Grounding, also called earthing, is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or reconnect you to the earth.
It can help you pull away from flashbacks, unwanted memories, and negative or challenging emotions. These techniques may help distract you from what you’re experiencing and refocus on what’s happening now.
You can use grounding techniques to help create space from distressing feelings in any situation, but they’re especially helpful if you’re dealing with:
post-traumatic stress disorder
substance use disorder
This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics. It explains how electrical charges from the earth can have positive effects on your body. This type of grounding therapy isn’t entirely the same as the technique that is used in mental health treatment.
They believe that through grounding, the natural defenses of the body can be restored. Further research expands on this idea.
Types of grounding or earthing
There are many types of grounding. All of them focus on reconnecting yourself to the earth. This can be done through either direct or indirect contact with the earth.
1. Walking barefoot
Have you ever been outside on a warm summer day and felt the urge to run barefoot in the grass? One of the simplest ways to ground yourself to the earth is to walk barefoot.
Whether it is on grass, sand, or even mud, allowing your skin to touch the natural ground can provide you with grounding energy.
2.Lying on the ground
You can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. You can do it on the grass or sand at the beach.
3. Submersing in water
For grounding, water may be used to ground in the same way the physical earth is used for grounding.
It is suggested that simply wading in a clear lake or swimming in the ocean as an way to ground yourself.
4. Savor a food or drink
Take small bites or sips of a food or beverage you enjoy, letting yourself fully taste each bite. Think about how it tastes and smells and the flavors that linger on your tongue.
5. Hold a piece of ice
Feel the ice. How long does it take to start melting? How does the sensation change when the ice begins to melt?
6. Savor a scent
Is there a fragrance that appeals to you? This might be a cup of tea, an herb or spice, a favourite soap, or a scented candle. Inhale the fragrance slowly and deeply and try to note its qualities (sweet, spicy, sharp, citrusy, and so on).
8. Listen to your surroundings
Take a few moments to listen to the noises around you. Do you hear birds? Dogs barking? Machinery or traffic? If you hear people talking, what are they saying? Do you recognize the language? Let the sounds wash over you and remind you where you are.
9. Try the 5-4-3-2-1 method
Working backward from 5, use your senses to list things you notice around you. For example, you might start by listing five things you hear, then four things you see, then three things you can touch from where you’re sitting, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
Make an effort to notice the little things you might not always pay attention to.