On Grounding.

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An article about grounding, what it is, why it's good, and how to do it. Grounding is the act of bringing conscious attention back into the body, relieves tension and solves many problems like anxiety, fear, or paranoia.

Submitted: March 12, 2014

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Submitted: March 12, 2014

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On Grounding.

 

Grounding is something I consider to be very simple, yet also very potent and effective. Grounding is when a person shifts their awareness or concentration to focus on the body. By focusing on the body, a person's conscious attention is brought to their physical senses, taste, smell, hearing, sight, and touch. It can be done pretty much anytime, anywhere, and I have found it has many positive effects. Grounding can be achieved through many techniques, but I believe one needs only a few to reap the rewards. Let's look at some definitions of grounding and a list of the benefits it gives, followed by why and how it gives these benefits, techniques one can use, some of my experiences, and lastly some resources.

 

Grounded, Adj: “Well balanced and sensible”

Ground, Nn: “The solid surface of the earth”

Ground,Nn: “The foundation for an argument, a belief, or an action”

Gorunded, Adj: “mentally and emotionally stable : admirably sensible, realistic, and unpretentious. Remains grounded despite all the praise and attention”

 

You may notice that these definitions have a sort of common denominator, things like foundation, the earth, and the basis. All of these things are necessary for a strong structure. A stable building or monument needs a solid foundation. A solid argument needs a strong basis. A healthy individual is also grounded.

 

Benefits of Grounding:

 

  • Sense of peace and relaxation, reduces anxiety, fear, stress, and paranoia.

  • Releases chronic muscular tension, usually found in the belly or shoulders ( I carry this in my right shoulder).

  • Gives an air of confidence, power, presence and self control. These are all very good and things, trust me.

  • Heightened intuition.

  • Deepened present moment awareness (This in itself can be incredibly useful and profoundly powerful, it can also be translated into much more enjoyment and appreciation of life).

  • A keener sensitivity to the messages your body gives you (This can translate to a better diet, improved sleeping patterns, or improved decision making capabilities (We'll expand on this later)).

  • sharper focus and concentration.

 

Grounding releases tension (mental, emotional, physical), and, to use the words of Eckhart Tolle, anchors you in the present moment.

 

How grounding stimulates these responses:

 

Most people are living life completely in their heads, their attention is elsewhere. If you're a parent, your attention could be on what to feed your kids tonight, paying the bills, work tomorrow, putting petrol in the car, or the many responsibilities that come with parenthood. You could be a student worrying about the multiple assignments you have to do. You could be daydreaming about what will happen in the future, next week, tomorrow, this evening. The point is that most people are thinking in this fashion; their awareness or concentration is on what they have to do, what could happen in the future (if you're anything like I used to be you make up all sorts of stories about how things could work out, everyone daydreams), or what has already happened, and how it could have been different. People usually dwell on the past if something bad happened to them or someone got on their nerves, then they imagine how it could have gone differently. Grounding stimulates the above listed, positive responses, by bringing a person's awareness directly into the present moment, through the sense modalities.

 

The reason that bringing a person's attention back to the present moment remedies anxiety, stress, fear, or other negative emotions, is because these emotions exist in opposition to something that has happened in the past, or the possible outcomes of the future which the person is imagining. It replaces these thoughts and feelings with sensations of peace, relaxation, and present moment awareness. In the body and in the present moment, these negative thoughts and feelings usually disappear. Grounding lends itself to giving a person an air of confidence, power, presence, and self-control, because when a person shifts their awareness through grounding and their thoughts and emotions change, this will be expressed through their body language, which others will pick up on. For example, you can tell when a person is angry, or depressed, or happy and confident, by how they stand, sit, or walk, and how they speak and behave. Even if they say that there's nothing wrong and that they're fine, you can tell there's something bothering them because of their body language. Grounding gives a person more presence because they are brought back into the present moment and environment.

 

Grounding lends itself to heightened intuition because it brings a person into their body ie: their attention will be more focused on how they feel physically, right now. Intuition is not a mental phenomenon, it is spoken through feelings in the body, like when someone has a gut feeling. Most people nowadays don't believe in or trust intuition. I challenge you to get in touch with your intuition and try to listen to it, as an experiment. Then make some intuition based decisions, and I guarantee they will work out for the better. This can be difficult (It has been quite difficult for me) because most people are taught in life and in school to make logic based decisions, and not to trust or express their feelings or emotions. This might be especially true if you are a man. So if that's something you would like to try, start of by making small decisions based on your intuition, like what to eat, when to go to bed, what music to listen to, which route to take, etc. Logically we can say intuition based decisions function better because a person is following their feeling, which feels good. When you go against a feeling you will be conflicted against yourself. When you follow your intuition, or feeling, you aren't creating an inner conflict and are instead trusting yourself, which feels good. The end result is your decision will make you feel good.

 

Grounding can help a person eat better, sleep better, and generally take care of themselves better, once again, because it brings them into their body. And the body knows what it wants, it knows what food it should eat, when it should sleep, if it needs to exercise, and a whole lot more. Most people know the usual signals their body gives them, like being tired or hungry means to sleep or eat, feeling pain means to stop doing what's causing the pain. Grounding oneself allows a person to hear these messages much more clearly, and become aware of messages that they didn't realize before. For example a muscle could be very tight, and a person will be much more aware of that through attention on their body, so they would then know to stretch that muscle.

 

Lastly, grounding aids focus and concentration because to ground yourself, focused and concentrated awareness is what works. Which we will discuss next.

 

Grounding techniques:

 

Now we understand the crux of grounding, it's all about getting inside the body, through the use of conscious awareness or focus. The main thing to remember about grounding yourself is that you do it by focusing your awareness. That means you can focus on your body, how the muscles feel, how your blood feels as it's pumped through the veins by your heart. Taking long and deep breaths (all the way to bottom of your lungs, and exhaling all the way out again), and focusing on how that feels, can be very effective, and this exercise can be very effective in and of itself, grounding aside.

 

Grounding is a feeling state, and also a particular state of consciousness. Here is a list of possible ways to ground yourself.

 

  • Sit down, or lie down. Focus on the body, and the sensation of the weight of the body on the chair or bed. Focus on how the muscles feel.

  • Breath deeply and slowly, focus on the feeling of the breath moving into and out of the lungs, and through the throat and lips.

  • Go for a walk. Preferably in nature, like a forest, or anywhere calm. Focus on the feeling of each step, the sights you see, and the noises you hear.

  • Walk bare foot in grass. Walking bare foot is especially effective, because you can really feel your weight press into the earth through your feet, feeling your weight press into the earth is very potent when it comes to grounding. You can also walk bare foot at home, this works too.

  • When you eat, enjoy every bite and every drink. Taste, smell, see, and feel every bite of food as you chew on it and swallow it, feel it being swallowed into your stomach. This also makes food that much more enjoyable.

  • Exercise. Exercising requires you to be in your body anyway, you can make it an even more grounding exercise through your focused attention on the body as you do it. This could look like feeling your feet hit the ground and air rush in and out of your lungs when you run, or feeling the great muscular tension when you do push ups or grab a barbell.

  • Always remember to bring your attention back to the moment and back to the body. When I first started doing this my mind wondered like crazy, when this happens, rather then engage with or fight against the thoughts, simply bring them back to where you want them for the duration of the exercise; the now, and the body.

 

It's likely you may find grounding difficult when you first begin, that's because your mind has a standard mode of operation (constant thought, frequent daydreaming about past and future, interspersed with anxiety and other negative feelings) which you are now breaking. However the more you do it the easier and more effective it gets, trust me. And what's more is you can always go deeper, I still practice grounding and present moment awareness. Although my mind still wonders and daydreams, when I look back at how it used to be, the amount of self control and general well-being I've gained from grounding impresses me greatly.

 

Here are some of the results and benefits I've experienced personally from grounding. Much more self control. I have much less anger, anxiety, paranoia, and worry about the past or future. This alone is a massive benefit. I am more productive, because my energy and time aren't being spent in my mind, they're being spent in the now, and in my body, getting things done, if I desire. I communicate much better with people, because I have more presence, and I can pay much more attention to them and understand people better, because my mind is not elsewhere. I follow my intuition and listen to my body more. Recently I've noticed cravings for junk food aren't there so much anymore, my body just isn't interested. This is good because it doesn't require so much conscious force of will-power and energy on my part to clean up my diet, I can simply go with my body. I also have a deeper appreciation for life. When my mind used to wonder and daydream too much, I missed a lot of what was happening, now that I'm more present, I'm able to enjoy life and engage with it to a much greater degree.

 

If you've read this far I thank you and hope you found this article interesting and clearly presented. Perhaps this is something you would like to invest your time and energy into, it does bring great results, and with practice it is very easy to do.

 

Resources:

 

  • The Power of now; Eckhart Tolle (This was the first book I ever read of a spiritual nature, it was recommended to me by my religion teacher in school. I found it challenging to grasp at points but it is probably one of the best and last resources you could need on present moment awareness)

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glHYP8j3fiY How to ground yourself. This is a video by Teal Swan, I highly recommend her videos if they interest you.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oaMfP8g0pM How to win any conversation by grounding yourself. This is a video by Elliot Hulse, giving an explanation of how grounding will give you more presence and power, allowing you to come from a stronger place in an argument. I have experienced this myself. Again check out his work.

  • Meditation. Lastly and most importantly, try to experiment with these techniques and try grounding for yourself. Try it, and see what results you get, then you can decide on it yourself.


© Copyright 2020 WarrenRoche. All rights reserved.

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