8 Practical Ways to Ground Yourself

Published on 11 Apr, 2023

8 Practical Ways to Ground Yourself [HMHE Podcast Shown Notes – Ep 31]

This week I’m sharing my favorite simple and practical grounding practices and meditations. You can use these practices to ground yourself whenever you’re feeling anxious, or irritable, or when an unexpected life event throws you out of wack. All of these practices are simple, free, and require no special equipment so you can get started today!

Grounding practices have been a big part of my personal healing journey, and something that I have studied deeply through my training in Ayurveda.

This is part one of a two-part series about how to ground yourself. You can listen to part two, The Gifts of Feeling Groundless here.

Below is an outline of today’s episode and detailed descriptions of each grounding practice. If you prefer listening instead of reading please tune into Episode 031: 8 Practical Ways to Ground Yourself and subscribe to the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Let’s dive in…

This is a picture of a person standing barefoot on the sand with the ocean waves approaching their feet. Photo by Benita Anand on Unsplash

Photo by Benita Anand on Unsplash

What does it mean to “ground yourself?”

Grounding is, simply put, a self-soothing skill that anyone (yes you!) can learn. It’s a skill that helps you to come back into your body and into the present moment. Grounding techniques connect you more deeply to the reality of the time and place that you are in.

Grounding is the practice of cultivating a state of “felt safety.” I learned this term from one of my amazing meteors, Chris Muse.

These are techniques that help our nervous system come back to a place of homeostasis and calm after we’ve been startled into a fight, flight, freeze, or faun state.

By coming back to these practices time and time again when you’re feeling “off center” you can build your resilience. With regular practice over time, you will find that these techniques will become second nature.

Why is grounding important for changemakers, activists, and advocates?

If you are a big-hearted person who cares a great deal for humanity and our planet, then it is incredibly important that you learn how to ground yourself. We are constantly knocked off-center when we hear about the latest injustice in the news or when our attempts to challenge the status quo bring up uncomfortable emotions.

These techniques have helped me to become a less anxious person. They are also excellent for people who travel a lot and for those who spend a lot of time on the computer or have a tendency to overthink things.

The Ayurvedic Perspective of Grounding & Groundlessness

According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, any imbalance in the mind, body, or spirit is a result of an imbalance of the five elements. This includes imbalances that cause us to feel anxious and ungrounded.

The five elements in Ayurveda are air, ether, fire, earth, and water. And the elements most associated with feeling ungrounded are air and ether. Therefore, in order to ground yourself (AKA balance the elements in your body and mind) you need to bring in the other elements – earth, fire, and water.

The word “grounding” points us to the most important element in any grounding practice, the ground or earth. So, the following practices will help you tap into these balancing elements.

Eight Simple Practices to Ground Yourself

Practice #1: Barefeet on the Earth

First, let’s start with the obvious! Putting your bare skin on the earth allows you to deeply connect with the earth element and with the energetics of your specific place. The earth’s energy and magnetic field varies slightly from place to place. In fact, scientific studies have shown that the Earth’s magnetic field changes with both location and time.

Spending time in nature with your shoes on can also be incredibly grounding. If you live in a city, just take a moment to lean on a tree or put your palm on its bark, connecting with nature.

Hiking up to a viewpoint or standing at the edge of a large lake or the ocean can also have a calming effect. Being in awe of the grand scale and beauty of the Earth helps to put our worries and challenges in perspective.

Practice #2: Orient Your Body to Your Surroundings

It’s important to note that many people will find the most common forms of meditation ungrounding. Focusing on the breath is focusing on the air element. So if your goal is to ground yourself you want to instead focus on something more tangible like your physical structure and the physical environment around you.

Body Yantra is a grounding type of meditation that I learn from my mentor Katie Silcox at the Shakti School. This is the type of meditation that I lead at the beginning of every workshop and training that I host, and it’s my personal go-to.

Through Body Yantra meditation, we give our brain a ton of information about where we are in time and space. Our brain then takes this information and adjusts our structure to reflect the safety of the environment that we are in, creating a feeling of calm.

Most of us are moving through the world with an underlying anxiety that exists in both our minds and our movement patterns. When we slow down through orientation meditation we allow our body to move into that sense of “felt safety” that I mentioned earlier.

A Simple Body Yantra Meditation:

    • Find a comfortable seat or lie down
    • Begin to look around your room slowly, at the pace that honey moves
    • Take note of what’s around you
    • Notice the corners, the edges where the wall meets the ceiling and the floor, the windows, the doors, and any other exits
    • Look behind one shoulder and then the other
    • Now, find a point on your body (ex. Your right shoulder) and visualize an imaginary line or string extending from that point to the wall next to you
    • Take note of the distance from your body to the wall
    • After 60 – 90 seconds pick a different point on your body (ex. Your left hip) and extend that imaginary string to the opposite wall

As you ground yourself, be sure to take note of your body shifting into a more grounded state. This signal from your body might come in the form of a yawn, watering eyes, a deep exhale, twitching, or another way. What signals does your body give you?

Practice #3: Five Senses Meditation

This is another form of meditation that orients us to our environment. This time we’ll come into our bodies by bringing our awareness to each of our five senses.

Simply sit, stand, or lie in a comfortable position and then start to move your focus from one sense to the next. Go slowly and name one to three objects that you see, feel, hear, smell, and taste.

Practice #4: Warm Hands on Eyes

Sit or lie in a comfortable position and begin to rub your hands together in front of you. Rub until you’ve generated some heat. Then, place the hand on your head with palms turned toward your face. Rest the heel of the hand in your eye sockets and let the fingers drape over your forehead. Sit in this position, feeling the connection of you-to-you and connecting with the fire element, for 60 – 90 seconds.

Practice #5: Other Nervous System Regulating Practices

There are numerous techniques that you can use to bring your nervous system back into homeostasis and by doing so ground yourself.

Below are three simple practices that you can do literally anywhere – on a Zoom call, during an in-person meeting, or at the dinner table.


    • Bilateral tapping – Start by placing your right hand on your left shoulder, chest, or thigh, and placing your left hand on your right shoulder, chest, or thigh. Your arms will be crossed. Then start tapping, first your right hand and then your left. Tap back and forth for 60 – 90 seconds or until you notice a signal from your body that your nervous system has shifted into a more grounded state.
    • Gently rocking side to side. Rock yourself like a parent rocks their baby.
    • Giving yourself a hug (or hugging someone). Of course, this one might not be appropriate in all situations.

Practice #6: Journaling

Writing is an excellent way to ground the thoughts that are floating around in your head. Set a timer for five or ten minutes and do a brain dump. Write down what you’re thinking and feeling. Capture those thoughts and ground them by writing them down.

Practice #7: Eat Grounding Foods

Another tangible way to ground yourself is by eating foods that have come out of the ground. Grounding foods include root vegetables such as carrots, onions, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and parsnips.

You can ground through the foods and drinks you consume even further by eating locally grown foods and fermented foods that have been produced locally. The fermenting process captures the local microbiome, so eating these foods helps ground yourself more deeply into your place.

Practice #8: Oil Foot Massage

Lastly, before bed rub a warming oil like sesame oil on the soles of your feet. By giving yourself a little oil massage you draw your awareness to the lower part of your body and ground your energy.

I hope that these practices bring more balance and peace to your life! Experiment with each practice to learn what works best for your unique mind and body.

Let’s connect!

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Feedback? Topic suggestions? Ah-ha moments? I’d love to hear from you!

Please email me at hello@theevapeterson.com

Thanks for listening and/or reading!

Podcast music: “Bounce” by Coma-Media on Pixbay

Featured image: Photo by Benita Anand on Unsplash

This is a picture of Eva Peterson. She is the host of the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast and a life coach for changemakers and aspiring activists.

Welcome! I'm Eva, host of the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast and blog. This is a place for changemakers, advocates, and aspiring activists to learn, heal, and get inspired. As a certified Life Coach, Ayurvedic Health Counselor, and follow activist I'm here to support you in expanding your impact while thoroughly enjoying your life!

Self-care for Changemakers:
Be an Agent of Change Without Sacrificing Your Health