Franks Martin's tips to getting mindfully grounded
In this wild and wonderful world of screens, balancing, striving and endless to-do lists it can be incredibly easy to get caught up in our heads and the whirlwind of thoughts that live there. You’ve probably heard the word ‘grounding’ thrown around a lot on and offline. To be honest it means something different for everyone – for me it means finding balance, feeling centered and peaceful. When I am grounded I feel anchored, rested and so in tune with my body that I am not swept away or overwhelmed by crazy thoughts or busy schedules.
It’s definitely a practice for me stay grounded – but I’d love to share some tips that resonate with me:
- Nurture in Nature
Get outside! Take a walk, spend some time in the garden or relocate your lunch break to the closest park. Plant your feet into the sand, the ocean or the closest patch of grass you can find. Allow yourself to breath in some fresh air and connect with the earth (extra points for barefoot!). If you can, avoid taking screens of any kind (accidental and habitual Instagram scrollers, I see you – I am one). When I carve out even 15 minutes to be screen-free in nature I find that I am more connected with the ground, my body, my breath and less bothered by the rampant thoughts circulating through my mind!
- Breathe deep
I believe deeply that nothing connects us with our bodies and the present moment like our breath. When my focus is on my breath, it’s hard for me to get carried away with to-do lists and mind-meltdowns. It doesn’t have to be complicated – I find that 10 deep breaths with elongated exhales do the trick, 20 if it’s a particularly wild day!
Inhaling for 4, pausing gently, then exhaling for a count of 6 works well for me. If counting bores you (I hear you), try following the journey of each inhale and every exhale as they travel in and out of your body.
- Move your bod
This is my absolute non-negotiable for feeling centered and at peace in daily life. What better way to connect with your body than moving it? Personally, yoga and Pilates make me feel most grounded. I find that the slow and controlled movements, long holds and connection with breath work wonders for me. However we choose to do it, movement with intention, attention and focus asks us to be completely ‘here’ and feel everything fully. When I’m busy feeling (or sweating), there’s no room for over-thinking.
- Get still
This is the grounding practice that challenges me the most. If you struggle being still – trust me, you’re not alone. I’m with you! Allowing ourselves to sit in stillness and observe our thoughts and stories is tough at first – but truly watching and listening what is going on internally can be life-changing. For me, it helps me to tune in in and observe without reacting (I make calm decisions) and decide what is really important to me (I figure out and set boundaries easier). Try 3-5 minutes of sitting still in any position that is comfortable for you – make physical support a priority so that you are steady and at ease (grab a cushion or two if you need to). Focus on your inhales and exhales without changing them. If your mind wanders, let it, then kindly draw your focus back to your breath. Notice what you notice and notice how you feel – there is no right or wrong!
- Connect with your tribe
Find your people. Go for coffee, go for a dog walk, a beach walk – a hike with your nearest and dearest. A simple conversation, hug or moment of connection with the people we love can balance us and anchor us in an instant. Remember, us humans are tribal creatures – we are built for connection. I find that when I am deep in the thoughts in my head a good chai and chat with friends has me feeling warm, fuzzy and most importantly grounded, peaceful and content. Grab your mates, family and/or pets and make it the most important meeting of your week!
Without a doubt I feel most grounded, centered and calm when I have had a good nights sleep. For me, this looks like 8 hours – to be honest this is still a work in progress but definitely something I am dedicated to working on, it’s worth it!
I try to avoid screens at least 30 minutes before bed (an hour if I can), light some candles and read at least 5 pages of a book whilst I’m winding down. I feel incredible if I can fit in a guided meditation right before I sleep, too!
There are so many different ways for us to re-centre and re-balance during chaotic days and weeks – ultimately it’s what works for you, your body and your life! Experiment, play and be curious.
Warm, earthy wishes,