If there’s any area in your life where you would like to feel safer, stronger, and more supported, the grounding practices I’m about to share here are for you.
Picture yourself walking on very stable ground, with a deep sense of well being, confidence in yourself and in life, and a warm fuzzy feeling that the world supports you and your wildest dreams. Envision yourself going through life, work, and social interactions, knowing exactly what your place in the world is. Imagine feeling strong, healthy, and safe in your own body.
This is what feeling grounded means to me, and it’s one of my favorite feelings and for this reason something I work on a lot in my life.
When I think of this “grounded” feeling I think of a strong, majestic tree. Trees are deeply rooted into the earth, and they peacefully take anything that comes their way (wind, rain, sunshine, clouds, noise, silence, winter, spring, summer, fall), without ever losing their ground. They remain strong, stable, and fully alive, no matter what the situation around them is, and no matter what their own situation is. A tree doesn’t become shaky and unstable just because it loses its leaves in the winter. Nor does it become weaker or scared by the extra burden of leaves/fruits/visiting animals in the spring and summer. It doesn’t feel lost when its leaves start to turn yellow and red in the fall, or when people come to sit next to it, and then leave. A tree just IS.
If you want to better understand why feeling grounded is so important to live a joyful life, imagine feeling the complete opposite of grounded. That is, feeling like you’re walking on egg shells, like life is uncertain, and your body and mind weak and unreliable.
I personally went through a very strong period of “ungroundedness” in my life, when I first started suffering from chronic anxiety and panic attacks a few years ago. The unfriendly rushes of nervous energy running through my body day in and day out made me feel scared of everything. I didn’t feel safe and supported in the world, with other people, or in my body, and I had to cling to innumerable security blankets to feel comforted. Some of my personal favorites included eating lots of dessert, staying indoors all the time, and surrounding myself with only a few hand picked individuals who didn’t make me feel threatened.
Practices like yoga, meditation, good sleeping habits, and a balanced diet, slowly helped me feel the floor under my feet again, and even though anxiety is not completely gone from my life, I now feel “grounded” enough to approach this feeling with less fear and more curiosity. What is it trying to teach me? What adjustments can I make in my life to make it better? What triggers it, and why?
Feeling grounded will help you approach life in general with curiosity and ease, being driven by passion and joy instead of by fear and resistance.
Here’s what you can do to gradually strengthen this feeling in your life. It worked for me, and I’m sure it will work for you too if you are consistent with these practices.
Step 1: Eat grounding foods.
As would be expected, root vegetables like carrots, beets, and ginger root have an incredibly grounding effect on our bodies simply because they are roots! What can be more grounding than something that literally grows inside the earth?
So if you want to feel more grounded, include more root vegetables in your diet, such as sweet potatoes, radishes, onions, and garlic. Anything that grows directly off the ground, like leafy greens and cabbages will also be beneficial.
Prepare these nourishing, healthy foods with love, patience, and good mood. Play music while you cook, and put flowers on your table. Eat slowly and chew your food well. All those feelings of comfort and well-being will transfer to the food you are eating giving you a sense of calm and strength within.
Step 2: Practice this rooting meditation on a daily basis.
- Stand up straight and barefoot. (Even better if you’re standing on grass, sand, rocks, or earth.)
- Close your eyes, and start breathing deeply for a few minutes.
- Once you have calmed down your body and mind a little bit, start picturing roots growing out of the soles of your feet, and going down into the ground. Picture them extending and become bigger and stronger, until they reach the center of the earth. Feel completely stable and supported standing on your two feet.
- Breathe deeply, and with every inhale picture all the good qualities you want to acquire (patience, a stable mood, confidence, joy, or whatever it may be) coming to you from the center of the earth up into your body through your roots.
- With every exhale, picture all the negative qualities you want to get rid of (fear, impatience, anger, sadness, stress, or whatever it may be) leaving your body through the roots at the soles of your feet, and going to the center of the earth, where they can be transformed into something good (just like a fertilizer).
- Do this visualization for 5 minutes every morning or as long as you please.
Step 3: Move your body every day!
However you move your body is how you’re going to feel and see the world. If you have fun moving, stretching, becoming more flexible, energized, and strong each day, that is how your whole being is going to start feeling too. So move in a way that gives you joy each and every day and see the changes take place!
Other recommendations to ground your energy:
- Walk barefoot. Even better if you do it on grass, sand, rocks, or earth. A stroll by the beach or in the park are ideal.
- Sit on the floor as much as possible. Again, even better if you do it on grass, sand, rocks, or earth. Picnic, anyone?
- Establish some simple routines such as:
- Sleeping at regular hours every day (or as regular as possible). The closer you get to 8 hours of sleep, the better.
- Eating at regular hours every day (or as regular as possible), and trying to eat each meal at the same place. Chose a spot at home or at work where you can eat each day. Extra points if you set up the table, play some calming music, and eat without distractions, fully aware of every bite instead of multi tasking.
- Hug a tree. This may be embarrassing at first, but once you get over the fact that strangers are staring at you (unless you have a garden at home, of course), it will become one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself. If you’re extra sensitive like me, you may feel the immediate energy boost and sense of well being when you do this. If you’re not quite in touch with your body yet, trust that nature is working its magic through you, even when you don’t feel it. While hugging the tree, think of its deep, solid roots, and picture yourself growing your own roots next to it.
- Eat healthy and nourishing comfort foods from your childhood often. Your mom never cooked healthy meals? Then think of a comfort food from your childhood, and try to create a healthy version of it. This will give you a sense of home and roots that has a deeper effect than most people could imagine.
- Call your mom, best friend, or whoever brings you back to your roots and that sense of home, relaxation, and feeling protected and loved.