How to Ground Yourself Amidst the Chaos
When you think of the word chaos and how it relates to your life, the year 2020, school, work, relationships, and more may come to mind. When or if you feel this way, remember that you are not alone. Chaos can be scary, and there have been times where I felt out of control. It's just too much for me to handle (much thanks to my Type A personality!). In all seriousness though, chaos can be hard for your mental and physical health, and learning how to embrace the chaos and learning how to ground yourself through it is a really beneficial skill to have in your tool belt.
You may be scoffing and thinking, “yeah right”, and I do not blame you. Learning how to embrace the chaos and learning how to ground yourself through it is easier said than done. At times it might even feel impossible. It takes practice and I am still learning and experimenting to see what works for me every time I face chaos. It is a continuous learning cycle.
You also may be thinking “what the he** does grounding mean” and don’t worry we will get to that in a second. I just needed to give you a little pep talk before getting started ;)
So, What the Heck Does it Mean to Ground Yourself?
The two main interpretations of grounding are to one, connect physically with the Earth, and two, connect spiritually with yourself. Each interpretation and grounding practice seeks to ease anxiety, promote a state of relaxation, and reach a state of feeling present with one’s self.
Below are four definitions to aid with your understanding and give more insight as to how others interpret the practice of grounding.
1. “The electrically conductive contact of the human body to the surface of the Earth” - US National Library of Medicine
2. “The practice of connecting yourself, your values, and your vision.” - Bala Yoga
3. “To bring your focus to what is happening to you physically, either in your body or your surroundings, instead of feeling trapped by the thoughts in your mind that are making you feel anxious” - Dr. Sarah Allen
4. “Grounding is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electronically reconnect you to the Earth” - Healthline
As you can see, there are distinctions between the physical practice and the spiritual practice of grounding. There is no right or wrong technique or route to take. It is truly up to personal preference and which path you believe best suits your needs and goals.
Benefits of Grounding
Physical and spiritual grounding boasts an abundance of health benefits. Here are the most notable:
Reducing stress positively benefits the human body like no other. Reducing and managing stress levels increases concentration, decreases your risk of heart disease, leads to better sleep, less muscle tension, a stronger immune system, and more.
Fighting against chronic inflammation
A 2015 study found physical grounding as an important tool for fighting against chronic inflammation. Fighting against inflammation and reducing it can lead to a stronger immune system, a decrease in chronic pain, better bowel movements, a reduced risk of heart disease, and happier skin moods.
A State of Peace and Relaxation
Physical and spiritual grounding over time will likely result in a state of peace and relaxation amongst the chaos ensuing around you. Finding a state of peace and relaxation can decrease your stress levels, allow you to think more clearly, and just feel whole again.
How to Ground Yourself
Does grounding sound up your alley? If so, we are here to help you learn how to ground yourself. Whether you’d like to connect physically with the Earth or just become spiritually connected with yourself, there are a handful of techniques at your disposal to reach your grounding goals.
Helpful Tip: Any grounding technique and its benefits can be heightened by participating in the activity outdoors and connecting with the Earth, whether that be grass, gravel, sand, or water.
To meditate you need a quiet place and commitment. Meditating is not easy but the outcome makes the work worth it, especially if meditating does not come naturally to you. If you are a beginner there are meditating apps and YouTube videos to help guide you along the journey.
2. Move Outdoors
Go for a walk barefoot, practice yoga in the grass, or take a dip in the ocean. The outdoors is yours to have and finding peace while moving outdoors can help you achieve groundedness. Not to mention, exercising reduces stress, releases endorphins, and more.
Breathing is a great way to bring your heart rate down and keep in touch with your inner self. Breathing in and out slowly is the most foolproof way to get you calm quickly. Check out this blog to learn a breathing technique Navy Seals use to calm themselves down.
Acknowledging how you feel, why you feel that way, and writing it down can be a very therapeutic process. Journaling enables you to get in touch with your inner self and evaluate your mental and physical state at the time. Being in touch with yourself, recognizing emotions, and embracing them is very cathartic.
5. Fill Your Space Intentionally
Clutter can drive you crazy! Decluttering your room and filling your space intentionally can make you feel more grounded. Rather than looking around and seeing items you don’t like, you will be surrounded by items you love and that bring you joy. Printing pictures with people you love, buying a favorite candle, painting your room your favorite color, and getting a fresh bouquet of flowers are just a few examples of things you can do.
6. The 5-4-3-2-1 Method
The 5-4-3-2-1 method uses your senses to pay close attention to things around you. It does not matter which sense you choose first (touch, taste, smell, hear, see), but you have to complete the pattern. For example, someone might choose to recognize 5 things they can touch, 4 things they can see, and so and so forth. This method helps you focus on things other than the chaos.
7. Categorize Lists
Categorizing lists can also help you focus on things other than the chaos and can bring your attention to things you love. Choose any category whether it’s food, travel destinations, skincare, or things you love, and make a mental (or written) list of as many things you can think of under that category.
8. Think of Someone You Love
Imagine you and your loved one are spending time together, or imagine their voice. This will surely bring you comfort in a time of distress.
9. Spend Quality Time with Your Pet
It’s no secret that having a pet is good for your mental and physical health. Spending time with your pet decreases stress levels and can bring you a good laugh or two along the way.
10. Visualize Your Favorite Place
Envisioning yourself at your favorite place, soaking in cherished memories, or looking forward to new ones will help you find peace. Cue Dierks Bentley “Somewhere on a Beach” because envisioning myself there brings me a sense of peace.
This list of 10 grounding techniques only touches the surface of learning how to ground yourself. As I have already mentioned, there is no right or wrong way. If physical grounding works for your friends or family members, that is great but it may or may not work for you! You just have to listen to your body, your mind, and your heart.
Learning how to ground yourself amidst the chaos is not an easy feat. Do not give up or get deterred if you face a challenge! It is a learning process. You are strong and capable! You got this.
Written by Lauren Conklin