Monday, June 30, 2014

Grounding and the Highly Sensitive Person - 2

Are you someone who feels like they can't get off the ground? Your energy is scattered and you can't contain an idea long enough to bring it into fruition. You might live in your head too much. You might give more importance to spirituality than you do to day-to-day practical matters. 

Or you might be addicted to the limitlessness of ideas and fantasy, and not be able to sort through them, pare them down. 

Your essential connection to your body might be missing. You might feel a certain sense of rootlessness, a pervading sense of having lost your home. 

Or you might feel as if you live in a constant state of emergency, and are not able to consolidate your life. 

All these are states associated with becoming ungrounded - losing your dynamic contact with the earth and not having roots that go deep enough to help sustain the life above.   

As a person who has struggled with grounding in one form or another throughout life, I have recently been exploring what grounding means in a deeper way. On one level, I have been working with the physical aspect. 

It is said that eating helps us ground. But overeating, looking at food to make ourselves solid and visible, ultimately ungrounds and disconnects us from our bodies. 

I know this in theory, but recently I had an experience that showed me that grounding combined with self-nourishment actually helps curb hunger. I have been exploring scents, and lighting a diffuser before I start writing in the morning. 

After writing, I do a gentle yoga routine with some breathing exercises, and end this routine with stamping the ground, alternating between the two feet. This is, specifically, an exercise for grounding. 

In fact, any exercise like dancing or walking that works on the feet and legs helps us drop deep down into our bodies. 

I've been feeling like the yoga puts me in contact with my body, makes me aware that I am not just a cerebral person, but someone with a body who feels good stretching and coming into contact with its aliveness. 

The scents, one of which is myrrh and the other a blend, have an almost physical effect. They are calming, soothing, and no wonder, because when I read about them, I find that the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, an area that is closely associated with emotions. In fact, it's called the emotional brain. 

So, inhaling a scent not only wakes us up to our senses, it also nourishes and fulfills a very basic part of us.

All of these rituals are about falling deeper into the body. They give an almost immediate sense of well-being. They are right at hand, and they are tools to pick up and nourish ourselves. 

Affirming the physical brings people like us - HSPs, creatives - into the here and now. It also increases our feelings of rightness, of being able to give ourselves what we need. That's extremely valuable for us. 

What do you think? What grounds you into your body? 


  1. Honestly, I'm not completely sure what "grounding" is. There are things that make me happy, like dancing, baking, henna, but what grounds me is a question I never really pondered over. Could you elaborate more about what you mean by "grounding into your body"?

    1. Grounding, as I am coming to understand it, is a very broad concept. Anodea Judith, who is a somatic therapist, talks about grounding like this; "Grounding orients us in time and space, and connects us to the environment. Being grounded gives us a source of strength through connection to our body and environment. Physically, this happens through the legs and feet, through which excitement is passed up into the body and excess is discharged downwards into the ground." She talks about how, when we are grounded, "our attention is concentrated in the here and now" and that "our experience is direct, sensate, immediate" Grounding involves "merging into gravity, and descending deeply into the vehicle of the body." This is, of course, a broad definition that needs more elaboration. For me, I started being interested in the concept of grounding because it is a way to discharge excess energy (stress, an overload of emotions). Just like a lighting rod protects by sending the excess voltage of a building into the ground, in the same way, when we are overloaded by the tensions of everyday life, we can ground them into the larger body of the earth. This sounds esoteric, but Anodea Judith talks about how there have been scientific measurements that show that when we are standing on the ground, our bodies are electrically grounded as well. Plus, there is an electrostatic field surrounding the earth. So, the body's natural frequency resonates with the Earth's ionosphere. "Connecting physically to this great body, as in walking or lying on the Earth, our own bodies enter into this resonance more deeply." The excess, harmful build up of energy travels down our legs and feet and out of us. So, grounding is a way of coping with stress. This is just the starting point to explore what grounding means, and as I explore more, more layers are being added to it. I think most of us naturally do things that are grounding, even if we don't think of it in that way. Anything that works on the legs and feet is grounding, so I would say that, dance, by that definition, grounds us as well. I couldn't find the exact place in the book where Judith talks about dance, but I remember her mentioning it. She talks about how our physical connection to our bodies is important, and in addition to grounding, that can happen in many ways. Anything that brings us in the here and now can do that. She mentions making things by hand, so baking comes under that :) For me, lately, I am starting to notice that scents bring me out of my mind, and into the present and into my body. Hope that was helpful ! From what I know of you, my guess is that you have good grounding.

  2. lying on the ground is great for me! .so appreciate your commentary..thanks for putting yourself out there so I can know others feel the same!

    1. That sounds great ! I love nature too. And glad it resonated. Thank you for reading.

  3. Very beautiful blog . I read your article
    in Tiny Buddha . Keep writing ! God bless you !

    1. Thank you! I am glad my writing connected with you !