Grounding Techniques – How They Work
Do you suffer from stress, anxiety, PTSD, trauma, dissociation or panic? If so, bodygrounding techniques can give you significant relief.
Of course, by itself getting grounded and into your body will not “cure” you. Yet psychologists recognize that healing these and many other issues requires that you get back into your body.
What do I mean by getting back into the body? If you’re alive, you’re living in your body, aren’t you? Yes and no. Yes, if your heart beats and you breathe, you’re alive in your body. Yet, just because you have a body doesn’t mean you live there!
In fact, many persons spend most of their lives in their heads. Pain, stress, anxiety, hurt, trauma has driven them into their heads where they detach themselves from feeling their emotions and their bodies. These persons chose wisely to protect themselves from pain. Yet, their choice to live in the head, cut off from life.
When the pain of being detached from life exceeds the pain that they wish to defend against, they choose to come alive again. The question is, when you want to become more alive, how do you get back into your body? How do you redevelop a grounded way of life?
How Body Grounding Techniques Get You Back into Your Body
There’s an old principle: energy follows thought. Let’s see how grounding exercises use that principle to relieve and heal you when you’re ungrounded.
The many different ways to ground yourself have one thing in common: each technique guides you to experience your body’s sensations and to experience the here and now of your life through your senses.
When you do body grounding exercises, such as the “The Curl” (see A Free Grounding Technique), the posture or movement of the exercise will increase your body’s sensations. Yet just standing in a special posture or doing a special movement doesn’t ground you. You also have to bring all of your attention to your body’s sensations, and fully experience them.
With your attention experiencing your increased bodily sensations, your energy redistributes itself back into and throughout your body. You feel rooted, grounded. You feel here, now.
Many Different Grounding Techniques for Different Purposes
Some grounding exercises work wonders to relieve you when you’re momentarily upset. Perhaps your child just pushed you over the edge, or your boss just did something that really angered you. An exercise like The Curl can quickly ground you, and restore your sense of balance.
Many persons experience being ungrounded as a way of life, not because of a momentary upset. Day in, day out, all day they live in their heads. They have good reason to be ungrounded. They may suffer from dissociation or depersonalization caused by trauma, abuse, PTSD, chronic anxiety or stress. The pain and stress of life drove them to live from the safety of the head.
Chronic ungroundedness results in chronic tensions of the body. These tensions restrict the body’s flow of energy and awareness. Muscle tensions may cut off the torso from the ground making it difficult for persons to feel their legs and feet. Chest muscles tighten to reduce feelings. Neck and shoulders tighten to isolate the head from the body.
Body grounding exercises can be done indoors or outdoors, at home or at the office. While many exercises can be done alone, some can even be done with partners. I remember two clients with whom I worked. They shared a cubicle at work. I chuckled when one of the clients shared with me that they found grounding so important that when either one of them got upset, the other would remind her and even sometimes help her to ground!
If you’re interested in learning more about how grounding techniques can help you, feel welcome to explore the links below to The Getting Grounded Manual and the Body Sensing Meditation CD.