As someone who has always loved living in my head (reading, thinking, writing, analyzing, often overanalyzing!) being grounded is not something that comes naturally to me. To compound matters, I was not an outdoors type of person. My mom used to force me to go outside as a kid, because left to my own devices I would have preferred staying inside and reading for hours. (Thanks, Mom!)
Living in New York City, I see a lot of clients and Reiki students with anxiety, as well as people who have trouble quieting their mind, and empaths who feel overwhelmed by the energy and feelings of those around them. Being grounded can really help, so I put together this list of 25 easy techniques on how to stay grounded.
First, what does it mean to be grounded?
To be grounded is to be fully present in your body, to be connected to the earth, to the world around you, to your breath and the way it moves through your body, to be aware of your emotions and how you’re feeling. Being grounded means you remember that you have a physical body.
By balancing the energy in your head with the energy in the rest of the body you can connect to your feet and how they touch the earth.
Here are 25 easy ways to help you stay grounded.
1. Pound the bottoms of your feet with your fists for a couple of minutes. We have 14,000 nerve endings on the bottoms of our feet, and this will help activate them and redistribute our energy into the feet and instead of the head.
2. Pound the outside of the legs from the hips down to the feet with your fists (you can do this gently or more firmly). This will help energize and stimulate the Chinese meridians, or energy pathways located on the outside of the legs. Again it helps move the energy into the feet.
3. Try reflexology. It’s probably one of the most grounding kinds of bodywork because it’s focused on the feet. Reflexology is based on the principle that a map of the body is represented on the feet. Applying pressure to specific points stimulates the nerve endings on the feet and balances the nervous system. (Anxiety is a sign that the nervous system is out of balance.)
4. Take a bath with sea salt or Epsom salts. This is one of the most popular spiritual grounding techniques. While swimming in a lake or the ocean can really connect us to the earth, a bath can be an easier option (or try a foot bath if you don’t have a bath tub).
How can an empath protect themselves? This is an especially good tip if you have a tendency to feel too much and take on other people’s energy and emotions.
5. Use essential oils that are grounding such as cedarwood or pine (any essential oils from trees). I absolutely love Andrea’s Alchemy grounding cedar oil roll-on blend.
6. Try Donna Eden’s Daily 5-Minute Energy Routine for a week and notice how your body feels. This routine is another helpful tip for empaths to protect themselves.
7. Work out: any form of exercise gets you into your body and out of your head: kick boxing, yoga, running, walking. Do the kind of exercise you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to do it regularly.
8. Experience sensory deprivation: sometimes referred to as an isolation or flotation tank, the tank is filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts, with water at skin temperature, and devoid of sound and light. The mind is free from distraction and the body is free from gravity. I tried it at Lift Floats.
9. Try Frans Stiene’s grounding exercises. Known as the Reiki teacher’s teacher, and someone who flies around the world constantly to teach, Frans knows the importance of being grounded. Try both of his spiritually grounding techniques and compare.
10. Buy a weighted blanket. The heaviness is restorative and calming for the nervous system. I sleep more deeply and wake feeling refreshed. Talk about literally grounding you to the earth!
11. Go on a news fast for a couple days, or even a week. This can serve as a reset, helping you evaluate the frequency of news you intake and how it affects your mindset and body. Hint: the mind might love the chatter and 24/7 news cycle, but the body definitely doesn’t.
12. Leave your smart phone at home for a day. (I know! Can you even imagine?) I have one client who was sleeping with her phone under her pillow and checking news alerts on her phone first thing when she woke up, as well as endlessly throughout the day.
Those news alerts can trigger a very strong fight or flight response in the nervous system. So often the full news story takes time to become available, and there’s usually nothing we can do in the moment (except feel anxious and worried which doesn’t help anyone).
13. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. This is a calming way to train the brain (Hypnosis is another). If you don’t have a practice in place, try the free Insight Timer app. It has lots of guided meditations for a range of issues, which are often easier to stick with if you’re just starting out.
14. Learn Reiki. Reiki is a simple way to connect to your intuition and center your mind and body. In my Reiki classes, I teach additional spiritual grounding techniques such as the purifying breath and dry bathing to help you center your energy and feel grounded. Again, this is another tool for empaths to protect themselves. (Learning Reiki years ago is what finally helped me meditate regularly after years of unsuccessfully trying other methods.)
15. Ask yourself “what’s the next smallest step I need to take?” This trains your brain to stay on track and to be as close to the present moment as possible, rather than running 20 steps ahead and getting overwhelmed. I learned this from top hypnosis trainer John Overdurf. Changed my life.
16. Walk barefoot on the earth—rock, dirt, grass, sand…. For thousands of years our ancestors did this as a matter of course. The fact that this isn’t an easy thing to do living in a big city like New York tells us something about our literal and metaphorical connection to the earth.
17. Try forest bathing. Spend time in nature and see how it changes your energy: walk by the river, spend time in a park, go for a hike, etc. In Japan, they call it forest bathing—immersing yourself in the forest for relaxation—doesn’t that sound beautiful? The Washington Post identified it as the latest stress-reducing trend in the U.S.
18. Get fresh flowers or plants for your home, as well as rocks or sea shells, especially if you live in a high-rise building because you’re farther away from the earth. Think about it, our ancestors didn’t live in the air.
19. Get crystals that are good for grounding—some of my favorites include selenite, shungite, and black tourmaline, but experiment and follow your intuition on what feels grounding to you. Energymuse.com has two good articles on crystals for grounding.
20. Lay in the grass and imagine any negative emotions or physical imbalances sinking into the earth and being recycled. (You can do this in the winter but it may be more enjoyable on a nice summer day.)
21. Stand and lean against a tree and imagine your heart becoming calm and your feet connecting to its roots.
22. Eat grounding foods: root vegetables, cooked foods, hearty stews (as opposed to raw foods like salads). This doesn’t mean don’t eat salads, but you want to experiment and see what foods help you feel more grounded, and find a nice balance depending on the time of year and temperature, as well as what’s going on in your life.
23. Drink more water than you normally do—the human body consists of 60-70% water and the body needs it for optimal function.
24. Cook a healthy meal. Think about it, cooking your own food is different than eating out or getting food delivered. Cooking brings you into the present moment in a very practical way—forcing you to pay attention as you measure the ingredients, follow the details of the recipe, and keep track of timing to ensure your food doesn’t burn, etc. You could take it a step further and reflect on where the food came from and all the people involved—from the farmer to the truck driver to the grocery store clerk—for this food to be here on your plate.
25. Develop a daily routine of things that personally help you feel grounded. Experiment with the list above and add your own. Know that this is personalized to you and will change depending on time of year, weather, stress levels, and what’s going on in your life, etc. Aim to do one or two of these practices and techniques on a daily basis.
Staying grounded can be one of the most important ways to connect with yourself: bringing the soul, mind, and body together. By acknowledging that you live on Mother Earth, honoring this connection and support not only to the Earth, but to your body that allows you to be here and to feel the full range of human experience is why we are here. Thank your feet for their efforts to do this every day for us.
Over the next few months, I’ll be putting together a Beginners Series of articles for people new to Reiki (or who want to learn more about it). In this article, I’ll talk about what Reiki is, how it’s different from other kinds of integrative therapies, and what problems it can help you with (including 4 tell-tale signs you could use a Reiki session).
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a hands-on healing technique from Japan and means “transcendent life force” or “spiritual energy.” The practice of Reiki guides this “Ki,” or energy, that surrounds and permeates every living thing. In Chinese, it’s referred to as “Chi” or “Qi”—acupuncture and martial arts are examples of other disciplines that work with this life force energy that is in each one of us.
Reiki enhances wellness by helping your body balance itself, and enables you to take an active role in your health.
How is it different from other integrative therapies?
One of the major ways Reiki differs from other healing modalities, is that the practitioner isn’t directing the energy, or making decisions about what your body needs. The practitioner cultivates and works with Ki, acting as a channel for your body to take in what it needs to balance itself.
What can Reiki help me with?
Here are 4 tell-tale signs you could use a Reiki session:
1. Balance: You’re feeling out of balance in your life or with your health. For example, maybe you’re feeling too emotional, crying for no reason, or alternately, maybe you don’t feel in touch with your emotions, you feel flat or unmoved when good or bad things happen.
2. Intuition: Your intution is off and you don’t know what to do. For example, maybe you feel too swayed by others’ opinions, or when you try to make a decision you feel like your fears are interfering with your decision-making process.
3. Stress: You’re feeling really stressed and find it hard to switch off even during down-time or when it’s time to go to sleep.
4. Major-Life Change: You’re in the middle of a major life change, be it a health challenge, a recent break up, moving to a new place, or changing jobs, and you feel stuck or have trouble moving forward.
Reiki helps balance and shift your energy, and this shift allows you to get in touch with yourself in a deep, profound way. As a Reiki practitioner, I don’t heal people. Rather, the Reiki session enhances your access to yourself, and the healing unfolds from this inner connectedness.
Have a question about Reiki? Send it my way and I’ll answer it in the series. You can also read more about Reiki here and here’s a past article about what I learned about Reiki from my 95-year-old grandfather (he’s very wise!)
You can book here if you’re ready to experience Reiki for yourself.
Have something you want to change or work through, and you’re not sure if Reiki can help? Let me know and we can discuss it. I’m here to help!
I often hear 2 main concerns after a client’s first hypnosis session. Interestingly enough, these concerns are completely opposite from one another.
Sometimes a client will say, “I feel really relaxed and peaceful, but I’m not sure the hypnosis worked because I could hear everything you said during the trance.”
Other times a client will say, “I feel really relaxed and peaceful, but I’m not sure the hypnosis worked because I don’t remember anything you said during the trance.”
Curious, right? So which client was hypnotized?
Don’t be misled by theses 2 signs. Read on to find out more, and to discover what kinds of things hypnosis can help you with.
What is Hypnosis?
First, what is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of focus, and quieting or softening, of the analytical or conscious mind. (Does hypnosis work? Yes, and you can read more about how it works here.)
So which client was hypnotized?
When you’re in a state of hypnosis and you hear every word the practitioner says, it means your conscious mind is paying close attention.
Alternately, when you don’t remember anything the practitioner said during the trance, it means your conscious mind drifted off.
Either way is best because with hypnosis I’m not speaking to the conscious mind anyway, I’m speaking to your unconscious mind.
The unconscious mind is 95% of the brain, and it’s where your deeply held beliefs, patterns, and behaviors are stored. Hypnosis helps you access this part of the mind to connect to your intuition and make positive changes.
What are some issues hypnosis can help with? Just this past week, I used hypnosis to help clients with confidence, sleep issues, chronic procrastination, anxiety, and public speaking.
Here’s what clients say about their experience with hypnosis:
I know a lot of people out there are skeptical about hypnosis or hypnotherapy. I was one of them too before I met Deborah. (By the way, I did a lot of research before making the final decision to see her.) I’ve had three sessions with Deborah so far. First two sessions, hypnosis helped me feel relaxed and calm emotionally. I could never imagine myself being so relaxed and peaceful, especially in the middle of Manhattan. No way! —Tom P.
A terrific session with Deborah, who’s friendly, powerful, generous. I am dealing with issues of grief, but also a touch of writer’s block…something I consider part of the process, but I figured hypnosis might push through my hesitancy. The next day I zoomed through the problematic part of what I was writing and am rolling on! Unbelievable, except I’ve had incredible results with Deborah before. –Katherine V.
I cannot express how amazing Deborah is and how drastically my life & outlook has changed for the better since my first hypnosis session. Seven months ago, I went to see her while I was in a horrible state of depression as I was re-adjusting back to my hometown of NYC after leaving a draining job but much more comfortable lifestyle in the Middle East, and rekindling a negative past relationship at the same time. Within 45 minutes of my first hypnosis session, I let go of lots of negative feelings from my past & present and felt so much happiness! –Sarah C.
Many people think hypnosis is an odd thing to do. That it won’t work for them. I encourage you to try it and have an open mind. It just might be more amazing in Session 1 than you imagine. My nutritionist recommended Deborah and so far I’ve lost 40 pounds. I’m very pleased and am down a size. I’m throwing my old clothes away because I’m convinced the changes are permanent.
I also actually enjoy our sessions a lot. I go into deep relaxation in a minute or two. Deborah has given me self-hypnosis exercises I do at home that help me relax, resist eating, and give me peace of mind. Before I tried hypnosis I thought I wouldn’t be a good subject. But I was wrong and would encourage you to give it a shot, whatever you are trying to achieve. –Jerry S.
I’d never been to a hypnotist before, but had struggled with anxiety disorder for at least a decade. I had tried a lot to improve it — diet, exercise, meditation, lowering stressors in my life — but was unwilling to turn to medication as a full-time answer. A friend had visited Deborah for her anxiety, so I decided it was worth a try.
The session felt very relaxing and enjoyable. Deborah taught me how to continue with self-hypnosis as needed. I felt much more relaxed after my session, and the anxiety symptoms didn’t return until a week later. I did the self-hypnosis and they were gone almost right away. They returned less intensely a few times after that, and each time I did the self-hypnosis. Now it’s been almost a year and those symptoms are (knock on wood) entirely gone. I had no idea it would work so quickly and efficiently!
Deborah said I was teaching my brain to channel anxiety in a different way, and even that visual helped me to re-imagine my experiences of fear and worry. I 100% recommend a session with Deborah, and suggest being completely open and trusting of what she’s saying. I don’t think it would work as well without trust in yourself and in her method. –Peggy K.
Have something you want to change or work through, and you’re not sure if hypnosis can help? Let me know and we can discuss it. I’m here to help! Or go ahead and book a session here.
I just finished a great class this past weekend with the amazing trainer John Overdurf.
We talked a lot about how the brain works when we’re trying to make a decision, and ways to optimize this process so we can make better ones.
I always love John’s classes–he’s always finding new techniques to facilitate peak performance. In fact, he trains top CEOs (e.g. the head of Toyota).
Read on to discover how to make better decisions with hypnosis. I’ll show you an easy question you can ask yourself when you’re in the process of making a decision, as well as how hypnosis can put you in the right state of mind to have an Ah-ha moment.
Decision-Making Gone Wrong
We often forget a couple of key things when we make decisions.
1. We think that we can accurately predict the future, when actually variables are always changing (including us!). I know I’m guilty of often trying to live in the future–can you relate?
2. We often try to make important decisions when we’re stressed. When we’re in a negative state, such as feeling stressed, we’re only using half our brain (the dominant hemisphere). This severely limits our options.
So how to make better decisions with hypnosis?
Hypnosis helps us use both parts of our brain, activating the sub-dominant hemisphere. This helps us access our intuition and creativity, feeling relaxed and connected to ourselves.
Hypnosis also helps us reinterpret problems, noticing what is new and different. This is when the Ah-ha moments happen, and we can come up with solutions we never even considered before.
One Simple Question
Here’s a simple question you can ask yourself when you’re getting ready to make a decision. Hypnosis greatly facilitates this process, but you can do this on your own as well. Before you ask this question, do something to get yourself in a relaxed state of mind: maybe closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths.
Then ask yourself:
What’s the smallest next step I need to take involving this decision?
So often we think too big picture, and we become overwhelmed and stressed. I’ve learned to ask myself this question whenever I’m working on a big project and find it really helps. It’s such a simple question, and yet it’s such a powerful way to retrain your brain (which is what hypnosis is all about).
Asking yourself this simple question makes it more manageable, and will give you more information to go on once you’ve completed this next smallest step as you engage in the process of making decisions.
Then you can repeat the question, step by step, working toward figuring out what you want to do and making better decisions throughout.
Need some additional help? Schedule a hypnosis session and we’ll work through the process together. I’ll also show you the Necker Cube technique to help further facilitate the A-Ha moment!