self-care

Grounding: an individual practice to calm ourselves

With the declaration of the 21-day lockdown in India from today, the prospect of staying at home for such a long period, confusion about how to get groceries and stress about the seemingly unending nature of what is happening, our minds remain constantly abuzz with thoughts. Because thoughts are so difficult to control, we may find ourselves spiraling into complete anxiety. We’re sure all of us, at some point in our lives to say the least, have felt that we were being controlled by our thoughts, and that many of us may be going through this experience right now.

The first individual practice we are sharing is called grounding, and has helped us to work through experiences like this.

By paying attention to things we can see, hear, feel, smell and taste in the present moment, we are reminded that, however much we think of the future or the past, we are living in the present moment.

Grounding is a technique that helps us come back to the present moment, enjoy it, and live it. The process of grounding is very simple and can be done literally ANYWHERE!  As the word suggests, grounding is designed, to ground you, or immediately connect you with the present moment, by consciously checking in with the physical sensations you are feeling. By paying attention to things we can see, hear, feel, smell and taste in the present moment, we are reminded that, however much we think of the future or the past, we are living in the present.

There are a lot of grounding techniques that are available out there. It can be as simple as walking barefoot on the ground and connecting to the sensation of the feet on the floor. We have found some techniques to be especially effective for us. These techniques are illustrated in the graphics on this post.  One is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, in which we identify 5 things we can see, 4 things that we can hear, 3 things that we can touch, 2 things that we can smell and 1 thing that we can taste. We have found that doing this on a regular basis several times a day truly improves our ability to stay in the present moment. Other techniques of connecting with one particular kind of sensation- like the taste of a toffee or the feeling of the weight of the body on a chair- can be really helpful to practice even while we are working and cannot take a long break.

So, grounding helps re-orient us to reality. When we are spiraling into the future, we may feel anxious because of the uncertainty associated with the future. This in turn activates our stress hormones. A lot of our mental energy is used up by anxiety, which hampers us from being connected to reality. By practicing grounding, we become aware that the future is not in our control, but the way in which we experience the present is.

Many scientific studies about grounding have shown that it has a positive effect upon our bodies. A few of the benefits of grounding yourself include:

  • Reducing stress levels
  • Fighting fatigue and increasing energy
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Improving overall state of mind and being

The technique of grounding brings about a healing effect on the body and mind along with a sense of calm.

You can find out about more grounding techniques on this website: https://www.selfhelphealing.co.uk/grounding-techniques-grounding-yourself/

Whichever technique you use, make sure that the purpose is to of bring yourself back to the present moment!

What have your experiences of grounding been like? What other practices are helping you to stay centred at this time? Let us know in the comments.

Authors

Khyati

I am a practicing psychologist. I’m interested in art and design. Mandala art is my stress buster. I’m also into the upcoming field of fashion psychology. Binge watching on Netflix is one of my current pastimes!

Rhea

I am a bookworm, occasional writer and perpetual learner. I work at an NGO that uses Dance Movement Therapy for healing and empowering marginalised communities and I’m currently training to be a Dance Movement Therapy Practitioner.

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