Quickly Calm Yourself with These Grounding Practices

on October 24, 2018 by Evolutions
grounding practice breathing exercise

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.

Grounding Practice 1: [Bhu Mudra] Be the Mountain Connecting with the Earth

“Bhu” means earth. In this pose, the body forms the shape of a mountain firmly planted in the earth.

  1. Find a quiet place to sit on the ground in the cross-legged position. Place your index and middle fingers into the ground, with your arms straight out to the sides.
  2. Visualize your body like a mountain, with your legs as the base, your arms as the slopes and the top of your head as the mountain peak. Allow yourself to rest inside this mountain, allowing its stillness to permeate through your whole body.
  3. Notice your natural breath, feeling it dropping down into your belly and down the bottom of your pelvis where the Root Chakra resides. Imagine the breath assisting in the rooting as a grounding practice of your presence on the Earth.

Grounding Practice 2: [Tapotement] Repetitive Tapping on Body Parts

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.

  1. With cupped hands, tap each part of your body, starting with your feet and moving upward to the legs, torso, arms, neck, and head.
  2. Make sure you look at the body part you are tapping and mentally say the name of the body part (“This is my foot,” “This is my shin,” “This is my knee,” etc.) This is to increase neural, physical, mental, and energy connection with each body part.

grounding practice mountain pose

Grounding Practice 3: [Pranayama] Breathing for Rooting Visualization

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.

  1. Find a place where you won’t be disturbed (preferably in nature) and get into either a seated or standing position, Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is great for this.
  2. Settle in and keep in mind that the intention is to be grounded, placing your attention on your breath. Spend a few moments following your breath, inhaling through your nose, allowing your breath to fill your lungs, expand the belly before exhaling through your nose.
  3. Imagine roots spreading down from the soles of your feet to the center of the Earth, anchoring you to the ground. You are visualizing yourself literally grounded to the Earth.
  4. As you inhale, imagine that you are inhaling the Earth’s energy, up your roots, and up through the soles of your feet. Continue to breathe this energy up through your legs and into your pelvic floor, where the Root Chakra resides. Then hold your breath for a brief pause.
  5. Exhale from the Root Chakra, down your legs, through your feet, and down your roots, back to the center of the Earth.
  6. Repeat this several times, focusing on how grounded your legs and hips feel with the energy flow. Feel the stimulating effects on your body while it relaxes you.

Grounding Practice 4 [Mindful Walking]

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.

  1. Begin with five to ten natural steps, saying “In every step…” as you set one foot down, and saying “I am Here,” as you set your other foot down. This takes a bit of patience because you’ll realize how rushed your normal walk really is. Increase the number of steps each day.
  2. As you get more comfortable, try to slow each step even more by including mindful pauses, being aware of the contact of the foot on the ground, how it feels against the footwear, how your weight is pressed down, being aware of gravity.

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.

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