Life is difficult right now. Many people are scared – with good reason. Covid-19 is an insidious enemy that is killing people and wreaking havoc on economies and people’s lives. It can be difficult to feel happy and calm.
It’s more important than ever to find ways of resisting the tendency to panic and hysteria. We need to find ways to be grounded and calm. But how to do it? Here are some suggestions. I hope you’ll find at least one of them useful.
Finding your physical location
Knowing where you are located in the physical world can help us to feel grounded. To do this you need to locate north, south, east and west, using a compass if necessary. When I’m travelling a lot, I take a compass with me and check it from time to time, so that I can orientate myself in relation to home.
Also think of your location in relation to family, friends, favourite places, etc. Develop a map of yourself and the world.
Another way of doing this is to stand or sit comfortably with your feet firmly on the ground, breathing in a slow and relaxed manner. Either turn towards the north or be aware of where north is in relation to you. Then concentrate on exactly where you are; next turn to or be aware of south and then concentrate on your exact location again. Do the same thing with east and west.
Change your breathing
Paying conscious attention to our breathing is one of the easiest and most powerful methods of grounding ourselves.
The breathing should be slow, relaxed, deep and rhythmic. Some people find it easier to allow a short pause between the in-breath and the out-breath; others find it easier to breathe continuously.
Be aware of the breath entering the body, visualise it filling and nourishing your body and connecting (or re-connecting) you with the earth. Be aware of your breath leaving your body.
In the Hawaiian Piko Piko technique, having focused on your natural breathing, you locate the crown of your head and your navel by awareness and/or touch. As you inhale put your attention on the crown of your head, and as you exhale put your attention on your navel.
See if counting the breath helps. Count 1 for the in breath and then 2 for the out breath. Continue like this till you reach 10 and then start again. I find this a useful technique to help me sleep. Your breathing may be fast and panicky when you start. As you count, your breath will gradually start to slow.
Why does this work? One theory is that your brain understands that if you can do something as mindless as count your breaths you can’t be under attack. If you’re not under attack, your body can relax.
Meditation in motion (and sweat)
Aerobic activity, weightlifting, gardening and other forms of active physical exercise are grounding. Yet another good reason to do something physical! Do something demanding that demands your full concentration. Be in the physical world. Feel how firm and present it is. Physical activity has been shown to be a real benefit for people’s mental health.
The Mayo Clinic says this about exercise:
“It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements.”
Try energy triangles (you don’t need to know any maths)
This is adapted from As I See It by Betty Balcombe.
This helps to balance the yang and the yin energy in the body. You stand with your feet apart and hands stretched out above the head, forming two triangles. Your arms and hands are one triangle, the point is between your feet. The other triangle is made by your legs and feet with the point above your head. Visualise these two triangles. The triangle with its point above your head brings nurture and love and support up from the earth, and the triangle with the point between your legs is bringing energy, enthusiasm and power from the sky.
In this technique you imagine a cord running through the bottom of your feet into the earth. This cord is very strong, but it allows you to move around as you wish while staying firmly attached to the earth and everyday reality.
Thoughts of a cord may not work for you. It may feel too much like a chain. What does work? Do you have roots going into the ground? Does that help?
Using the earth for grounding
Healthline has an interesting article on grounding. The article starts by saying:
“There are many types of grounding. All of them focus on reconnecting yourself to the earth. This can be done through either direct or indirect contact with the earth.”
One of the simplest ways to ground yourself is to walk barefoot, being careful not to walk where you can be injured. You can also lay on the ground.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, you can do this in your garden. Otherwise you may need to visit a park or a beach.
Check out my blog on the benefits of nature (ecotherapy) that have been shown through sceintific research.
Remedies For Grounding
Justin Luria of Healing for Grounding suggests using Flower Remedies for grounding. The website gives a whole range of remedies for different aspects of grounding.
The essences and remedies we use for grounding are ones that work in one of the following ways:
1) They release shock and trauma from cellular consciousness
2) They bring energy down into the lower half of the body (pelvis, legs, feet, 1st and 2nd chakras)
3) They improve the relationship to nature and the earth
The approaches I have suggested are very different from each other. I’ve done this in the hope that you will find at least one that really works for you.