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HOW TO: practice grounding for a calmer self

Children and hippies are known for kicking off their shoes and running around barefoot. Could their free-spirited way of connecting with Mother Earth have health benefits, such as boosting immunity, regulating sleep, and reducing stress? The latest research suggests it just may be more than a boho trend.

Grounding, also known as earthing, is when humans make an electrical connection to the earth’s energies. The simplest form involves walking barefoot in the grass, dirt, or sand.

DID YOU KNOW?
According to scientists, GROUNDING may:
reduce inflammation
reduce cortisol
increase energy
increase healing speed
decrease pain
restore balance to the body

 

These techniques may help distract you from what you’re experiencing and refocus on what’s happening in the present moment.

You can use grounding techniques to help create space from distressing feelings in nearly any situation, but they’re especially helpful if you’re dealing with anxiety, sleep issues, and many other stressors.

These techniques use your five senses or tangible objects — things you can touch — to help you move through distress.

1. Put your hands in water

Focus on the water’s temperature and how it feels on your fingertips, palms, and the backs of your hands. Does it feel the same in each part of your hand?

Use warm water first, then cold. Next, try cold water first, then warm. Does it feel different to switch from cold to warm water versus warm to cold?

2. Breathe deeply

Slowly inhale, then exhale. If it helps, you can say or think “in” and “out” with each breath. Feel each breath filling your lungs and note how it feels to push it back out.

3. Savor a food or drink

Take small bites or sips of a food or beverage you enjoy, letting yourself fully taste each bite. Think about how it tastes and smells and the flavors that linger on your tongue.

4. Take a short walk

Concentrate on your steps — you can even count them. Notice the rhythm of your footsteps and how it feels to put your foot on the ground and then lift it again.

5. Pick up or touch items near you

Are the things you touch soft or hard? Heavy or light? Warm or cool? Focus on the texture and color of each item. Challenge yourself to think of specific colors, such as crimson, burgundy, indigo, or turquoise, instead of simply red or blue.

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