4 Essential Grounding Habits

By Eleanor Guinness

The name Groundd, sounds like grounded, was inspired by the simple yet profound practice of being grounded. To us, being well-grounded means the ability to live in the present moment. There is no need to consider what has been done in the past or what may happen in the future unless it entirely relates to the present moment.
 
When you’re grounded, you have the mental clarity to respond with ease to any of life's obstacles. You are able to make the right decisions, that are true to yourself without being influenced by other ideas or individuals. You are resilient, seeking solutions to life's mishaps without allowing them to impact you greatly. I like how author Michael Daniels in his book, Shadow, Self, Spirit (2005), describes the benefits groundedness: it allows for a deeper connection to the authentic self, clarity, wholeness, and harmony.
 
Here are 4 simple habits to practice returning to the centre and being well-grounded:

1. Breathing Exercises

Breathing is something that most of us take for granted even though it is essential to our existence. Under states of anxiousness, stress or other mental imbalance, our breathing is prone to going astray without us realising and we tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come from the chest. This type of breathing, known as thoracic (chest breathing) is harmful to our mental & physical state as it causes an imbalance in carbon dioxide & oxygen levels in the body, which results in your blood not being properly oxygenated. This can cause increased heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension & further exacerbate stress & anxiety.

So when you are feeling stressed out or anxious, one way to ground yourself is to focus on breathing slowly and deeply through your stomach or abdomen, ensuring that your tummy rises as you breath and not your chest. This is called abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing and is the optimal way of breathing. Take long controlled inhales through your nose and longer exhales through your mouth while focussing on the physical sensation of breathing through your abdomen, allowing yourself to relax.
 
There are many excellent breathing exercises that can help you achieve this. if you don't have a go-to, try the very effective and easy Box Breathing: Breath in through your nose for four counts. Pause/hold your breath for four counts. Exhale through your mouth for four counts. Pause/hold your breath for four counts. Another method that many people find particularly useful to help them get back to sleep is the 4-7-8 breathing method: Breath in quietly through your nose for 4 seconds, pause/hold your breath for seven counts. Exhale forcefully through the mouth while pursing your lips and making a blowing sounds for 8 seconds. Repeat up to 4 times. For more guidance see this video.
 
Aim to incorporate at least 5 minutes of breathing exercises into your daily routine, this will not only decrease any stress and anxiety you may have but will also allow you to practice being more in tune with your breathing so that the next time you are in a stressful situation you will not resort to harmful chest breathing & will have the ability to remain calm and respond to the situation as required.
 

2. Cold Showers

Cold showers are one of my favourite life hacks, whenever I am feeling tired, fatigued, stressed or sore from training, my go-to cure is to take an ice-cold shower. After which I feel like a brand new person, pulsing with energy. A cold shower probably sounds absolutely horrendous to you but it is easily tolerable and even enjoyable through focusing on proper breathing.
Notice that as soon as you enter into the cold water you will be initially prone to taking rapid, shallow breaths in and out of your chests. The trick is to overcome this urge and to take long steady breaths in and out of your stomach, ensuring your blood is properly oxygenated and you will soon find taking cold showers or ice baths to be easy. On top of making you feel like superman, cold showers are also proven to promote fat loss, alleviate depression, improve immunity and promote muscle recovery. While you are getting used to cold showering initially, I suggest starting off by concluding the last 30 seconds of your cold cold and making your way up from there.

3. Walking Meditation

Meditation for me is the ultimate brain gym & stress reliever; I cherish my 15 - 20 min practice each morning and am very grateful for its training in being present & allowing me to connect with my physical form. My favourite form of mediation to really get a feeling of groundedness is to take a slow walk in nature, either by myself or silently with another person, barefoot when possible. There is nothing like nature to teach you that your perceived problems are insignificant in the scheme of things. Use these walks to clear your mind and focus your senses on each step including;
 
  • The feeling of the ground and your physical connection with the earth.
  • The smell, the sounds, the taste of your surroundings.
  • Appreciate how beautiful nature is and for our connection to it.
  • Breathe it all in, become fully immersed in it.

4. Listen carefully to others

When you are in a conversation with others it is easy for your mind to start thinking about how you are going to respond instead of actually listening to what the other person is telling you. A life-changing yet simple habit I have been working on is the practice of focusing on solely what the other person is saying. This is incredibly valuable as it will not only make you a much more likeable person, as people can sense when you are giving them your full attention and will appreciate you genuinely listening to them but will also allow you the opportunity to learn from what others tell you. Also, once the person has finished saying their piece you will be able to thoughtfully respond without misunderstanding them. This basic habit will make you wiser, better able to connect with others and ultimately a more grounded person.