listen to what’s around you
Whether it’s on a walk or while you’re grounding somewhere in nature, take a moment to really tune in to the sounds you hear. Do you hear animals rustling in the bushes? Cars honking their horns? People talking? This act of really tuning in can help you feel grounded.
Listening to the peaceful sounds of nature.
11. Disconnect from social media
You may be surprised by how connected and grounded you feel when you make the decision to disengage from social media. If you have the self-control to not use it for a few days (or even weeks!) that’s great, but you can also delete the apps from your phone.
12. While you’re at it, disconnect from the news
There’s no question that staying informed is important, but constantly reading, listening to, or watching the news can put us in a negative mental health space. It’s unlikely that you’ll miss anything important if you disconnect from the news for a few days, and it can be incredibly helpful when you’re looking to ground.
13. Get a really good night of sleep
When we don’t get enough sleep, we feel frazzled, emotional, and anxious, which is the opposite of grounded. So set the scene for a really good night of sleep — no electronics in the bedroom, a cool, dark bedroom, the list goes on — and see how you feel when you wake up. Chances are, you’ll feel a lot more grounded.
14. Put your hands in water
This is a technique often recommended by therapists whose patients are prone to panic attacks, as it can help put a stop to them. But they can help us get grounded in a more general way, too, as we observe the temperature of the water and the sensation in our fingertips.
15. Find a word that anchors you
When our thoughts start to spin out of control, a specific grounding word or phrase can help bring us back to the present moment. For example, if you’re prone to anxious thoughts and catastrophizing, try using the word “trust.” In other words—trusting that you’ve done all that you can, and that the universe will handle the rest.
16. Call a loved one
Sometimes, hearing the voice of someone we love is exactly what we need to take ourselves from a frantic state to a grounded one. In a world where so many of us communicate via text or social media, picking up the phone and calling a loved one can make a world of difference when it comes to your mental state. After all, don't the people we love most always say the right thing?
17. Spend an hour reading a physical book
E-readers are great, but when was the last time you sat down and read a physical book? Reading a book can be an incredibly grounding, relaxing activity, because it anchors you to a story and can often take you out of your head and into the present moment.
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