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How to Ground Yourself

Sporty & Rich Wellness - How to Ground Yourself

 

By: @ericabassotherapy

 

Do you ever notice that you have gone about your day feeling ‘flighty’ or ‘on edge’? Or have you ever spent a day feeling disconnected and simply going through the motions? If this sounds familiar, it is likely you weren’t grounded during these times. Being grounded can be described as a state when your body and mind are connected and you are living life in the present moment. This is the ideal state of being and we want to remain here as much as possible in our daily lives as there are many benefits that come from being truly in the here and now. 

 

Some benefits of being grounded is having more self awareness, being able to respond rather than react from emotion, and to feel connected with others - to just name a few. You know you are grounded when you are not swept up in your emotional landscape and feel generally calm and centered. As a psychotherapist, I encourage my clients to have strategies to help ground themselves throughout the day because it is a gateway to accessing your true self. From this place we can honestly listen to our thoughts, feelings, and needs and understand when we have been influenced by others.

 

Think of grounding techniques acting as an anchor to bring you back to the present moment. When grounded our energy and focus is downward, toward our body and the literal ground, or earth. When we are disconnected, or not grounded in our bodies, our energy and focus is upward, away from the ground and our body. Pat Ogden, a sensorimotor psychotherapist describes the act of grounding as “a felt sense of connection to the ground”.

 

Let’s discuss techniques you can try to help connect your mind and body, and feel more centered.

 

Focus on taking slow, deep breaths in through the nose to the count of 4 and exhale out through the mouth to the count of 5 sending your attention inward.

 

Give yourself a compassionate hug.

 

Clench your feet and toes into a tight ball and then release. Focus on the relaxing of the muscles.

 

Spend unplugged and undistracted time in nature.

 

Run your wrists under cold water from the faucet.

 

Hold your breath and dip your face in a bowl of ice water.

 

Use your five senses to describe your immediate environment in detail. Notice what you can see, smell, touch, hear, or taste.

 

Suck on a piece of sour candy.

 

Hold a mug of warm tea and slowly sip, savoring each sip.

 

Get up and walk outside feeling either the sun or air on your skin. Try walking barefoot in grass.

 

Come up with coping statements that help you self-soothe, such as “this feeling is not forever and shall pass.” 

 

As described above, we can ground ourselves through focusing on the physical body, the immediate environment, or using affirming self-talk. It’s important to grow awareness for moments when you are disconnected from your body and have a few go-to grounding techniques that work well for you in order to return to the present moment. Although not always possible, we ideally want to live life in the ‘here and now’. Please note that if you have a history of trauma of any kind, or experience flashbacks it may be difficult or scary to become embodied. Working with an experienced and licensed therapist may be helpful in developing safety in the body again.

 

References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25748085/

 

Erica Basso is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist practicing statewide in California. She helps guide women in overcoming anxiety, perfectionism, and relationship challenges. To learn more about working with her, visit www.ericabassotherapy.com.

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