In the rapidly changing world of modern living, grounding practices can help maintain a calm demeanor. Simple, mindful practices can be the key to managing stress and keeping pace. Notice the word “manage.” Instead of managing stress, we do so many things to mask our anxieties, some more harmful than others. The irony is that so many of our attempts to mask the stress only lead to more stress and anxiety.
We drink alcohol because we think it calms our nerves. Some of us smoke to soothe. Many use food as a source of comfort. Binge-watching shows on Netflix has become another typical (and even acceptable) method of passing time or checking out. Some are addicted to the Internet to escape, others use sex for temporary gratification. There’s nothing wrong with these when done in moderation and for the right reasons, but they can also lead to abuse and even ruin one’s own life and the lives of others around them.
The real danger is when these vices become habits that can lead to addictions and a vicious see-saw cycle of shame and guilt. In the privacy of one’s home, it’s not uncommon for some to almost automatically reach for a glass of wine, only to realize what’s really happening after the first sip. It’s common to remember how bad it is to smoke or to vape, but only after the first few puffs. Many people realize how much they ate only after being entirely too full.
Stress is often due to feeling ungrounded, scattered and overwhelmed. When we don’t feel connected to our own bodies, or the present moment, we lack physical vitality. Instead of masking stress and anxiety with vices, there are simple, healthy grounding practices. Try these to calm yourself; they’ll ease your nervous system, help you to be mentally clear and they’re much easier on your wallet! Don’t underestimate them.
“Bhu” means earth. In this pose, the body forms the shape of a mountain firmly planted in the earth.
Tapotement is a method used in Swedish massage that can also be used as a grounding practice when feeling stressed out. It awakens your connection to your body, as well as to increase the flow of energy throughout the body.
While at first, it may seem complex, keep in mind that in essence, it’s just breathing work. Through breathing, we can engage in energy attunement, energy breathing, and energy direction.
Want to do something more physically active? Mindful walking can be practiced anytime you’re walking, which is anywhere! This is easy to do, but the hardest part is remembering to do it.
If you’re feeling ungrounded, frustrated, uneasy, anxious, or thinking too much, then these four grounding practices may be just what you need. They will help you feel embodied and present, increasing your sense of calm, and bringing you back into rhythm with the body, mind, and soul.
This post was part of our Monthly Intentions program throughout the year. Each month at Evolutions we focus on one intention to guide our practice, our wellness and our attention – inside and outside the club. Join us on this journey through Facebook and Instagram @EvolutionsAnnapolis #monthlyintentions #evolutionsannapolis.