Do you just feel incredibly awake right now? Perhaps you are feeling a bit of a sensory overload. We have finally emerged from what has felt like an impossibly long winter, followed by a cold, and dark spring. We also spent so much of this last year indoors. Many of us, spending so much time in a two-dimensional world that accompanies screens. While they bring us joy, the bright colors of this landscape - the vibrant and almost electric greens, the neon flashing lights of blooming flowers, the profound light that now illuminates the day - might also feel as though they are slamming into our ocular nerves. Perhaps it feels a little like emerging after quite a long time from a dark cave into the glaring light of the sun. That’s the thing about duality right? We can feel both. We can feel deep gratitude for the warm sun upon our cheeks, but still feel like parts of us have not yet quite shaken off the deep rest of winter. We can feel thankful for the deeply dense foliage we have not seen in quite some time, but still grieve the passing of the softer, quieter, rainy days. Essentially, what we are saying is that there is a lot of energy buzzing about the world right now, from the smallest insects to the intensity of the bright blue sky above us. And while we can be grateful for this, and welcome it, we also understand if it also feels a little jarring.
Photo by Heather McKean on Unsplash[/caption] And that’s the thing about summer - one day it just sort of arrives. It’s one of those funny phenomenons where we wait so long for it to come, and then all of the sudden it is just here, but we never quite heard it knock on the door. And much like the energy of the season, it feels like a fire ignited. Everything moves at a faster pace, the days are longer, which allows for more time engaged in activities, and perhaps we all feel just a little more pressure to do as much as possible because we know this season is quite short and it is not here to stay. And if the buzzing, busy, excited energy has you feeling a little overwhelmed, know that that is okay.
On GroundingAs we have explored before on this blog, we are energetic beings inhabiting this planet. Everything interacts with one another via different vibrational frequencies. This is why living in alignment with the seasons and the rhythms of nature can have such profound effects on our wellbeing, with self-awareness being a key place to start. For example, feeling overwhelmed at the onslaught of summer does not necessarily mean that you are living completely out of alignment with your environment, but what it does mean is that you may need to incorporate different types of holistic practices into your daily routine that help you feel more in balance with the energies that surround you. If you are someone who is perhaps more likely to feel things such as anxiety, nervousness, or prone to stress, it is likely that high energy times such as those which accompany summer can increase these emotions or states in your body and mind. One such practice for feeling more at ease is grounding. The practice of grounding is the practice of allowing oneself to feel energetically rooted and connected to the Earth. It is the practice of feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually present and stable. The Earth is an ancient energy, moving slowly and methodically, and by grounding, we tap into this energy within ourselves.
In addition to spiritual and emotional benefits, a grounding practice can result in the following improvements in the body:
- Decreased Pain and Stress Levels. A grounding practice encourages the body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol to normalize. As a result, such bodily stress responses as inflammation, elevated blood sugar levels, increased heartbeat, or feelings of anxiety also reduce.
- A Strengthened Immune System. It is believed that grounding promotes electrical conductivity in the body that functions similar to that of an antioxidant-like immune system defense.
- Improved Circulation. Grounding is most commonly associated with, and made more effective by, deep breathing. This allows for a flush of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the body, which in turn increases the blood flow in the body.
- Improved Muscle Recovery. Research has shown that a grounding practice following exercise showed reduced muscle damage and pain in participants.
How to Ground
While the foundation of grounding is about connecting with the energy of the Earth, it is also important to do so in a way that also feels right and authentic to you. One example is through visualization. A common tradition that is used is picturing oneself seated upon the Earth, and visualizing roots sprouting from your root chakra, or light center. Picture the roots extending deep into the soil below, stretching far into the ground, holding you securely upon the surface of the Earth. Breath deeply, focusing on this feeling of stability and the present moment. Allow your thoughts to come and go without judgement, but also pay attention to the environment around you. Closing your eyes can help with focus. Are the birds singing? Can you feel the breeze lifting your hair? What do you feel? Express gratitude for the ability to connect with the Earth in this moment and feel deep alignment. If you are someone who prefers a bit of movement, one can still feel grounded but not have to be seated. For this method, it is crucial that you kick off your shoes, step outside, and allow your bare feet to be upon the Earth. Allow yourself to truly feel the grass and soil beneath you, breathing deeply as you walk. Be intentional - allow yourself to feel the subtle vibrations of the Earth moving from your feet into your body. What effect does this have on you? The term for the practice of standing or walking barefoot upon the earth with the intention of connecting to the vibrational energy of the planet is known as Earthing. Jokingly called “Vitamin G” by Dr. Stephan Sinatra of the Heart MD Institute, the alignment in electrical frequencies from the Earth with your body actually has “the ability to restore and stabilize the bioelectrical circuitry that governs your physiology and organs, harmonize your basic biological rhythms, boost self-healing mechanisms, reduce inflammation and pain, and improve your sleep and feeling of calmness.”
Herbs to Support GroundingThis post would just not be complete without incorporating the wisdom and medicine of our plant allies. Many herbs help promote a sense of calm, quiet the mind, and help us find the space we seek to align with the rhythms of the Earth. Herbs to support a grounding practice include:
- Rose. Rose is an incredible ally to support heart opening. A grounding practice brings us into the present, and encourages us to find gratitude in the present moment, and in ourselves. Rose softens our walls and guards we have placed around us, and invites us to be more willing to receive the abundant and healing energy of the Earth.
- Skullcap. Lovingly called Skullcap as it is an ally that literally is known to put a “cap on one’s skull,” this herb helps to quiet a busy mind. While it teeters on the edge of being a hypnotic herb for some, or an herb that induces sleep, its greatest strength is in helping to alleviate a buzzing, active brain. Grounding can be difficult if there are a lot of thoughts that seem to be difficult to let go of. Skullcap helps bring a sense of stillness.
- Chamomile. Chamomile is such a comfort. This beautiful floral herb not only brings a sense of quiet and calm, but also a sense of serenity. This herb helps to bring balance to our nervous system, allowing us to relax and release tension.
- Lavender. Lavender is well-known for its calming properties, especially when used as an aromatherapy. Lavender feels like a deep, nourishing breath. Additionally, lavender has energetic abilities that help us tap into the more dormant recesses of our mind, allowing us to be more inquisitive, intentional, and thoughtful - creating the perfect mental space for us to receive the wisdom of the Earth’s energy.
- Lockett, Eleesha, MS. “Grounding: Exploring Earthing Science and the Benefits Behind It.” Healthline. 30 August 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding
- Sinatra, Stephen T, M.D. “What is Earthing or Grounding?” Heart MD Institute. 2021. Retrieved from:
- Zucker, Martin, et al. “Grounding the Human Body: The Healing Benefits of Earthing.” Chopra. 7 September 2019. Retrieved from: https://chopra.com/articles/grounding-the-human-body-the-healing-benefits-of-earthing