What does being grounded mean?

“Ground yourself” is a phrase frequently used in breathwork, meditation and yoga. But what does being grounded mean, and how do you ground yourself?

To ground yourself means to balance your physical, emotional, mental states and to be present in all these aspects. When you are grounded, you feel a sense of stability, inner peace and calm. You open yourself up to all sensations and allow yourself to experience them. You bring yourself and your mind to the present moment and live in the now without judgement. You stop overthinking and feel the physical and the spiritual world around you, fully experiencing your body and surroundings. Grounding lets you tap into your power, nourish yourself and create a strong relationship with yourself.  

Grounding also has a more literal implication where you feel your connection to the earth beneath your feet (even if you are standing in your living room), feel (or imagine) your roots going deep into the ground, helping you stand tall and strong.

So, what happens when you are ungrounded?

Being ungrounded is the feeling of being a spectator in your own life instead of living with intent.

When you are ungrounded, you are easily distracted, unconnected to your body, constantly living in the past or the future, feeling overwhelmed. You are influenced by other people, trying to please them, living according to their expectations. You feel lost.

If you feel stressed out and anxious, if you are constantly distracted and having trouble focusing or sleeping, you could benefit from grounding exercises. Grounding techniques can be anything that brings your attention to the present. The fastest way to do that is by focusing on your breath. Without using any particular technique, only by focusing on the sensation of air going into and out of your body, you can bring your awareness to the present and start calming your mind.

Box breathing or square breathing is a very helpful technique to get back into your body, focus on the present and calm your mind. In this technique, you breathe in for a count of 5, hold for 5, breathe out for a count of 5 and again hold for 5.

A meditation exercise called 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 exercise is also an excellent way to focus on your body and sensations. In this exercise, you identify 5 objects you see, 4 sounds you hear, 3 textures you feel, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste.