... and why you should care.
Today I found myself feeling a bit stressed out whilst I was working, you too huh?
I'm super lucky, I get to do something I love daily, work for myself, be my own boss and help you guys out in the process so this is definitely not a woe is me, pity party moment (although there is a time and a place for that) but.... even when you're doing something you love and have a huge body of knowledge about alternative health, running your own business comes with some stress and so I wanted to chat to you guys about grounding and how you can use it to help combat work stress.
WTF is grounding?
Grounding is essentially connecting to the Earth. Before you stop reading and think I'm some sort of woohoo kook lets look at it for a second.
Think how good you feel when you walk bare foot in grass or on the beach with the sand between your toes.
Why do you think it is, especially when we live in a huge metropolis like London, that we long for our Summer break. We count down the days until we can escape to the mountains, the beach or dive in the ocean. We long to disconnect and be in nature. This is because we are desperate for grounding. When we become so detached from the Earth that our root chakra has no idea where to ground us to and we get that disconnected, stressed, anxious, depressed feeling you maybe familiar with.
Here's the science bit...
The Earth is charged with negative ions. Ions are molecules which can be negatively or positively charged. A negative ion is an atom or molecule that's gained one or more negatively charged electrons. These negative ions are actually good for the Human body. In fact Michael Terman, PhD found through extensive study that negative ions can have an anti depressant effect in as little as 30 minutes, if they are found in high enough concentrations.
Now I LOVE London but it is a positive ions jungle. Most of us, but especially us city dwellers are usually surrounded by positive ions, think wifi, mobile signals and electronics so we need to balance this out with negative ions and thats where grounding comes in.
Grounding in relation to your meridians and chakras
It's my belief from my studies of the meridian system that we connect to the earth's energy via our KD1 point (an acupuncture point on the kidney meridian) located on the base of our foot. This is a yin meridian and carries energy up from the ground through our body. The kidneys are the seat of courage and willpower, and therefore any impairment in kidney meridian could result in feelings of fear, paranoia, and stress. The Kidney meridian covers the whole length of your body from your foot up to your tongue, so when it connects with the Earth it can deliver fresh energy to your whole body.
Another way we can ground ourselves is via our root chakra. Our root chakra's main function is to ground us. It governs our perception of how safe we feel in the World, its our survival centre and covers home, family, roots, discipline and stillness.
How can this help with stress?
If you are experiencing anxiety, loneliness and stress it is likely you have become ungrounded.
The definition of stress is, "a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances." so in order to help we can remove ourselves from the demanding circumstances (think office) and try one of these grounding techniques:
- Go for a walk in nature. There are plenty of parks in cities.
- If possible go for a bare foot walk in nature and leave your phone on your desk.
This is exactly what I did. I headed out to the park near my house and found a shaded spot. I sat on a tree stump and took off my shoes and socks and placed my bare feet on the grass in front of me. I took 5 deep belly breaths and I set the intention of sending all my stress down to Mother Earth and drawing up fresh ions into my system. I sat for about 15 minutes breathing slowly and deeply with this intention. It worked wonders!
- Go paddling if you live by the sea. Walking along the shore is a perfect way to ground yourself and benefit from the additional negative ions which are generated near water. In fact if you can't get to the seaside your shower is a readily available source of negative ions.
- Work on your Root Chakra. This is your seat of security and grounding. You can do this simply by sitting quietly and focusing on the base of your spine (where your root chakra is based). Breathe slowly and deeply and visualise the colour red. Intend that your root chakra is being cleansed with your breath and that you are using the energy to ground yourself.
Once you have re-established your connection to Mother Earth and grounded yourself, you should feel a sense of calm and relaxation. Maybe even a sense of 'coming home'.
We're often so disconnected from ourselves and nature that when we slow down, reconnect and bathe in the negative ions we really can bring back a sense of space, calm and clarity and release stress.
Freedom from fear. An exploration into the Root Chakra: If you would like to learn more about your Root Chakra you can join me on the first in a series or workshops focusing on the chakras. The first event is 23rd August and will help ground you and release fears. You can get tickets from just £10 if you book the full series and find more information here.