Overwhelming levels of stress or anxiety are inevitable in life. We all encounter ups and downs, but having a toolbox of techniques to deal with difficult periods can help us bounce back quicker and stronger after a challenging situation. Try adding some easy grounding practices to your daily routine to help calm anxiety and alleviate stress. Using these rituals will not only help you in the moment, but also bring about an empowering sense of self-regulation.
What is grounding?
Grounding yourself is any process which brings your physical, emotional and mental self into a state of balance. It is about reconnecting to your energy and becoming present, clear-headed and mindful, despite external circumstances.
What are the benefits of grounding?
Grounding has multiple benefits. It can alleviate many of the physical and mental manifestations of stress and anxiety such as lightheadedness, confusion, jitteriness or feeling disconnected and dazed. Grounding can bring your mind back into balance and settle overwhelming feelings or worried thoughts.
It’s important to find practices and rituals which feel natural to you and suit your lifestyle, so that adopting these new positive habits is easy. What works for one person might not work for you, so try out a few different techniques. Here are three suggestions:
The earth is electrically charged, and so are we. Much like a battery, the electrical energy which pulsates from the earth can charge the human body. Our ancestors spent much more time in direct contact with the ground compared to us as they didn’t have insulated shoes, beds, or carpeting to provide electrical insulation. Being barefoot out in nature, such as walking on dirt, grass or sand, has been found to boost immunity, decrease inflammation, improve circulation, regulate sleep patterns, and reduce stress.
Mindfulness practices such as journaling, doing a body scan, meditating, or even eating a meal slowly and consciously without distractions can bring you back into the here-and-now. Another great tip, particularly when feeling anxious, is to tap into your five senses and identify something you can see, smell, feel, hear and taste.
Breathing exercises have immediate calming effects. The 4-7-8 breathing method is particularly popular. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8.