5 Techniques To Keep You Calm and Grounded
Updated: Feb 5, 2020
Being grounded essentially means that you feel safe and secure within yourself, having a stable foundation that allows you to deal with the ups and downs of life.
Grounding techniques can sometimes have an instant calming effect as they redistribute energy from your mind into your body.
When we come back into the body, we come back to our true nature.
You’ve heard the saying “down to earth”: it refers to those people that don’t get easily wound up or stressed, even in times of danger they remain calm and connected (aware/conscious).
It was during a time of transition in my life that I started to have panic attacks while flying. This had never happened to me before and I hated the feeling of not being in control. I wasn’t scared of flying, but every time I got on a plane it would happen and I wanted to know why - I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life taking prescription drugs.
My panicking was the result of the “fight or flight” response, where the brain signals danger and all energy floods to your extremities to flee. But obviously on a plane there is nowhere to run, so I would have to sit with my panic.
The attacks started creeping into my daily life (job interviews, elevator rides, etc.), therefore I began looking into grounding techniques, needing to get out of my head in order to stop the attack. Alongside bringing Reiki into my life, I also used the following techniques whenever I felt the anxiety begin bubbling up.
Feeling grounded directly correlates to our Root chakra (known as Muladhara in Sanskrit), with its stabilising life force energy relating to our basic instincts for food, water, shelter and love. For this reason it’s the most important chakra to understand when looking to ground yourself.
Starting our 'grounding' methods with a simple but effective one...
Method 1: Breathing In Nature
Place your feet on the earth, either standing directly in nature or sitting in a chair with your feet on natural material (ideally).
Bring all your attention to the bottom of your feet. Gently move the weight forward and back between your heals and your toes, and when you are ready, find your centre.
Extend the spine long by relaxing the shoulders, and adding a very slight tuck of your chin to lengthen the neck.
Now inhale from the top of your head (your crown chakra), breath filling your lungs, moving down the spine to fill your belly. Exhale and let the air move from your belly, up your spine, emptying the lungs.
It might take a minute or two to get the breath moving this way, but keep it slow and steady and continue for a few minutes. This is a great technique for calming the nervous system before you do your meditation.
When breathing it's important to remember the lungs are over-engineered to accomplish the job that we ask them to do. In healthy people even at maximum exercise intensity, we only use 70 percent of the possible lung capacity.
Lung capacity actually predicts health and longevity. They also decline from the age of 30 so it’s really important to exercise your lungs through breath work and Pranayama - scroll down to method 5 for three more techniques to try.
Method 2: Connecting Yourself To The Earth (“earthing”)
Humans are beings of energy - this energy is called Prana in Ayurvedic medicine, Reiki in Reiki Healing and Chi in Chinese medicine - the idea behind 'earthing' is transferring negatively charged electrons from the earth into the body - in turn neutralising our positively charged electrons (which cause inflammation in the body and damages our cardiovascular health).
When we are disconnected from the earth, our bodies are short-circuiting, which can result in an array of physical, emotional, and mental disorders.
Connecting to the Earth grounds us and re-balances our energy.
Taking a walk barefoot, on the sand or earth
Gardening, and connecting mindfully to your environment
Standing like a tree
Rolling around in the grass (as a kid or dog would); or perhaps practice some mat-based yoga poses in the sand
Swimming in a waterfall, ocean or any natural body of water
Method 3: Reiki Level Two Technique
The two main methods that I used for my panic attacks were from Reiki 2.
I draw the “power” symbol on the bottom of my feet (ideally with a red non toxic pen) on the day of the flight. The symbol activates the Root chakra so even when miles up in the sky, you still have sensitivity and connection to the earth. As the Root chakra centres around safety, it helps harness the power of security and trust. This is an excellent way to remain grounded no matter what the day brings.
Note: in order to activate the morphic field in which symbols reside, you must be attuned by a Reiki Master.
Method 4: Moon Yoga
The traditional Hatha yoga Moon practice works with long holds, long exhalations, gentle locking (lifting) of the root lock, guiding your awareness inwards calming the parasympathetic system (which consists of nerves arising from the brain and the lower end of the spinal cord and supplying the internal organs, blood vessels, and glands). Sometimes called the “rest and digest” system, the parasympathetic system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.
‘Apana vayu’ is a descending force in nature, and its primary function is to eliminate; it’s also responsible for grounding and embodiment. So yoga sequences with forward folds and gentle twisting enable the downward force of ‘apana vayu’ to enable our system to eliminate unwanted residues/toxins both from the body and the mind.
Moon sequences create a stable foundation in the body and calmness in the mind, allowing us to feel safe, let go, and connect to the world we live in.
Try coming to a Moon class - you can find timings and book online here.
Method 5: Pranayama
Pranayama is the regulation of the breath and it's all about being in the present. If we are living in the moment, there is no depression (living in the past) and no anxiety (worrying about the future), as we have everything we need right here.
As we begin to shape or breath consciously, the mind has no choice but to respond. To maintain the conscious hold of the breath, the mind must remain present.
It’s very simple: if we make our breath more calm, easeful and balanced, then WE become more calm, easeful and balanced.
SAVITRI technique - named after the Goddess, Savitri
There is no other breath that offers such supreme balance to the nervous system and mind.
Sit in any comfortable cross legged or kneeling position so that the spine is lengthened.
Lengthen both the inhalation and exhalation to an internal 8 count.
After becoming established in this balanced breath, begin to hold the breath in for four counts at the top of the inhalation and at the end of the exhalation.
Inhale for 8 counts, hold the breath in for 4 counts, exhale for 8 counts, hold the breath out for 4 counts (8,4,8,4).
Continue to practice Savitri for 27 rounds, which will take between 12 and 15 minutes.
Complete the practice with a short meditation to fully receive the gifts of the practice.
CHANDRA BHEDANA technique
Speaks to the cool and calm energy of the moon and mind. This practice has a strong cooling effect on the body and a grounding and stabilising effect on the mind.
Inhale left nostril, and exhale through the right only.
Repeat for 5 or more minutes, depending on the time you have.
If you want to increase the potency of the practice, hold the breath for a few counts after exhaling
NADI SHODHANA technique
To balance the energies throughout the nervous system.
Nadi Shodhana is the classic alternate-nostril breath. Using an appropriate hand Mudra, draw the
Breathe in through the right nostril.
Then let out through the left.
The next inhalation is drawn in through the left, and out through the right.
Continue alternating back and forth like this.
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Being grounded allows us to remain focused, centred, and open to what is actually happening in our lives. It also helps us feel gratitude and joy, becoming less reactive and more stable.
Go and try these techniques... a little grounding every day can go a long way!