Your Fundamental Guide to Grounding and Centering
In the realm of crystal healing and meditation you often hear words like "grounding" and "centering" you may have a basic understanding of these concepts, but what do they really mean, and what are their differences?
When was the last time you went outside barefoot for more than a quick second to get the mail? When we disconnect ourselves from the world and insulate ourselves from the free-flow of energy; we create an environment within ourselves where energy cannot be exchanged, and dis-ease can cause issues with our wellbeing.
Grounding (also called Earthing) is the direct connection to the Earth. It is allowing negative energies to be pulled from your body and dispersed into the ground. These negative energies are built up over time and grounding is a way of cleansing our bodies of this unwanted energy and creating a space for positivity.
We are electric beings and our planet "... is like a gigantic battery that contains a natural, subtle electric charge—a special kind of energy present in the ground. For safety and stability, most everything in the electrical world is connected to it" (Chopra Center). We live in houses or apartments where the pollution inside is often much greater than the air outside. Pollution from paints, cooking residue, mold, and other harmful chemicals in our homes expose us to more harmful agents than ever before.
Most of us spend around 90% of our time inside-- on top of this our increasingly noisy lifestyle cuts us off from the vibrations and the unhindered flow of energy. Another issue is due to Geopathic stress factors. These can be anything from disruption due to radio frequencies, overhead power lines, and anywhere the electromagnetic field is distorted or disrupted and can have an effect on our overall health and well being. Steep rises in illness and dis-ease can be attributed to these factors and grounding can help.
If you've ever taken a hike or spent quality time out of doors you have experienced some of the effects of grounding. Experiencing a sense of peace and lower levels of stress are associated with grounding techniques as well as a whole host of other positive effects. So, how do you practice grounding? Spending even 10-15 minutes in contact with the Earth as often as you can is considered grounding. If you don't have time, or if the weather doesn't permit, any amount of time is beneficial. Here are four of the most common and easiest grounding techniques.
Simply walking with bare feet while making contact with the Earth is grounding. Wearing rubber or plastic soled shoes insulates the body and interferes with the electromagnetic exchange of energy. By placing your body in direct contact with the Earth you allow negative energy to be dispersed into the ground below.
Standing or Sitting
As long as you're in contact with Earth you allow your body to exchange energy. Sit outside and read or stand and enjoy the view. Take a picnic in the park; anything you feel comfortable with as long as you allow yourself contact with the ground.
Whether seated, laying, or standing in contact with the Earth make yourself aware of your breath. Close your eyes and breathe slowly in and out. Listen to the sounds of the birds, insects and animals that may be nearby. Even listening to the passing of cars or people walking by can help focus your mind on grounding. Do this until you feel lighter and more at ease.
Using crystals to ground is another technique that can act complementary to the three others mentioned above. Holding, meditating, placing by your bedside, and wearing jewelry made with grounding stones can help the transfer of energy achieved in grounding. Some of the crystals that promote grounding are: Agate, Bloodstone, Citrine, Jasper, and Smoky Quartz. Grounding stones are excellent for beginners and two varieties are included in our shop's Starter Crystal Set.
As much as grounding is based on a physical exercise, centering is based on a mental exercise. Even though some will comment that they feel "centered" after practicing grounding; centering and grounding are not the same thing. Centering takes place inside yourself focusing on your intuitive center.
Centering is another tool for stress and anxiety management. It is the practice of refocusing negative energy into positive concentration. It is widely held that "all physical and mental power comes from the flow of energy around your body. Energy is lost when you are tense or stressed, but Centering redirects negative energy in a beneficial way" (mindtools). This focus is an internal and intentional practice to clear the mind of negativity.
When our mind is disorganized and distracted we are not our best selves and we are not able to function to the best of our abilities. Feeling "scatter brained" is a good indication that using a centering exercise is in your best interest. Restless sleep and bad dreams are another indicator that you need to look inside yourself and balance your emotions. In order for our intuition to guide us it must be nurtured. Listening to the signs of distress in your body and mind is the number one key to living intuitively. When something doesn't feel right, it needs to be assessed.
Focus on the breath helps us find our internal rhythm. Our mind and body syncs with the realization of something we take for granted. Listening to the breath relaxes the tension we often hold without realizing it. Even now reading this you may be holding unintentional tension in your face or jaw. Relaxing these points of tension allows the body to rest and supports the flow of energy. Scan your body from your toes to the tip of your head checking for tension as you breathe slowly. Release all tension.
Your center is generally two inches from your naval. This area aligns with the Sacral Chakra. Blockages in your Sacral Chakra are often attributed with sexual issues and creative blocks.
Aligning and cleansing your Chakras is an important part of energy healing. You can align all your Chakras with healing crystals or for the purpose of centering use a single stone to focus your Sacral Chakra. Stones for this purpose are Carnelian, Zincite, Tiger Eye, Amber, and Goldstone. Hold or lay the crystal in alignment to your Sacral Chakra, close your eyes, and allow the crystal to cleanse and restore central balance.
Visualization and Affirmation
Often used together visualization and affirmation can be helpful to refocus energy. Visualize your center in resonating with a bright white light. Hold your hands over the center of your body just above the skin. As you imagine your center filling with cleansing light speak positive affirmations. Single out issues creating the most conflict in your life. Your job? Your bills? Use affirmations like "I valuable and important" "I will create a life of prosperity" "I am a vessel of positive energy". Even one-word affirmations "happiness" and "success" can be useful because they bring connotations with them that set intention within our subconscious mind.
Though grounding and centering are different in practice we may feel that we are "grounded" after centering and "centered" after grounding. These are ways we describe how these practices may make us feel. We hear these words a lot, almost as much as manifestation and intention. It is important to take the time to understand these concepts and others as we move through our wellness journeys.
These practices are excellent at helping us manage our stress and anxiety. Grounding brings us balance by release our negative energy into the Earth, while allowing our bodies to receive the positive flow of energy from nature. As humans live more and more of their lives inside we are insulated and cut off from this exchange which has detrimental side effects. Centering allows us to find focus in times of anxiety and stress by re-channeling negative energy and releasing it from our centers. These methods are starting points to get you on the right track to wellness. Have a method that works best for you? Share it below!