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Grounding Techniques

A fave meme comes to mind as I sit to write this.

Simple, beautiful line drawings. One body says “does the full moon influence you?” The other is a woman who has long hair and a dress on, both have long tendrils going from her to trees, birds the moon, etc. Her response is “a little”...

There are moments when being a divine earth Goddess type being is the most empowering and beautiful aspect of my life. There are days that holding that connection to the earth and the various inhabitants of this great planet are completely overwhelming and draining. I wouldn’t give up my magic and it’s connections for anything, no matter how much it takes. There are always amazing ways to reconnect, rejuvenate, and refill.

There are a million ways to ground oneself. To bring you back to the present when the world gets distracting, heavy, overwhelming, etc. Many people think of grounding techniques as placebo effects, or some hippy dippy, new wave way of being. The fact is our world is a big scary place right now. No matter what your spiritual belief system, no matter how in control you think you are, sometimes it’s too much and we need a moment to let it all go and simply be.

I spoke recently with an online friend who is working through a cancer diagnosis and finding just how many places in her body it is fighting her. When I asked if she had some grounding techniques to use during the waiting for results and inevitable overwhelm that comes with that, she said she was working lots to distract. It got me thinking about how distractions are absolutely necessary for when life is too much, but aren’t the same as a grounding technique.

Grounding techniques take us out of the feeling like the weight of the world is on us. It forces us to focus on something different, something outside of our worry spiral and gives us a chance to simply be in that moment.

Some amazing grounding exercises I have come across lately are:

1. Pick a color. How many items in different shades of that color can you see around the room or out of the window? If you still don’t feel fully grounded, pick another color and do it again and you should feel grounded by the second color.

2. Count Backwards by 7’s starting at 100. It isn’t that easy and needs you to concentrate. This is also very helpful if you are finding it hard to sleep after an intense dream.

3. Place your feet on the ground, imagine them being firmly planted on the dirt or grass, and in your imagination pick your favorite color to draw an outline around each foot. Start at the heel and using your imaginary pencil, slowly go up the side of your foot to your pinky toe and then make sure you draw around each toe and then go back toward the heel on the inside of the foot. Then repeat with the other foot.

4. Look around the room – go in a clockwise order and name each of all the items you see. Use adjectives and descriptions to name all the items. Ex: plant instead say vibrant green plant with dark green veins potted in a lemon yellow colour ceramic pot.

5. Describe the steps, in detail of an activity that you know how to do well. Ex: how to shoot a basketball, prepare a favorite meal, tie your shoelaces.

6. Pick up an object in the room and describe it as if you were describing it to a blind person. Describe it’s colour, texture, size, weight, scent, and any other qualities you notice.

7. Rub your palms together briskly. Notice the sounds and the feeling of warmth. Notice the redirection of energy.

8. Alternating between 3 things that you see, smell, hear and feel/touch and taking 3 slow breaths. In other words: Name 3 things that you see. Breathe in and out slowly three times. For example: I see a fan; I see a lamp fixture and I see a desk.

Name 3 things that you smell. Breathe in and out slowly three times. For example: I smell some soap on my hands, detergent on my shirt and coffee in the air.

Name 3 things that you hear. Breathe in and out slowly three times. For example: I hear the fan running, some voices of people talking in the hallway and a siren


Name 3 things you feel/touch. Breathe in and out slowly three times. For example: I

feel my feet on the ground, my tongue touching my teeth and the hair on my skin.

9. Name your favorite TV show and then name all the major characters on the show, you may even want to name the actors who play the characters.

10. Name 10 Places you want to visit and why you want to visit them. Ex: Paris – to see the Eiffel Tower, dine in the cafes and eat French food, and shop all the boutiques for trendy fashions.

Each of these alone can work to bring you back to where you are when the world is heavy. These are helpful when you are overwhelmed by politics, social justice, your job, your religion, your family, your friends, your expectations, a health crisis etc. Sometimes we are just anxious balls of worry and to get lost in a spiral of worry in our heads doesn’t help in any way. We need to get out of those worry spirals and feel like we have some say, a bit in charge of what is happening in our lives.

It can also be helpful to do these activities in a preemptive way as well. You don’t have to wait until the weight of the world is directly on your shoulders, practicing adding a grounding technique to your daily routine and see how it changes your way of going about the world. If you can release that worry, get out of that spiral on a regular basis, how much does it open you up to new opportunities? Experiences? Moments? 

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