Many of us have forgotten how to rest and can often get caught up in our heads and our thoughts, rather than feeling into the wisdom of our bodies. In eco-psychologist Ruth Allen’s recent book Grounded, she talks about how recently, more and more of her clients say they want to feel and be more grounded.
“To be grounded is to have arrived at a solid place in the present. To be grounded is to come home - to yourself, to nature.” - Ruth Allen
To be grounded is to feel solid and at home within our bodies and the world. To have more resilience to deal with life’s ups and downs, and more capacity and ability to hold others throughout this too. So how can we do it? These are five of our favourite ways to become more grounded:
1. Spend time in nature
Spending time in nature lowers your blood pressure and stress levels, can help depression and anxiety and help us realise we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
We spend more time than ever indoors and looking at screens. Getting out into fresh air and amongst trees is good for our brains, our nervous systems and our bodies. Restore your tired mind with ‘soft fascination’ - simply looking at different natural landscapes, such as the sea, large bodies of water, or long grasses or tree canopies moving in the breeze, can relax the brain’s frontal lobe and relieve attention fatigue. Rather than having to really concentrate, natural landscapes are “just stimulating enough to engage the brain, without unhelpfully concentrating it.
Movement helps to connect you to your body. Often when we feel ungrounded we can freeze or feel stuck. Try just swaying side to side or shaking your arms and legs to shake tension out of your body (yes this may feel strange at first - but trust me it works!)
Walking can help you to untangle your thoughts - just simply put one foot in front of the other and look around you. Go for a run, try a new fun fitness class or just dance around your kitchen to your favourite song. Movement doesn’t have to be punishment for your body or because you don’t like your body - it’s about finding something that works for you and that you enjoy. Liberate your own movement and claim the pleasure and authority of your own movement and body
3. Engage your senses
Really engaging your senses can help bring you to the present moment and out of constantly ruminating within your mind. Pause, stand still and really feel into where your feet are in contact with the ground. Notice if you can hear any sounds, really tune into them.
This is really the essence of the practice of mindfulness - being right here, right now. Engaging the senses and noticing what you are experiencing through them at this moment brings you to the present.
The practice of Forest Bathing is one way to bring you to the present, and is about really taking in and absorbing your natural surroundings through all of your senses.
4. Bath time
Bathing has been used as a ritual for grounding, cleansing and resetting for millenia! If it’s good enough for the Romans… Why not add grounding essential oils to your bath, like Cedarwood, Cypress, Vetiver, Sandalwood or Myrrh.
Bring nature into your bathroom with sprigs of eucalyptus - the steam will release the oils. Exfoliate your body with a salt scrub or mitt, helping you to connect with your body and stimulate your lymphatic system. Add magnesium salts to your bath to relieve stress and anxiety, relax your body, and to help your muscles and nerves function.
5. Go barefoot
Going barefoot (also known as earthing or grounding) helps you connect with the natural charge of the Earth - and we do better when we’re in contact with it.
Reconnection with the Earth's electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes. The benefits include better sleep and reduced pain, simply from walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems that transfer the Earth's electrons from the ground into the body.
This fascinating paper here explains further how direct physical contact with the surface of the planet generates a kind of electric nutrition, with surprisingly potent and rapid anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Can you take 10 minutes a day to connect to the ground?
Do you have any ways that you like to ground yourself? We'd love to hear them. Love Jen x