You may have heard the phrase, "I need to get grounded" when someone is talking about feeling off-kilter or out of balance. With our stressful modern lives it is common to be living too much in the head by worrying about the future that we forget to take time to just exist in the moment. Being "Grounded" means that one can release the excess energy of worry and just settle into the peace of being in the here and now.
Another reason people refer to needing to get grounded is because of sensing others' anxieties through empathy. I often have people ask me how they can protect themselves from being overwhelmed when sensing other people's emotions or energies. Many people identify as Empaths - persons who are highly sensitive to the moods and feelings of people around them. Going out in public or crowded places can be overwhelming and anxiety inducing to these people - as they can feel others' grief, anxiety, or anger as if it were their own. I wanted to compile a list of different techniques for Grounding that have helped me and other people.
If you are more grounded you will be much more able to let these energies you sense "slide off" rather than latching on and affecting you negatively. The goal of an empath should not be to block these sensations, but to simply be able to notice and acknowledge them without being dragged down or trapped by the feeling. We have this gift that enables us to help people and be better friends, healers, and counselors so we don't want to block the ability to feel others' emotions. Yet at the same time we need to be able to function and go about our own lives! If you are not properly grounded you will have a much harder time doing this.
"Grounding", "Centering" or "Earthing" is a simple process that we use to connect with the earth, our body, and the here & now. You can practice grounding in any position - sitting, standing, or laying down. Most people prefer putting the feet flat on the ground, which is helpful but not 100% necessary. Grounding is just simply being more connected to the earth, your body, and the present moment. Being more connected to the present moment and the body is important for Empaths, who have a tendency to experience more on the astral or etheric realms, or "out there". But we are still physical beings and need to be able to ground ourselves to release excess energies we tend to collect, and also to replenish our "batteries."
Here are a couple quick methods I use for Grounding:
#1 - Five senses excersize
Connect with your breath.... that means to simply bring your attention to your breathing for a few moments. Next, simply notice your body, in particular the 5 senses of touch, smell, sight, sound, and taste. Notice your posture, the temperature of air touching your skin and the feel of the clothing you are wearing. Notice any smells or scents. Look around and simply take notice of the things you see around you. What do you hear? Try to notice sounds individually and identify where different sounds are coming from. Finally notice the taste inside your mouth. If you wish, take a small drink of water or eat a bite of something and try to just fully notice the sensation of taste. As you go through each of the 5 senses try to keep noticing your breathing too. Now you have brought your awareness simply and fully to your body and the present moment. This practice alone can help relieve some anxiety and bring us back to our own senses rather than the senses projected outward from others. The more you practice this technique of breathing and noticing each of the 5 senses, the easier it will become... until it becomes something much more second nature.
With frequent practice you will be able to eventually bring yourself fully into this state of awareness within your body by simply setting your intention to do so. This is especially helpful if you use a key phrase as a trigger. For example, say "Here and Now I am Breathing" as you focus on the breath. Then, "Here and Now I can smell...." as you focus on the sense of smell. And then, "Here and Now I see...." as you focus on the sense of sight, etc. With consistent use of this key phrase "Here and Now" you can create a trigger for the relaxed state that is aware of all the senses. When you have done this often enough, and you find yourself out in public and needing to quickly ground and center your energies, you can just take a deep breath and say "Here And Now" and you will find yourself automatically connecting to the senses and the breath.
#2 - "Breathing Through Your Roots"
This is a combination of breathing and visualization that helps you connect with Earth Energy and feel more grounded and centered. Place feet flat on the ground if you are in a chair, or you can sit cross-legged on the floor. Connect with your breath (noticing your breathing and slowing the breath down to smooth, deep and steady pattern) Visualize that you have Roots growing down out of the bottoms of your feet (if you are seated with feet flat on the ground) or roots growing out of your hips and sitting bone (if you are seated on the ground in cross- legged position.) Take some time simply breathing and feeling your roots extend down into the earth. Notice how it is darker, cooler, and quieter down there in the earth. Recall the smell of soil and other pleasant sensations of nature. You don't have to be outdoors to connect with mother nature in this way simply use your intention and visualization.
Once you have established your roots, think of how the roots of a tree draw water and nutrients up from the earth into their trunk and branches. Now when you inhale slowly, feel that you are breathing from your roots and that as the oxygen fills your lungs you are drawing energy up from your roots into your body. (Picture the way a straw draws water up from the bottom when you drink with it. You inhale and "suck" the energy up through your roots, into feet, up the legs, and then up the spine and outward to arms and fingers.) As you exhale, you release any "extra" energy you didn't absorb - visualize and feel this energy emptying out of you back down your roots and into the earth. You can also breathe out any negativity or anxiety, down those roots and into the earth. Don't worry about harming the earth by emptying these negative energies in this way. Simply set your intention that you are releasing these energies to be healed. Energy itself is neither good or bad, it just needs to be returned to it's natural state where it doesn't hold any vibrations of fear or pain. Just focusing on breathing up through the roots - breathing in love.... and then emptying out the stress or worry out through the feet or sitting bones back into the earth for healing. Practicing this a few minutes a day makes it come much easier and eventually you can very quickly connect with your roots and earth energy at any time.
Earthing is the simple act of walking on the ground (outdoors) barefoot. Feeling the sand, grass, dirt, leaves, etc directly touching the soles of your feet can relieve stress, improve circulation, lift your mood, and bring you closer to Mother Nature. When you combine Earthing with intentional grounding excersizes like the two listed above, the experience of grounding is more empowered. However, due to weather, location, or physical disabilities, this may not always be an option which is why I listed the other two methods first... they can be done even when you do not have access to the outdoors. I do recommend trying to go outside and get fresh air and sunlight even if you are unable to walk barefoot on the ground. Studies have shown that spending more time outdoors (even if it is just sitting on your porch and looking at the sky or a tree) is beneficial to your health and mood.
Crystals and Gemstones to Assist with Grounding Carrying, wearing, or meditating with these crystals or gemstones may help you as you practice getting grounded and centered. Hematite, Smoky Quartz, Black Tourmaline, Obsidian, Onyx, and Green Moss Agate all can help you feel more grounded and connect with earth energy more readily.
Remember Basic Self Care Getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and eating healthy foods with plenty of fiber is essential for an Empath to feel grounded and centered. The world of emotions and feelings is so richly and deeply felt by empaths that the physical realm can seem less important or like a less valid part of our human experience. This is simply not true, and taking care of ourselves physically is a big part of being an Empath, a Healer, an Intuitive or a Light Worker.
Seek Help From Other Healers If you feel like you are "getting grounded" but the feeling doesn't last or dissipates as soon as you leave the meditation area or enter a room of crowded people, there may be some deeper spiritual and energetic work that needs to be done. You may benefit from energy work such as Reiki to help remove blocks. You may wish to seek out a Shaman, therapist or another sort of healer to help you work through past trauma or insecurities. There is nothing wrong with seeking out help from others!
I hope that these ideas have helped you and given some ideas to help you with grounding!
Feel free to leave a comment with feedback or your own tips for grounding.