This has been a hard year, to say the least. Even if you haven’t had anything bad happen in your life, things have been stressful and intense at every turn. The news cycles are on continuous negative cycles, COVID-19 news changes daily, our normal activities are restricted, and controversial issues may put us at odds with the ones we care deeply about.
We’ve been on overload for most of the year.
It’s only natural to feel anxious during this time. Stress isn’t something we are supposed to experience regularly. When we do experience pressure and strain for extended periods of time, our body is going to simply shut down. You might experience anxiety in a variety of ways:
- Feeling hopeless or depressed
- Racing mind/uncontrollable thoughts
- Feeling trapped or claustrophobic
- Headaches or muscle spasms
- Acting unusually tense or irritable
- Anxiety or constant worry
- Burnout or lacking all motivation
- Feeling overwhelmed frequently
- Exhaustion/fatigue during the day
Even though these feelings are understandable, they are not part of a healthy lifestyle. But, they may be so ingrained in your routine that you don’t even know how to change them! I want you to experience joy and motivation every day, not anything from that list of overload symptoms!
You need to let go of this overload and find alignment with your energy.
In order to get out of your current pattern, I suggest practicing grounding techniques. The techniques in this blog will help you reconnect with the energy of the earth and help close that loop.
What is Grounding?
Grounding helps you feel connected to the present moment, helping your mind and bodywork together. By bringing you back to the here and now, you can calm a panic attack or draw from outside energy to boost a low mood.
If all you do is spend your energy, you will feel depleted and experience those terrible symptoms of being overloaded. Drawing energy from the earth and unburdening yourself is going to reverse this problem and help you feel lighter, calmer, and looser.
The current energy level of the universe around us is on overdrive. This buzz will add to our feelings of stress and anxiety if we don’t harness it properly.
Grounding helps pull you out of your upper chakras and balance your energy centers. This is really important when you are feeling distressed or anxious. It will pull you back from painful memories, flashbacks or strong emotions.
There are many grounding exercises for anxiety that serve well as coping skills.
Every technique listed below should help you pull back to where you are and provide the comfort that comes with control. Focus on taking slow, long, deep breaths (diaphragmatic breathing) to help you feel calm by reducing cortisol (stress hormone), increasing endorphins (feel-good chemicals) and alleviating tension in the body. Practice breathing exercises during these grounding techniques.
You can also gently massage or tap the forehead and temples as you do these techniques. This is where your frontal lobe is located—the space responsible for perspective and logic.
Physical Grounding Techniques
Physical sensations use your five senses to help you alter your focus from your thoughts to the space around you (not just your mental state of being). This will help you move through feelings of distress or overwhelm by bringing you to the here and now.
Find the calm. It is so important not to get comfortable with overload! Stop and reset with these grounding techniques. Try to fully focus your mind on whichever technique you are trying.
Use warm and cold water
This can be a bowl of water that you switch your hand back and forth from. It could also be moving from a hot tub to a swimming pool, focusing on how your body feels. Or, you could just hold an ice cube. It sounds strange, but water is calming and will create sensations you can focus on.
Touch nearby items
Feel the texture of any item nearby. From a spoon to a leather-bound book, there are so many textures throughout your house. Challenge yourself to think of the more specific color names for each item, like chrome, burgundy or indigo.
Take a short walk (or go forest bathing)
Getting into the sun and drinking in the fresh air will help you feel connected. Take off your shoes if you can (weather permitting!). Forest bathing is the practice of taking these deep, grounding breaths while surrounded by trees.
Burn incense or diffuse oil
Aromatherapy can be used with any number of methods for sparking your sense of smell—tea and lotions work too. Choose a smell you love and focus on the smell qualities. I have so many incredible essential oil blends that will help with whatever feelings you are battling. You can diffuse them, dab them on your neck and wrists, or just smell them right out of the bottle!
Do a light workout
You don’t need intense training to get the blood flowing and heart rate up. Try Yoga or Tai Chi for a grounding exercise that will make you feel calmer. If you don’t have time (or access) for a full workout, a few jumping jacks will help. My healing technique, the Cross Crawl Exercise, is easy and will offer a lot of relief too.
Meditate on sounds
You can simply sit and listen to what’s happening around you to practice mindfulness and calm anxious thoughts. There are always sounds, and focusing on the source of that sound will help bring you to the present moment. Take this a step further and Listen to my Sound Meditation to Balance all Chakras.
Sit with a pet
Living, breathing beings that tend to focus on the simple things in life—pets are often a great source of comfort and grounding. Many who struggle with incredible levels of anxiety or PTSD will get a service animal for emotional support. If you don’t have a pet to sit and touch, you can visit a local shelter and spend time with the animals there.
Spend time in the garden
Dirt is incredible for grounding and will naturally reduce anxiety. If you can’t garden, at least learn how to grow a few hardy plants in pots.
Mental Grounding Techniques
When you struggle with control over your mind, it is often helpful to completely redirect your thoughts. These can help disrupt the thought pattern and bring you back to the present.
Try a memory game
Name something, like States or dog breeds, that will challenge you to remember a list. The goal is to play a game with yourself, replacing the anxiety with the challenge. You can use math or numbers in a similar way by running through times tables or counting backward from 100.
Recite mantras or memory pieces
Poems and book passages are great to memorize if you identify with them in a positive way. Mantras help you stay focused on what you want to accomplish, pushing out negative thoughts (like, “I will stay in the present. I will focus on the now.”). You can also use anchoring phrases that recite all of the details of who you are, where you are, what time it is, what your surrounding environment looks like, etc.
Visualize the energy
Watch my simple energy healing technique video where I show you how to visualize the energies and combine them. You will seal the positive energy and then shake off any remaining negative energy.
Soothing Grounding Techniques
If you are feeling emotional distress, you may need to promote good feelings. These are the grounding techniques you would want to use if you lost a loved one or are feeling depressed. When you are experiencing overwhelming amounts of negative feelings, you want to fill yourself with good feelings that will help them fade and become manageable.
Meditate on a place you love
Visualize yourself in a place you love. It could be the home of a loved one or the beach on a tropical island. Use all your senses to really dive deep into the mental image.
Envision someone you love
Picture their face, their voice, and what they would say in this moment. Imagine them telling you how this moment is tough, but you will get through it and be stronger for it.
Our minds sometimes hyper-focus on untruths or partial truths that are harmful. Practicing positive affirmations is repeating truths to yourself. Check out my top five affirmations:
- I am worthwhile and my needs matter.
- I am speaking the truth and what I say is important.
- I am grateful for my healthy body.
- I am being kind to myself and to others today.
- I am powerful, and I am using my power to make a difference in this world.
Make a favorites list
Similar to reciting, challenging yourself to come up with your personal favorite foods, drinks, animals, places, etc. is going to help you replace the negative cycles with something much more energetic and positive.
Plan an activity
Plan something that won’t rely on other people being able to attend or the weather being a certain way. Focus on what you are going to wear, how you will get there, and things you can control. It can be something as simple as going to the book store or walking through a park you’ve never visited.
Hold something comforting
This one is a common coping technique for younger children, but it works for adults as well! Your favorite stuffed animal, a comfortable t-shirt, a smooth stone—there are so many things that could bring you joy just to touch. Focus on how the item feels in your hands.
Gaining Power with a Grounding Practice
As you can see, grounding techniques aren’t hard. The key here is consistency. You need to break out of these thought patterns, and that requires forming new thought patterns. You will get massive results from your personal efforts that are consistent.
Practicing grounding is especially important for those with mental health issues, anxiety attack tendencies, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation or depression.
You do not need to go through this alone.
In my Healing Center, we spend a lot of time working through healing practices that help reset our thinking and improve our wellbeing. My group of like-minded people will be there to support your healing journey. Take this Are You Stuck healing quiz and then try out my FREE masterclass to get moving in the right direction.
You’ve already taken the first step. You are here and reading this blog. Things will get better when you focus on what’s around you and draw in fresh energy. I believe in you.