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The human body is far from simple, and all too often it feels as though our mind and body are separate entities. We may brush our teeth while daydreaming of our next holiday, or make a coffee while worrying that we said the wrong thing back in 2017.
While our bodies are stuck firmly in the present, our minds are able to go wherever they like! This can lead to overthinking, under-appreciating, anxiety and stress.
Grounding meditations will bring us back into our physical bodies, boosting awareness of the here and now while helping us battle the thoughts and worries of spending too much time in our heads.
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What is a Grounding Meditation?
A grounding meditation is often used in therapy and guided meditation sessions to bring you back to the here and now. It’s very similar to a typical mindfulness practice, with the aim of grounding you in the physical world.
When life gets a little overwhelming, a grounding meditation can get you out of your head and into your body. Noticing the sensations going on in your body or the sounds around you can provide a welcome respite from painful thoughts, worries or grief.
The aim isn’t to avoid these thoughts altogether. It’s to ground yourself in the physical world to help you stay strong and stable in the face of hardship.
Grounding meditations can be used to prevent flashbacks and reduce symptoms of anxiety and PTSD. They can also be used to help those stuck in a rut to see the good in their lives again, taking notice of what they had begun to take for granted.
Grounding Meditation Exercises
There’s a range of grounding meditations that can help root you into the present. A good grounding meditation will help you to feel stable and secure in your body and the physical world.
You’ll be able to focus your energy onto the present moment, and let go of worries of the past or future. MindEasy has a huge range of meditation courses to help bring you back to the here and now.
Five Senses Grounding Technique
The five senses grounding technique will encourage you to focus on physical sensations as opposed to getting lost in thoughts and feelings.
- Find a comfortable seated position, then close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
- Open your eyes and take a look around you. Out loud, name 5 things you can see.
- Name 4 things you can feel; this could be the texture of the chair, the feeling of your clothing on your skin, or the warmth of a coffee cup in front of you.
- Name 3 things you can hear. Try to pinpoint specific sounds; the patter of rain, the sound of the birds outside or the whir of the fridge.
- Name 2 things you can smell. This may be the smell of the washing powder on your clothing, or the smell of your shampoo.
- Finally, name 1 thing you can taste. If you have some food in front of you, pick it up and take a bite. Notice the taste and texture of what you’re eating, trying to pick out the different flavours.
- Finish the practice by taking a few deep breaths. You should feel more connected to the physical world around you.
A visualisation can help you to focus on the present and become more aware of the physical body.
- Sit on a chair with your feet on the ground and start to focus on the breath
- Relax your stomach, and imagine your breath flowing through your nose, down into your lungs and around your body, pushing down into each limb.
- Now breathe out deeply, and try to really feel the breath leaving the body. Try to visualise yourself breathing in relaxation, and breathing out tension.
- Notice how your body knows exactly how much breath you need. Each time you exhale, soften another part of your body.
- Continue to breathe this way for 5-10 minutes.
The human body is very complicated, and it’s impossible to pay attention to every part of it at once. This can cause us to carry tension without even realising. We may be so caught up in our stress, that we fail to notice back pain, headaches and tense muscles. A body scan can help you to release the build up of tension in the body.
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position, then take a few deep breaths.
- Begin to breathe from your belly instead of your chest, feeling your stomach rise and fall with each breath.
- Bring your attention to your feet, observing any sensations and noticing any discomfort. Gently breathe through any pain or tension you feel.
- Visualise the tension leaving your feet with each exhale.
- Continue to work up your body slowly, feeling the sensations in each body part and exhaling to release the tension. Notice any tightness, pain or pressure, then breathe through it.
- Work from your feet, up your legs, to your buttocks, hips, stomach, chest, shoulders, each arm, neck, face and finally the top of your head. Relax each part of your body as you get to it.
- Once you’ve reached the top of your head, spend a few minutes focusing on softening your entire body.
One of the best ways to feel grounded is to simply get outside. Mindful walking can be done anywhere, and can help to reignite your love for Mother Nature!
As you walk, start to focus on the movement of your legs and the feeling of your feet hitting the ground beneath you. Feeling the support of the earth, whether that’s your living room carpet, a sandy beach, or a damp pavement, can be deeply reassuring.
When you notice yourself getting lost in your thoughts, simply bring yourself back to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground. You’ll finish the practice feeling more connected to nature and your physical body.
- It’s all too easy to get lost in thoughts of the past or the future, while your body goes about its day on auto-pilot!
- Grounding yourself in the present can help ease anxiety, reduce worrying and reconnect your mind and body.
- A grounding practice can also help those suffering with panic attacks, PTSD and flashbacks.
- A Five Senses Grounding Technique can root you into the present, as you’ll learn to notice what’s going on in the physical world around you.
- A visualisation practice can give you a new appreciation and awareness of the physical body.
- Body scans can connect the mind and body. Work up the length of your body from your feet, noticing any tension and relaxing each body part with every exhale.
- Next time you go for a walk, spend some time noticing the feeling of the ground underneath your feet.