Grounding tools are easily implemented upon recognition of the need and some practices may be used for maintaining a greater awareness of one’s inner life.
Small gemstones, stones found in nature, rosaries, spiritual charms or jewelry from loved ones are a few things to hold on to or place in your pocket, that serve as significant grounding tools and a source of tactile comfort during times of distress.
I have several special stones that I hold, carry or sleep with and I often gift gemstones to clients. Simply holding the stone, charm or other items can immediately bring forth a calming effect, be a means of grounding or help you to connect to your higher power. Whatever you decide to carry, hold on to faith that you are loved and protected as you go through changes and come to know that YOU are the creator of your experiences.
It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear. It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to. ~Marilyn Ferguson
When I was young, I yanked off the silk edge to a few of our blankets to hold in my hand and sleep with. As a young adult, I reflected back and wondered why I received such comfort from this seemingly odd item. I now know that this silky piece of fabric served to bring forth a relaxation response; grounding my energy and helping me to be in the present moment, free from fear based thoughts, loneliness and worry. This is what is occurring for many children when they develop such attachments to blankets and stuffed animals.
In adulthood, we find many ways to self-soothe, distract or numb during times of change, discomfort or emotional hardship. During these times, there is often a strong desire to have something tangible to hold on to. Not surprisingly, those who experience strong feelings as an “emotional hole” may also experience an almost overwhelming need for that “hole” to be filled. In the absence of other grounding tools, these individuals may rely on using substances and relationships to fill the void.
Having healthy grounding tools provides a means to immediately reduce stress and the accompanying physiological arousal that is often perceived as emotional discomfort. In addition, they foster greater self-awareness and make it easier to extend needed self-love and care during times of change; making transitions easier.
Healthy Grounding Tools:
- Simple Breathing Exercises. This can’t be repeated enough. Yes, just breathe. Keep it simple. Ideally, inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. This immediately brings forth a relaxation response and is available to you each and every moment.
- Mindfulness Activities. Focused attention to a single activity; such as breathing, a particular chore like washing a dish, observation of an object or even mindful listening to the natural environment.
- Body-Centered Exercise. The focused movement involved in many martial arts, boxing and yoga activities, allow for increased presence and the experience of being solidly within one’s body. Additionally, attention to one’s breath throughout focused movements serves to increase present moment awareness.
- Grounding Stones/Items. Almost any item may be used for grounding and for providing tactile comfort. The connection made with the item may be easily and quickly conditioned to bring forth a relaxation response. Gemstones are associated with various metaphysical properties and you may wish to choose your stone based upon the properties you feel you’ll most benefit from. For example, the pink rose quartz is associated with the heart chakra and is especially helpful to bring forth healing to one’s heart center. Black stones are associated with energetic protection and are especially grounding. For a complete metaphysical guide, you may reference many sources online. This link contains a relatively comprehensive guide of most stones: Metaphysical Minerals. Additionally, some stones, spiritual charms or jewelry from loved ones passed, help you to connect to your higher self, angels, and guides.
Grounding tools are easily implemented upon recognition of the need and some practices may be used for maintaining a greater awareness of one’s inner life. The more you practice these simple skills, the easier they become and the more you’ll feel the benefits of including them as a regular part of your self-care. With practice, the need for self-soothing and grounding may be recognized before other unhealthy tools are unconsciously adopted.