by Christina Grant, PhD
Have you ever heard people say they feel “ungrounded?” Or, that they believe someone else is not very grounded? You probably have, but what does this really mean? In this context it isn’t like an airplane unable to take off, or a teenager being punished. Being grounded in this day and age has to do with being stable, balanced, calm, and focused. Let’s talk a little bit about this concept, because it is relevant to our well-being, especially in times of uncertainty or change.
I’ll start by giving you the contrast: an ungrounded person. This person will be fuzzy-headed, forgetful, anxious, wired, excitable, and distracted. Their energy drifts like a balloon disconnected from a child's hand, a bit lost and forlorn. I see it as being energetically disconnected.
Our lifestyles contribute to this state of disconnectedness. Driving in cars, flying in airplanes and traveling in general, being on a computer, watching television, working and living in artificial environments with concrete, fluorescent lights, and electricity, being in crowds of people, and even feeling pressured, worried, or stressed. All of these take us away from our natural balance — they interfere with our natural connection to the earth, literally the ground.
In a state of ungroundedness you can be more easily influenced by others, the life you live might not feel wholly your own, you might experience injuries and accidents, feel anxiety, panic, irritability, foggy thinking, and be a compulsive overeater. These are all instances where we are not centered or stable, and they indicate why it is important to be aware of our groundedness — of being centered, focused, and calm. Just the act of coming back into a state of groundedness can shift our entire perception of life from one of negativity to one of hope and optimism.
So what can you do to become more grounded? The first step is to pay closer attention to your surroundings while noticing your own physical body. How does the chair feel that you are sitting in? What do your feet feel like? What physical signs or symptoms are you trying to ignore? For example, are you thirsty? Do you have any pain or tightness in your body? Are you thinking about the future while you are also reading this?
Simple awareness of your breathing will help bring you into a more grounded state. Spending a few moments a day in nature will help. Connect with the earth in some way — sit or stand on the ground. Notice the weather. What is happening in your natural environment? Feel the breeze, smell the earth’s scents, take note of how the sun feels. I also use visualization. One easy technique is to see or feel yourself as a huge, beautiful tree with deep roots going into the earth.
Understanding the value of being grounded is essential to being stable, balanced, focused, and calm. The awareness at any given moment of how grounded you are can be a tool for personal mastery, fulfillment, and self-empowerment. Although there is more to it, here are a few quick ideas to help you with your own state of groundedness.
Quick tips on getting grounded
- Breathe with awareness.
- Sit in nature.
- Watch the sun rise or set.
- Place your feet or hands on the earth.
- Eat food from the earth.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Notice physical symptoms or signs.
- Stop, look, and listen.
- Visualize yourself rooted into the earth.