When I search back in time for my happiest memories, I see my eight-year-old self during the peak of an entire summer spent in the countryside. I am gingerly making my way across large, smooth stones as I follow a river flowing downstream. After weeks of running around without shoes, my calloused feet are comfortable on the sun-heated rocks. I’m both relaxed and energized, brimming with joy and vitality.
It turns out that part of what made me feel so wonderful all those decades ago was that I was grounding—making an energetic connection to the earth through the soles of my bare feet. “The frequency of the earth’s energy is slow, so it calms our anxieties and quiets our spinning minds,” says Wendy De Rosa, author, energy healer, and founder of the School of Intuitive Studies. “When we’re energetically anchored into the earth, we feel safe, centered, and supported.”
De Rosa explains that whether it’s sand, sea, soil, grass, or rock, when we’re in direct connection with the earth, its ions are actually linking with the ions in our body. “This creates a physiological response that relaxes our nervous system and supports the health of other systems in our body, including digestion and elimination.”
In this busy world, where most of us are perennially linked to technology and bombarded with a constant stream of highly charged information from around the globe, it’s easy to stay stuck in our heads and become chronically ungrounded. “Technology is energy. The news is energy. Social media is energy. Everything we take in is some form of energy,” explains De Rosa. “From the minute we wake up and look at our phone, our energy can elevate to our upper body and stay there for the entire day.”
How Grounding Anchors Our Energy
Grounding anchors our energy in the lower half of our body, bringing a sense of calm and stability. Not only do we feel more present and embodied when we’re grounded, we are also clearer and more confident because grounding brings us back in touch with our inner wisdom. “When we’re not grounded, we often override both our intuition and our body’s signals,” says De Rosa. “It’s easy to give ourselves away—to become boundaryless or powerless. But when we’re grounded and connected to our deepest truth and authentic needs, we have a strong foundation.”
A key ingredient to staying grounded is to become aware of when we’re not grounded. In addition to noticing that our energy has moved into the top half our bodies, the many symptoms of being ungrounded can include:
An inability to stay mindful and present
Feeling anxious or overwhelmed, or having spinning thoughts
Difficulty concentrating, and being mentally scattered or forgetful
Feeling disconnected from our bodies
Energy imbalances; feeling drained or hyper
Being confused and indecisive
Experiencing physical symptoms, such as headaches and indigestion
Wendy De Rosa’s Three Steps to Getting Grounded
The good news is that when we can’t walk barefoot along a river in the summertime to get grounded, we have other options. In fact, we can get grounded anywhere, anytime, by using the power of self-awareness, intention, visualization, and breath. De Rosa teaches three steps to living a more grounded life:
1) Practice Self-Check-ins
The first step is to regularly check in with how we are feeling both physically and emotionally, honestly and unapologetically. “Despite pressures from the outside, you must make it a priority to stay in touch with how you are doing,” says De Rosa. “Take moments throughout your day to tune in and ask yourself, ‘What am I feeling? Am I aware of my feet and legs? What do I need right now?’”
In addition to the demands coming at us from the people in our lives and our various responsibilities, the world is always full of traumatic events that technology brings right into the palm of our hand. “If we want to stay healthy and balanced, we must learn to manage this enormous amount of incoming energy, which means prioritizing self-awareness and self-care,” says De Rosa. “We’re never going to be able to control everything that’s going on outside of us, but we can and must control our own way of relating to ourselves and others. Staying in close touch with how we are feeling is foundational to staying grounded.”
2) Protect Your Energetic Boundaries
De Rosa teaches that our personal energetic space extends to 12 inches outside our physical body, give or take a few inches—it does not begin and end at our skin. This is why we can feel other people’s energy when we don’t actually make physical contact.
As we begin to discern our own energetic field, we will notice when the energy of other people or the collective penetrates our personal space. “Each of us is in charge of protecting ourselves. This means that we need to consciously instill some type of personal boundary, and continuously monitor what we want to allow in and what we prefer to keep out.”
De Rosa advises people to imagine a bubble of light extending roughly 12 inches all around them. “If something is coming in that’s too much for your personal energy to process, you are in charge of setting it outside,” she says. “You can literally lift your hands up and physically push it away. This will not make you disconnected. Rather, it will allow you to make decisions from a clear, grounded place.”
Sometimes setting a boundary can be accomplished energetically, while at other times it will also require a practical step, such as taking a media break, getting offline, or going outside for a walk. “Listen to yourself and honor your needs,” De Rosa urges. “When you are connected to your inner wisdom, it will guide you.”
3) Establish a Grounding Cord
“Imagine a tree trunk wrapped firmly around your hips, lower belly, low spine, and sit bones,” De Rosa instructs. “It has strong roots that go deep into the earth, securely anchoring you. This is your grounding cord—your energetic pipeline into the energy of the earth that opens up the energy flow in the base of your body. Your grounding cord helps your soul to take a deep seat inside your body.”
Once our grounding cord is established, we can harness the power of our breath to ground. “Inhale, and then with each exhale, sense your energy moving down,” she continues. “Invite your body to soften and let go. Ask it to discharge any tension or old emotions you’ve been holding. Encourage yourself to release anything that your mind, heart, muscles, energy system, or spirit no longer needs to carry.”
De Rosa says we can imagine our soul expanding inside our body, stretching out through our legs, and expanding through our arms, taking up all of our internal space. “When you allow for more of the light from your soul to shine through your body, it is strengthening and empowering,” she says.
Finding Safety in Our Bodies
While grounding feels wonderful and supports our long-term health and wellbeing, when we move back into our bodies after being perennially ungrounded, a backlog of long-ignored or suppressed emotions may sometimes surface. When this happens, De Rosa advises us to imagine a flower at the base of our tailbone with a stem that descends down into the earth through the center of our grounding chord.
“As you visualize this flower gently unfurling, relax your tailbone and allow the earth’s energy to connect,” she guides. “It’s good to give every emotion at least a full 90 seconds of breath as it flows through you, which allows it to naturally release as you become more present in this moment.”
De Rosa advises us to let the waves of our emotions arrive, peak, and pass on, which means not getting involved in the stories behind them. “Don’t judge any feelings to be right or wrong. Instead, gently and lovingly tell your most tender, child self: ‘It’s okay for me to feel. I am safe.’”
Additionally, De Rosa explains that when we are ungrounded, our body is operating on nervous energy, adrenaline, and disconnection, which can lend to cortisol crashes or extreme exhaustion from exertion. Sometimes, when we begin to ground and allow our body to settle and rest, we will temporarily experience additional fatigue as we come into balance.
Healing Ourselves Helps Heal the World
As each of us becomes more grounded and embodied, our energy impacts the collective. “Our society has glorified overworking, multitasking, and disconnecting from our bodies and soul as a way to succeed in life,” says De Rosa. “Countering the old paradigm by becoming more grounded and centered has a ripple effect. Just as you can take on energy that impacts you negatively, you can also radiate a sense of presence that energetically impacts others, helping them become more centered, grounded, and at peace.”
Get grounded now with this 14-minute guided meditation, created just for Spirituality+Health readers.