We don’t have one practice or one how to ground yourself meditation that works for everyone, so here are a few different ways to practice in daily life and in more formal meditation practice. We have breathing exercises, body scans, morning meditations and more. Investigate for yourself what you find useful! You can also try using some essential oils for meditation to help you ground yourself.
We don’t need to necessarily have a formal meditation practice to mindfully work toward grounding ourselves during our days, although it can be quite helpful. you can always meditate during your day with a 5 minute meditation or a one minute grounding practice. Here are a few other things you can do to ground yourself in everyday life:
Breathing deeply is a great practice to help you ground yourself. You can do this anywhere you go. Whether you’re working, driving, or walking, take a moment to feel the body breathing. You can tune into the different places where you may feel the breath, such as the abdomen, chest, or nostril. Breathing can actually affect the nervous system, stimulating the vagus nerve and calming the body. When we make the exhale longer than the inhale, we engage the parasympathetic nervous system even further.
Try taking a breath in for two seconds, then exhaling for four. Then take a breath in for four seconds, and exhale for six. You can continue up, elongating the breath as much as you’re comfortable. We can do this without anyone knowing we are practicing, and we can really do it anywhere. The breath is always with us, and it’s a great anchor to which we can return any time during our days.
Finger breathing is a practice first introduced to us by a yoga therapist we know. It simply is another way we can ground ourselves in the breath, utilizing the added experience of moving and touching our fingers. Start with your thumb at the base of your index finger. As you inhale, slide the thumb up the index finger and gently squeeze at the tip. As you exhale, slide the thumb down the index finger. You can continue on to your middle finger, ring finger, and pinky. Try doing this just one time back-and-forth from the index finger to the pinky.
The point behind this practice is that we ground ourselves in both the breath and the hands. When we find ourselves anxious, wandering, or needing to feel grounded, we often aren’t calm in our bodies. This practice can help us tune into relatively neutral sensations in the body and return to the physical sense of being.
Feeling the Body
Although the breath is a great tool with which we can work, it sometimes doesn’t offer the perfect fit. Especially with those who experience anxiety and panic attacks, focusing on the breath can actually cause some anxiety to arise. You may try tuning in instead to where the body is, even doing a body scan. Start by tuning into the points of contact where the body is resting. If you’re sitting, this may be the feeling of your butt in a chair and gravity holding you down. If you’re standing, this may be the sensation of the feet on the floor. You may also notice where the hands and arms are resting, and if you can feel the clothes on the body.
You may open up to see what else is going on in the body. Can you feel the breath? Where is it most easily felt? You can also tune into any tension in the body, feelings of relaxation, and if there is any movement. The practice here is simply to notice what is arising and be where you are. Ground yourself in the present moment and be where you are. When the mind gets active, just return to the place where your body is touching the chair or floor.
Stop and Listen
When we think of mindfulness and meditation practices, we often think of the body and the breath. But we can also use other sense-doors to ground ourselves. We can stop and listen any time throughout our days. If you’re sitting in an office working, set the intention to be mindful for a minute of the sounds you can hear. What comes up? When you’re out and about, tune into the noises coming and going. This can help us arrive in the present-time experience we’re having. It also can be quite interesting, as we realize that we hear much more than we generally realize.
Ground Your Hands
This practice comes to us from a friend of ours who is a researcher specializing in psychosomatic disorders. This is a visualization technique in which we imagine that our hands are growing warm and heavy. You can rest your hands wherever they are, and try to feel your hands as warming and growing in weight. When our sympathetic nervous system gets activated, hands often feel light and cool. As we do this practice, we engage the parasympathetic nervous system and ground ourselves back into the present moment and where we are.
There are a few meditations we like as grounding meditations. You may find our favorites below along with guided meditations. These meditations are suitable for beginners, so go ahead and give them a shot! We also have some guided meditation scrips available for free download here.
Grounding into the Body
This is a body scan meditation that is a great grounding practice. In this practice, we move through the body slowly and look at each spot in the body to see what is present.
Grounding Walking Practice
Walking meditation is something that many people don’t really take seriously. However, the Buddha recommended practicing meditation in other postures than sitting, and specifically while walking. We can take this formal practice and translate it to daily life easily.
Grounding in the Breath
As you may do throughout your days, grounding yourself in the breath during formal meditation is an immensely useful practice. This is one of our favorite ways to ground into the body.
Grounding Metta Practice
Metta may not be a traditional practice of grounding, but it is a great tool for grounding yourself. As we practice metta, we can settle into a concentrated and stable state.
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