If you are finding what’s happening in your life or the world overwhelming, I’m sure you know about breathing and meditation as tools for wellbeing but have you heard about grounding?
Grounding is simply using techniques to come back into your body, where you can process things better rather than when stuck in the thoughts in your head. You can ground yourself literally, by connecting yourself to the earth, literally, or by visualization or movement. It works because it brings you back to your body, and out of the stressed thoughts in your mind.
How can you do it?
- Literal grounding means putting your body in contact with the earth. Grounding is the earthing of our own energy to the energy field of the Earth. There is some really cool science behind it. We know that earthing helps people heal faster, having measurable effects on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. See this paper for example. There is also evidence that it reduces stress.
- If you want to learn more, the earthing movie is fantastic and covers much of the research, some of which really blew my mind. They also have a bunch of articles on the topic.
- The easiest (and cheapest) way to to earth your body is to put your bare feet on the grass or soil. My favourite way to do it is to do some year round wild swimming, because it provides a deeper, whole body experience.
- My favourite way to do a full body grounding is wild swimming. I do it year round (about to do my fourth winter) and you can read about that here.
- If bare feet on the ground or swimming in cold water doesn’t appeal or if you live somewhere where this might be difficult, there are companies selling grounding mats that plug into the earthing part of electric sockets, for example Grounding Mats and Groundology. Some of the published research that demonstrates faster wound healing for example, was done using such mats in a hospital setting.
Less literal grounding, as in coming back into your body can be achieved in several ways.
- Using visualization. A simple visualization to achieve it is the tree meditation. It goes like this: Stand up, close your eyes, give your body and mind a quick scan (how do you feel etc). Then imagine that you are a tree. Visualise the tree in as many details as you can. Then, with each out breath, imagine that you are growing your roots deep into the earth. That’s it! do this for a couple of minutes, then scan yourself again. Be prepared to be amazed at the difference!
- Using mindful movement. For example going for a walk and paying attention to what you see and feel (bonus if it’s in nature, especially somewhere with trees, because forest bathing also has cool published health benefits behind it).
- Another sure way of bringing yourself back to your body is to put some lively music on and dance for a few minutes. I love 5rhythms dancing and this track, which is only 7 min long, gives you a mini wave like a very short version of a movement meditation class.
- Do a quick rebozo or scarf self massage! This only takes 2 to 5 min. This really moves the energy in your body and refresh and enliven you!
Try it! It only takes about 5 minutes to make a difference. If you do try some of these techniques, I’d love to hear about your experience!