Have you ever had the feeling that your thoughts and surroundings take control over you? Sometimes when we are busy and life is moving quicker than we can keep up with, it is challenging to get grounded and bring ourselves back into the present moment. After all, “the now” is all we really have. With each yoga and meditation practice in my life, I am becoming more and more aware of the importance of getting grounded. Here are 5 ways I use to get grounded.
1. Stop and Observe. There is no argument that our mind and body are connected. Tune into your body at different times throughout the day and simply take notice of what is going on inside, without judgment or trying to “find” a way to change your current state of being. Just notice your thoughts and feelings and accept them for what they are.
2. Take a Few Deep Breaths and Visualize. After you notice that perhaps your mind is racing or you feel anxious, simply take a couple of deep breaths, filling and emptying your lungs completely. Close your eyes if that feels good. Continue to notice your mind/body sensations and visualize yourself as calmer and more grounded.
3. Walk on the Ground Outside. Many of us spend our time inside (especially during winter) and/or on the upper floor of a building. For example, my apartment in San Francisco is on the 4th floor and if I don’t consciously walk downstairs and physically connect with the Earth, sometimes it’s hard for me to get grounded. So, when I have rampant thoughts or a feeling of being unsettled, I take a walk outside in Golden Gate Park and feel the Earth beneath my feet. This instantly grounds me as I physically place my feet outdoors.
4. Practice Yoga. The act of practicing yoga allows us to become more grounded. Try a few sun salutations that connect us to the sky, then fold in half and place your hands on the floor, imagining yourself connected to the Earth. Visualize these opposites as you close your eyes and practice. Through yoga asanas, or poses, we instantly become connected to the Earth. You don’t need to necessarily practice for an hour to feel these effects; try it for 5 minutes and see if you don’t feel more grounded.
5. Write Affirmations. The daily practice of writing affirmations, especially in the morning, imprints into our subconscious what we want to manifest into our life. For example, I write daily affirmations as I drink my cappuccino each morning to the point where it’s part of my daily routine. Usually I write somewhere between 10 – 20 positive “I” statements for the day, and one of the mainstays is “I am grounded.” By writing this positive thought daily into my journal, I find during the remainder of the day I am more grounded than when I don’t write my affirmations.
The benefits of feeling grounded are enormous. I find that I tend to feel calmer and more centered, act in a proactive and not a reactive fashion throughout my day, and generally have an overall sense of well-being. Life inevitably throws curve balls our way that will throw us off-balance, but if we can be self-aware enough to remember to stop, notice, take a few deep breaths, and feel our feet on the ground – in just 30 seconds it is possible to feel more grounded and at peace about what is.
What about you? What do you do to become more grounded?