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How to Ground Yourself

How To’s designed to get you unstuck and pull you into alignment with your highest self.

If you’re prone to anxiety, one of the best resources you can learn for yourself is how to get to a grounded space.

With so many thoughts dictated by our pasts and futures, grounding is about arriving in the present moment where we have access to all of our resources.

And in fact, getting grounded has numerous, impressive benefits!

According to The National Library of Medicine, “Grounding appears to improve sleep, normalize the day–night cortisol rhythm, reduce pain, reduce stress, shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic toward parasympathetic activation, increase heart rate variability, speed wound healing, and reduce blood viscosity.”

Before we get into some potent grounding exercises, let’s get clear on when they’ll be the most transformative.

When to Ground

Although it’s never a bad idea to center yourself and anchor into the present moment, it’s particularly helpful when you are:

  • Noticing shortness of breath and/or a rapid heart rate
  • Feeling irritable or chaotic emotionally
  • Overwhelmed with thoughts or emotions
  • Having trouble focusing
  • Anxious
  • Feeling drawn to engage in a compulsive activity (being critical of yourself or others, excessive cleaning or working out, binging TV/social media/drugs or alcohol, etc.)

These are all signs it’s time to regulate your nervous system by getting present and grounding yourself.

Easy-Peasy Grounding Exercises

#1. Breathe

To ground yourself using your breath, all you really need to do is make sure your exhale is longer than your inhale.

That’s it!

If you want to take it a little further, you can try a counted breath such as the 4-2-6 breath.

Inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 2, and exhale for a count of 6.

#2. Get Moving

There’s something about moving our bodies that forces the excess energy to move around and even get processed out completely.

And any kind of movement can be helpful if you’re noticing one or more of the symptoms of being ungrounded listed above.

So, walk, run, dance, skip, do yoga, lift weights – whatever feels the most doable at the time.

Just focus on the energy in your body and notice how it shifts as you move.

#3. Use Your Senses

One of the fastest, most effective ways to ground yourself is to focus on each of your senses.

Look around you and notice at least one thing you can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste.

If you find you need a little more than that, come up with as many things in each category as you can until you feel calmer and more present.

#4. Narrate Your Surroundings

Lastly, a great way to get grounded is to talk out loud about where you are and/or what’s happening around you.

For example, as I write this, I am in my living room. I’m typing on my laptop and listening to cars driving by outside. The sun is shining through the window. My dog, Pickles, is next to me on the couch, curled into a little snoring ball.

Elaborate as much as you can and spend a couple of minutes just observing and talking through what you notice.

Final Notes:

Grounding is mega-beneficial for our mental, emotional, and even physical health.

It’s always available to us and getting into this habit is sure to make your mind a more peaceful place!

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