Two Ways to Ground Yourself When You're Anxious
It's no surprise that many people in today's society suffer from mild to severe anxiety. Life is chaotic, busy, and stressful—and many of us have to balance work, life, children, relationships, and friendships, while still taking time to ourselves and trying not to completely lose it.
In many urban and suburban parts of the world, a lot of people have lost touch with nature and have also developed poor breathing and eating habits, which just compounds problems. Coupled with the negativity that people are seeing on the news and the fear that goes along with it, a lot of people are turning to pharmaceutical drugs without realizing that a few simple lifestyle changes can make a difference. (I'm not saying you should stop taking your prescribed medication!)
Do you ever feel like your mind is not in sync with your body, and that your body gets that fight-or-flight reaction no matter how hard your mind tries to control it?
Do you ever feel like you're "floating" slightly above your body and your head is "in the clouds"? Or sort of a "spaced-out" feeling, like your mind has somehow flown off and you're left feeling like an empty shell that can barely form a thought?
Those are two great times to ground yourself.
What Does It Mean to "Ground Yourself"?
There are many ways to ground yourself—but first we might ask the question, what does this term even mean? In basic terms, it means that you are completely present, both in the moment and in your body. It means that your energy body is aligned with your physical body, which allows you to function optimally. If you are not grounded, you may feel spaced-out or unable to think clearly, you might feel anxious or worried, or you might see a variety of other symptoms. Some people unconsciously become un-grounded because they are in physical pain and don't want to feel it, or don't want to be in their physical body for any number of reasons. This causes their energetic body to become out of alignment with their physical body.
Now, how do you ground yourself? I will go over two simple ways. I believe you can take these ideas and create your own method; the most important thing to remember that it is INTENTION that really does the trick. Intend to ground yourself, and you will almost always succeed.
Technique #1 - Walk Barefoot in Nature
The first technique is to walk barefoot in nature. Your backyard will do too. Bare soil is better than grass and pavement, as these absorb energy, but grass is still better than nothing.
If you do nothing else, just walking outside barefoot will help ground you, but what I like to do is stand outside with my feet planted firmly on the ground and my eyes closed, and imagine energy extending from the soles of my feet deep into the ground. While I do this, I relax my mind and take deep, calming breaths. I imagine the energy from my feet going deep into the center of the earth and "locking" itself in place. If you do this, when you are done, you can say to yourself out loud or in your head, "I am grounded and will continue to be grounded for (whatever length of time)."
If you have trouble visualizing, you can also do yoga outside, meditate, or just sit in nature and take calming breaths. It's up to you. Do whatever feels most comfortable to you.
Technique #2 - Visualizing a Cord, Rope, or Roots
The second technique I will briefly cover is very similar to the previous method, but you can do this one inside if you don't have access to the outdoors. This one has worked for me in the past when I was about to have a panic attack or felt very anxious or "floaty." My only problem was remembering to do it—but when I did remember, it helped tremendously.
You can do this from either a sitting or a standing position. Regardless of your position, close your eyes if your situation allows, and take a few calming breaths. Imagine a cord or a rope, or even roots (like tree roots) extending from below your navel where the second chakra sits, and going deep into the earth and attaching there. If you can hold that thought and also imagine your body's energy going downward into the ground, do that too. Basically what you are doing is directing your energy from above your head, downward, until it aligns with your physical body and you feel more connected to the earth. Once you feel relaxed, you may open your eyes (if they were closed) and go back to your daily tasks.
If you master these techniques and especially the visualization aspect, you can add to it by imagining different colors surrounding you. When I am anxious or need to relax for bed, I visualize the color blue surrounding me. I find that color to be the most helpful, but purple, dark green, or pink could even be useful.
Before I wrap this up, I would like to note: do not "over-ground" yourself or you will feel possibly sluggish, heavy, low on energy, lazy, etc. There is such a thing as being too grounded, and you will be able to tell. There are ways to fix that, but that is for another article.