What is grounding?You have probably heard it said to you when asked what you can do to feel less anxious. You get the response ‘ground’ yourself. But what does that actually mean? Grounding yourself can take on various forms, but what they all have in common is that you divert your attention from your mind to your body. Using the six step method below and adapting the suggestions to suit you, you can create your very own ritual to ground yourself.
Why creating your own ritual works better than just following other people’s suggestions?Everyone is unique. We all have our reasons to feel what we feel and these are different for every individual. The things that work in reducing anxiety for one person just might not work for you, in fact some suggestions might just make things worse. For example – I hear time and time again when someone says ‘I feel anxious or overwhelmed’….’How about you meditate’. Whilst meditation does work for many it is a skill that takes time to develop and when one is already feeling anxious it can be difficult to calm down a super busy mind. You end up feeling more anxious and frustrated and overwhelmed, because that busy mind is just even busier now than it was before. Been there? By creating your own ritual you can put together an action sequence that you know will help you shift from feeling anxious to feeling calm (or whatever else you want to feel), because you have created and developed it yourself. The beauty is you can adapt and change it to include the things that work for you. You can decide how long it takes depending on your circumstances from a couple of minutes to an hour. Below is a guide to help you create your very own personalised ritual. Ideally put aside some time to work through this and create your own ritual. Whilst creating and developing your ritual remember there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ there is however ‘this works for me’ and ‘this doesn’t’. Once you have created your ritual you can use it whenever you start feeling anxious. It might take a few trials and adaptations to make it as useful and effective to you as possible, so be patient and kind with yourself whilst you are experimenting.
And of course if the feeling of anxiety gets too overwhelming seek support and help.
Step 1: Set the Ritual Intention
The ritual doesn’t have to take long, but the intention of the ritual should be clear to you every time you perform it. For example ‘This ritual brings me peace of mind and calm’.
Step 2: Connect to the Ground
Find your way to connect to the ground. For example:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and notice your feet connecting to the ground or
- Marching on the spot, really being aware of your feet connecting to the ground with every step
- Sitting on the ground (not chair) noticing your sitting bones connected to the ground
- Hold a stone (a bigger one that has some weight) and notice the weight of the stone in your hands
Step 3: Connect to your feelings and their location in your body & move them
Move your whole body. By moving your body differently you can shift and change the way you feel. Find a way to move that includes flicks and imagine letting go of tension with every flick. Then imagine feeling calm and move as if you felt calm and relaxed for example. Find movements that flow from one into the other as smoothly as possible, move your hips as this will help move your legs and your upper body. Sway, be fluid. Allow your body to move as it wishes to. You might find it easier to do this with some music that makes you feel the way you want to feel. Choose a track that you enjoy and keep it easily accessible so that you can use it when needed. You can also join one of my online group sessions to learn more about the power movement has on your feelings. To book into the next workshop click here.
Step 4: Connect to your breath
As you continue to move become aware of your breath. You can slow your movements down to do this, or stand still, or continue to move using your breath as the initiator of every movement. Then slow your breath down. Breath out for longer than you breath in.
Step 5: Connect and integrate the new way of feeling/ being
Find a way to be aware of the feeling you want to feel and integrate it within you. For example: Think of the colour of the feeling you want to feel. Imagine the colour or feeling to surround you and run through you. Or think about how you want to feel (eg. happy, content, calm,….) how would that feeling feel in your body? Imagine feeling it right now and move as if you are feeling that way.
Step 6: Ending your ritual
Decide on a way to end your ritual. This could be a word you say to yourself, a specific movement, the music track coming to an end. What would work for you?