What Do We Mean By The Term ‘Grounded’? The word ‘grounded’ gets thrown about a lot, almost unconsciously sometimes. We might hear it in a yoga class or describe a friend as ‘very grounded’, but what do we really mean? The term is almost always used to describe someone positively, and rarely will being ‘grounded’ denote inferiority or negativity. So why is it so good to be grounded and how can we have more of ‘it’ in our lives?
What It Isn’t
In order to know what something is, it’s helpful to know what it’s not. The Cambridge English dictionary states the definition as: ‘Someone who is grounded makes good decisions and does not say or do stupid things’. Now, the terms ‘good’ and ‘stupid’ are arguably philosophically objective concepts and not truths, but from this definition, we can clearly see that being un-grounded is not something or someone you ideally want to be. The Oxford English dictionary defines it as ‘well balanced and sensible’, so from that one can say the opposite is to be un-balanced and foolish perhaps; things that we are all capable of at any moment but also that generally speaking, we try to avoid.
There is a wisdom that comes from foolishness, the lessons learnt and the mistakes made. There is a benefit in allowing oneself to become unbalanced, to be ‘up in the clouds’, and ‘away with the fairies’; all life has purpose and meaning but ultimately we each desire peace of mind. We desire and need stability, clarity and confidence in our thoughts and actions. Being ‘grounded’ encapsulates all these qualities. And I think that’s why very grounded people are often admired or respected so much. We all desire to be more stable, to make decisions wisely, to be present in each moment. In fact, I would argue that being grounded is synonymous with being fully present.
Why Is It Important?
When we are not present in the here and now with our body, mind and soul, we are therefore elsewhere as such; for where are we if we are not here? The use of the word ‘ground’ in the concept is the key I think. What is the ground? It’s the earth, it’s what we walk on, what sustains us, what nurtures and provides for us; it is our deepest, most fundamental connection. And being grounded is very much about being connected; being connected to our true selves, our higher selves. This can be very difficult because our egoic mind wants to take us off into the world of doubt, the past and future, into the victim mentality of shame, regret and worry.
When we are truly present in this moment, we are grounded into the now, the past and future along with the victim mentality disappears for a moment, allowing us to see things for what they are. When we can see ourselves clearly, we can make better choices, we can stop being reactive to situations based on the past or future fears or concerns. When we are grounded we are in control. Life stops happening to us and instead we start creating the life we want for ourselves, we take back the power. We connect with what is true and real.
I do not pretend for one moment that this is a simple or easy task. The reasons why it can be difficult to be grounded are never ending and specific to each person and their story. But like everything in life, in order to get better at it, we need to practice. Little by little, taking the time to ground oneself each day can have life changing effects.
6 Simple Ways To Stay Grounded
Here is a list of ways you can help yourself to stay more grounded: All of these work great, combined!
Our breath is our greatest tool for grounding. This is because we can only breathe in the present moment, so if you focus your attention on your breath, you are focusing your attention on the present moment. Come back to your breath whenever your notice yourself slipping away from the present moment. Taking three deep breaths before doing pretty much anything will help to centre and calm any situation and enable you to have more clarity and control over yourself.
2. Get Physical, Get Feeling
As mentioned before, feeling into the body can really help with grounding oneself. Just like with the breath, your body is always in the present moment, so feeling into it can really help to stay grounded. This can happen with movement or without. At any moment, you can tune in with your body and feel. Tai Chi is especially good for grounding.
Another direct way of connecting with the present. Take a moment to listen carefully to all the different sounds around you. With no judgment, just listen and do nothing else.
This is a classic because it really works. Take a moment to be still and imagine that you have roots growing from the bottom of your feet deep down into the earth. Fell the pull, connection and stability the earth gives us. Be with this feeling and breathe into it until you feel more grounded.
5. Oil Up
Essential oils are great tools to have around to help connect and ground. I would recommend trying base oils like Spikenard, Sandalwood and Frankincense and applying them to the soles of your feet (always with a carrier oil).
6. Connect With Miss Mother Nature
Take a walk in the park and if you can, take off your shoes and socks, like a child relish in the pure simplicity of feeling the grass between your toes while soaking in the delights of the trees and plants.