Life moves fast these days. Between your ever-growing to-do list, phone constantly pinging, family demands, and work stress – it’s easy to feel scattered.
You know those times when your mind is racing but your body feels worn out? When you just can’t seem to catch your breath or be present in the moment?
Yup, that’s called being ungrounded.
So, what can you do to get grounded? How can you manage your day-to-day while staying present?
The answer is simple but extremely helpful – learn techniques to ground yourself.
In this article, I’ll share 15 simplest (but most effective) grounding techniques that you can start using today!
What Does Grounding Yourself Mean?
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Grounding helps you connect your body and mind to the present moment rather than getting caught up in worrying thoughts, disassociation, or the future.
There are two main approaches to grounding: physical and mental.
Physical grounding brings awareness to your body through sensations like your breathing, posture, and contact with the floor or chair. This can mean feeling connected to your body or the earth.
Mental grounding connects you with your emotions. Quieting negative thoughts, observing your thoughts, removing judgment from your mind, and being able to analyze how you feel.
A good way to ground yourself is through regular grounding exercises. With it you can cultivate this state of mind-body presence.
13 Signs That You Aren’t Grounded
Before we treat a sickness, we need to identify the symptoms. When we identify the symptoms we can use the proper “medicine” and techniques to treat the issue.
So, let’s identify a few of the symptoms of being “ungrounded” you can look out for:
- Difficulty focusing and staying on task
- Avoidance of important conversations and emotions
- Getting lost in worried thoughts or daydreams
- Overthinking problems without finding solutions
- Becoming preoccupied with drama or nonessentials
- Feeling anxious or nervous for no clear reason
On a physical level, lack of grounding can manifest as:
- Chronic pain or poor circulation
- Inflammation or digestive issues
- Sleep disturbances or fatigue
You may also feel ungrounded if you:
- Worry excessively about your self-image
- Are strongly attached to material things or status
- Are easily swayed by persuasion or false promises
- Constantly zone out and feel disassociated
Now that we’ve covered the doom and gloom, let’s look at the best tips to help ground yourself in the moment!
4 Physical Grounding Techniques
1. Try Cold Exposure
Cold exposure is an extremely underrated way to get grounded.
The cold temperature activates your sympathetic nervous system, which increases alertness. It can interrupt ruminating thoughts and bring your focus to your breath and bodily sensations in the present moment.
To try it, start by turning your shower to the coldest temperature you can handle and standing under it for 30 seconds. Breathe deeply during this time. As you get used to it, gradually increase the duration.
Another plus- cold exposure may also provide benefits like boosted immunity, metabolism, and mood. However, mental clarity is the primary benefit of anxiety and stress.
So, start with small steps. Simply turning the shower cold for 30 seconds at the end of your routine is a good way to introduce your body to the practice.
Over time, build up your tolerance through consistency.
2. Practice Breathwork
Breathwork is especially helpful for reducing emotional stress. For this reason, if you are overwhelmed or stressed people always tell you to “take a deep breath”.
As annoying as it may be it helps!
Here’s why: when you inhale deeply and exhale slowly, it calms your nervous system down.
To practice, you can try counting each inhalation and exhalation.
For example, if you feel very anxious or stressed, pause and silently count each breath up to five. Say “one” as you inhale, “two” as you exhale, and so on. Keep counting several breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This simple counting technique is super effective. You can try it out right now for yourself!
Remember that the intention is not to regulate your breathing strictly. Rather, conscious breath counting is a way to pay close attention to your natural breathing rhythm and keep yourself centred in the present moment.
3. Walk Barefoot
One of the most powerful ways to ground yourself is to take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot outside.
This technique can also be called earthing!
When your bare feet touch the earth, you experience a primal connection to the ground beneath you.
Walking barefoot in the grass, sand, or soil brings awareness to your body’s sensation.
Get outside and find a natural setting to walk barefoot. Grass, dirt trails, beaches, and parks are ideal. If possible, spend at least 10-20 minutes enjoying mindful barefoot walking.
With each step, pay attention to how your feet interact with the textures of the ground. Feel yourself sinking into the earth, wiggling your toes, shifting your weight from foot to foot. Appreciate the sensations.
Tuning into the body awareness of barefoot walking brings you into the here and now. It gets you out of worried thoughts and into a state of presence.
If you can’t ground outside, try standing barefoot indoors on a rug or grounding sheet. Consciously shift your weight from foot to foot and pay attention to your connection with the floor.
4. Practice Some Yoga
I know it sounds a bit “woo woo” but hear me out! Yoga is amazing for connecting your mind and body in the present moment. This combines both breathwork and exercise.
After just 15 minutes of flowing through some poses, while focusing on my breath, I feel centered and calm. It creates an unmatched mind-to-body connection.
The physicality of the poses gets me out of my head and into my body. I pay attention to how each stretch feels in my muscles and joints. And the breathing exercises are so centering.
Here’s a simple one to try: As you inhale slowly through your nose, allow your belly to rise while keeping your chest hand still.
Exhale gently, pressing the air out from your belly. Repeat this deep, mindful breathing for 5-10 breaths.
Focus on the sensations of breathing, your connection to the floor, and the subtle stretching of your muscles.
Be fully present in the moment, in tune with your bodily sensations, and let go of distractions. This exercise can help you feel grounded, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.
5. Drink a hot and non-caffeinated beverage
As simple as it sounds, the act of sipping a hot drink is instantly relaxing.
The heat helps calm the body while the flavour engages the senses. This combination provides an easy yet powerful way to feel centred when you’re feeling scattered or anxious.
Another tip is as you swallow the drink, focus on the sensation. How it feels on your tongue, going down your throat, what feels like the chest, and then your stomach.
You can even add some aroma therapy into it and smell your drink, try to notice things you hadn’t prior.
Avoid caffeinated beverages when you want to feel grounded, as caffeine can stimulate the nervous system. Herbal teas are ideal for grounding. If you are feeling stressed pick herbs that will help your body calm down like chamomile, lavender, or peppermint.
6. Make a Sensory Box
Holding and feeling things is a great way to practice grounding. This is one of the easiest grounding methods in my opinion.
Use a box with separate compartments to house various textures. Fill up the divisions with things like rocks, sand, seashells, pinecones, marbles, modelling clay, squishy stress balls – whatever your name.
The key is having a variety of sensations – smooth, bumpy, coarse, cool, squishy. Whenever you need a grounding break, open your box and let your senses explore.
Run your hands through the sand, roll the rocks between your fingers, and squeeze a stress ball. Tune into the different temperatures, weights, and textures.
This form of mindful tactile stimulation helps you become grounded.
7. Go Outside
Spending time outdoors surrounded by nature is incredibly grounding.
I’m sure you’ve felt it before. After sitting behind a desk for hours you just “need to go outside” Feel the sun, wind, and heat on your skin.
You can practice noticing details, gratitude, or just appreciation. When you look up at the vast sky or take in the intricate details of a single leaf, you remember that you are a small (but meaningful) part of a much greater whole.
If possible look at tip number 3, and take off your shoes when you’re outside. Feel the earth under your feet, the grass between your toes.
Notice the wind, sounds, smells, temperatures, and sights around you. Appreciate nature with all your senses. Allow yourself to feel supported by the strength and stability of the Earth.
Being in nature benefits you both physically and psychologically!
Even a short time immersed in nature can help centre you when you feel scattered or unsettled. Make outdoor grounding practices like going for a walk in the park or sitting meditatively in nature a part of your self-care routine.
8. 5-4-3-2-1 Technique
This is by far my favourite grounding technique. You can do it anywhere and it’s actually a bit fun!
Say you are sitting in your backyard and you want to practice grounding.
Here’s how this exercise would go:
5 – SEE: Notice and acknowledge five things you can see around you. This can be a crack in the fence you hadn’t noticed, a new flower starting to bloom, etc.
4 – TOUCH: Notice and acknowledge four things you can touch including parts of your body, the rough texture of the chair you are sitting on, the feeling of your sandal between your toes, a weird cramp starting to form, etc.
3 – HEAR: Notice and acknowledge three things you hear in your environment (focus on sounds, not your thoughts). This may be the sound of traffic you hadn’t heard, neighbours’ dogs barking, or leaves rustling in the wind.
2 – SMELL: Acknowledge two things you can smell. This is one of the harder ones, hence there are only 2 you need to identify. It could be the smell of food on your clothes from the dinner you just cooked, the smell of flowers from your grade, fresh paint, etc.
1 – TASTE: Acknowledge one thing you can taste. Leftover taste from dinner? Mint from the gum you were just chewing?
Since it’s like a little game you just focus on these components and everything else kind of disappears. You begin to notice things you hadn’t noticed before- welcome to the effects of grounding my friend.
3 Mental Grounding Techniques
1. Open Up a Journal
Journaling- either you love it or hate it.
I know journaling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some find it boring, useless, or just plain hard to get into. But don’t give up on it just yet! When you stick with it, journaling can be an incredibly grounding mindfulness practice.
Sometimes it’s easier to write than talk to someone. We can be more honest and kind of get in a “flow state” when writing.
Here’s the thing – sometimes it’s easier to write your thoughts and feelings rather than talk them out. Journaling lets you tap into a flow state where you can be completely honest with yourself. You can explore emotions and events on a deeper level without judgment.
I get it, staring at a blank page can be intimidating. It’s normal to feel that way at first!
Instead of judging yourself, grab a few journaling prompts to get the ball rolling. The key is to let go of any “right or wrong” mentality. Simply write what comes to mind – get it all out there.
P.S. I have created a 21-Day Journaling Guide for Self-discovery, growth and healing.
If you haven’t taken any other challenge of mine, you can join this challenge.
You will receive journal prompts and guidance from me for the next 21 days to inspire you every day.
Journaling helps me feel lighter and more centred every time. When in doubt, just start writing about what’s on your mind, no matter how messy or trivial it may seem.
2. Practice Positive Affirmations
When I first tried reciting positive affirmations, I’ll admit – it felt awkward staring in the mirror repeating phrases I didn’t quite believe.
But don’t dismiss affirmations just yet! The key is finding words that truly resonate with you.
Start small if overly positive affirmations feel unrealistic. Try expressing positivity about others, your day, and your abilities. Ease into acknowledging your self-worth.
Affirmations, when you find the right ones, can create powerful shifts. They bring self-awareness to the stories we tell ourselves and open us up to new ways of thinking.
Here are some questions to reflect on as you practice:
- Why is this affirmation hard for me to accept?
- Why do I struggle to speak positively about myself or certain areas of life?
- How do I feel when saying these affirmations?
In our fast-paced world, we rarely pause for introspection. However, regular affirmation practice can unearth core beliefs that hold you back.
Be patient finding phrases that feel authentic, not forced. Let affirmations anchor you in the present while calling in positive changes.
3. Reflect on Your Circle of Control
Grab a pen and paper and draw a circle.
“What??” Trust me.
Do the following exercise when anxious or ungrounded:
- Grab a pen and paper and draw a circle.
- Inside the circle, write down everything within your control related to the situation (this could include my reactions, my words, my attitude, or specific actions I can take.)
- Outside the circle, note the outcomes you cannot control (things like other people’s responses, consequences I can’t change, or external factors.)
Creating this quick visual representation will help you feel more grounded. It delineates what you have the power to influence versus what you need to let go of.
Having this tangible separation laid out can ease your anxiety and remind you to focus your energy where it makes a difference.
You can work on responding consciously and mindfully rather than reacting.
So next time you’re caught up in emotion about circumstances, draw your circle of control. Take a deep breath and reflect. Bring your awareness back to the power you have in this moment.
Wrapping Up Grounding Techniques for Increased Mindfulness
Staying grounded in the present moment is crucial for overall well-being, yet so easily overlooked in our fast-paced world.
While life will always be filled with obligations and stressors, you have the power to centre yourself amidst the chaos.
Use these techniques to reconnect with your body, emotions, and environment. You may be surprised by the calm and clarity that emerges when you dedicate time to true presence.
Make grounding a daily practice and watch your focus, mood, and self-awareness transform.
Find the grounding techniques that work best for you and make a conscious effort to do at least one exercise a day!
Your mind and body will thank you.
How to Ground Yourself: FAQ
What are some benefits of grounding?
Grounding has numerous benefits, including improved mental clarity, reduced emotional stress, reduced stress and anxiety, improved sleep quality, and enhanced overall well-being.
Can grounding techniques help with anxiety?
Yes, grounding techniques can be highly effective in reducing anxiety. By bringing your attention to the present moment and establishing a connection with the earth, you can create a sense of stability and calmness.
Is there any scientific research on grounding?
While there is little research specifically focused on grounding, some studies suggest the potential benefits of connecting with the earth’s energy. However, it’s important to remember that the effectiveness of grounding can vary from person to person.
I hope you try these grounding techniques when you feel anxious and stressed and you will see how it helps you.
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