Post Updated on December 27, 2019
During a mindfulness course I took in grad school, another student and I were guiding each other through a meditation practice (which makes us sound super professional, but we were both a little bewildered by the whole ordeal).
As my partner finished guiding me through a meditation session, she asked how I was feeling. I paused to think about how I felt mentally and physically, and I told her I was calmer and more grounded than when we started the session.
To this she responded, ‘What do you mean by grounded? I hear people saying that word all the time, but I’ve never really understood what it meant.’ In all honesty, I didn’t exactly know how to explain it. It was a word I’d thrown around without giving much thought to the definition of ‘grounded’ before.
Since this might be a topic you’re seeking clarity around, let’s talk about what being grounded means, why it’s important, and how you can be more grounded.
What does it mean to be grounded?
After spending some time thinking about it, I realized that feeling grounded can mean a few things. It can mean thinking clearly instead of feeling scattered, being in-tune with my surroundings AND my thoughts, and feeling stable – mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Since the word grounded can mean something different for everyone, I asked on Instagram, ‘What does being grounded mean to you?’
Here are some of the answers I received:
“To me, grounded means a sense of home and purpose. Knowing that I have a solid base where I can flourish at my own pace.” – @sarahmichellewalsh
“It means having roots (confidence/steadiness/etc) deep enough so that when life gets tough or things feel like they fall apart, I can remain steady.” – @amandalynn_bixler
“To me it means accepting my journey and all that comes with it. Understanding that ups and downs may come, but trusting in my ability to deal with the challenges in life. Being able to separate myself from the superficial and instead connect to my raw truth.” – @isabelmurgelas
The general consensus is that being grounded involves stability, steadiness, and a solid base. It’s like the roots of a tree that keep you planted, even when everything else around you is moving. Being grounded brings you back down to earth when you get caught up in the details floating around your head.
The Importance of Feeling Grounded
Feeling grounded can mean something different for everybody, but it’s an important topic for those of us who tend to live in our own heads. Grounding exercises can be especially helpful for managing overwhelm and anxiety. When we spend too much time thinking and worrying, we get taken further away from the reality of our situation. There’s nothing wrong with a little daydreaming, but overthinking can distract us from the current moment.
A simple grounding practice
If you’re ready to recenter yourself, here’s a powerful exercise to feel more stability from within:
- Lay down or sit with your feet firmly on the ground.
- Close your eyes and imagine that you are laying down in the forest. There are trees all around you, birds are chirping, and water is trickling in a stream nearby.
- Imagine that you are slowly starting to sink into the earth. Your muscles begin to relax and your body feels heavier as you become more aware of the earth around you.
- Continue breathing as you sink deeper and deeper into the earth beneath you.
- Feel the warmth and stability of the ground around you as you let go of any ideas or thoughts that arise.
Continue this meditation for as long as you need to. And if you’re not into the whole meditation thing, you could also try this grounding yoga practice from Yoga with Adriene.
What does being grounded mean to you?
I hope this post has given you some ideas for bringing yourself back down to earth when your head is in the clouds! Remember that the meaning of being grounded is totally personal, and you know yourself best.
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