Signs You're Out of Balance & How to Get Grounded

The concept of being grounded is held in high regard both in the spiritual world, as well as the biohacking world. This idea of groundedness reappears as a key tool whether you’re looking to support a healthy body or mind… but being “grounded,” what does that really mean?

Ground·ed

/groundid/

adjective

  1. Well balanced and sensible.


The word itself has German roots, the word Grund, meaning multiple things ranging from reason, ground cause, land, foundation, soil, and depths. How profound, grounded, the foundation of reason. The cause, soil: the origin of Being.

This speaks to my soul because truthfully I’ve been ungrounded for a long, long time now. My notion of balance was honestly delusional, rooted in modern society’s deeply patriarchal and sick soil. So much so that I had convinced myself that I was indeed “balanced”.

Being grounded doesn’t mean you’re not spending enough time in nature, or going to yoga… it’s an essence that permeates your Being. After facing a week of vertigo induced by my over-doing, I now look around and truly see almost no balance in modern society. Our understanding of self-care becomes intertwined with always doing, and opposed to being. We, as a collective, have lost the ability to truly rest. Whether it be going to yoga, or taking a bath: these seemingly restful habits become one with incessantly optimising the Self. Balance requires an honouring of stillness, true unapologetic stillness.

Desire is something the Buddha spoke of, this endless wanting…a longing; an attachment for something that could be as opposed to what is. This attachment as the root of suffering (the 2nd noble truth), the cessation of suffering is attainable (the 3rd noble truth), and that this salvation (Nirvana/Satori) is a condition that can be attained by leading a balanced life (the 4th noble truth). Balance, groundedness: the path towards nirvana.

Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance.
— Morgan Freeman
 Cold plunging in Mystery Lake, November in Canada: stillness.

Cold plunging in Mystery Lake, November in Canada: stillness.

Signs you’re Out of Balance (not grounded)

  1. Multitasking

    • Are you always doing a million things at once? Writing while watching TV, listening to a podcast while cooking, on your phone while out to dinner, reading or podcasting while in the sauna, creating to-do lists in your head while laying in bed at night… are you able to just focus on the task at hand/ bask in the silence of what is?

  2. Highly distracted/ inability to focus

    • These are the beginning signs of losing touch with the present moment, slipping out of balance.

    • Having a million and one tabs/ pages opened up on your laptop is a pretty clear sign

  3. Living in the past or the future

    • This can manifest itself in various ways, but a common one is planning. Incessant to-do lists, always trying to maximize output, optimise, be the best. An effort to just do-do-do as opposed to just Be.

    • Replaying the past prevents us not only from moving forwards, but simply from experiencing what is. Living in the past can be dwelling both on the negative as well as the positive; an inability to let go of what was is a warning sign that the body and mind are ungrounded.

    • Intense daydreaming is another way this comes up; spending your time being somewhere else than where you are in the present moment.

    • Unhealthy relationship with social media. There is no specific time here; too much is a quantity of time according to whatever that means to you. Do you feel in control of this relationship, or are you auto-piloting? Social media pulls us away from what is, it dwells on the past and on the future.

  4. Mess

    • Whether it’s a messy desktop or bedroom: our outer world reflects our inner world.

  5. Dizziness/ lightheadedness (varying degrees of vertigo)

    • This is a major one for me personally, because what triggered this post was my first bout with vertigo. The body has an unfathomable wisdom, and when we fail to listen to our its deep intrinsic needs- it finds a way to show us. Ungrounded = a lack of balance = dizziness. The irony is, albeit difficult, quite beautiful.

    • As far as I can tell: this is the final straw when it comes to ungroundedness. A total forcing of the body to be still. I will expand on my personal journey through this vertigo in another post, soon.

  6. An innate knowing

    • The clearest way to know you’re not grounded it to truly ask yourself, observe. When it the last time you just spent a day truly going with the flow? Resting, without guilt? You don’t need to wait until the aforementioned physical things manifest themselves. It’s so hard to catch ourselves preventatively- particularly in today’s modern reactive society that glorifying being busy.


Get Grounded

Note that most of these habits and rituals are still very much grounded in the physical (no pun intended). The most powerful underlying missing link when it comes to getting truly grounded is the ability to give the body what it truly needs. In my experience, this means stillness. Reaching for foods, and scents, and activities to fix the body is exactly what the body wants you to stop doing. These tips and tools are here to help ground your physical body, but when it comes to the ethereal mind- the only thing to do is to just Be.

  1. Get in nature

    • One of the most powerful tools for getting grounded is spending time in nature, totally still.

    • Get barefoot in nature, expose as much bareskin as possible to bare nature.


  2. Earthy (herbal) teas (skip the caffeine)

    • Ginger

    • Turmeric

    • Chaga

    • Reishi

    • Pine needle


  3. Grounding foods

    • Root vegetables

    • Meat/ bone broth

    • Dark chocolate (real cacao)

    • Bake something


  4. Grounding scents: earthy, balancing tones

    • Frankincense

    • Palo santo

    • Sage


  5. Connect with your root chakra (Muladhara)

    • The colour red

    • The root chakra symbol

    • Mantras

      • I am grounded

      • I am balanced

      • I am safe

      • I am enough

      • Lam (the a single-syllable sound used in yoga as a bija, or seed, mantra for the muladhara, aka root, chakra)


  6. Meditation

    • Meditation is a big one when it comes to getting grounded, because it requires stillness.

    • Connect your root chakra (base) to the planet and feel yourself anchored to the Earth. Feel your roots growing from the base of your spine, connecting you to the earth. Feel the earth’s energy feeding its way up your roots and into the core of your Being, nourishing your Soul.

    • There are many root chakra nourishing meditations online, including:

7. Restorative yoga

  • Restorative yoga is essentially a guided nap, it’s the kind of yoga that is deeply triggering to an ungrounded person. It can feel “useless” to those who have (often unknowingly) turned yoga into a stepping stone for achievement.


8. Tidy up

  • Your kitchen cupboards, your fridge, your bedroom, that pile of random papers in your drawer, the shit accumulating in your car, your desktop, all the open tabs on your laptop, your sock drawers. Get rid of what you don’t need, and what is cluttering up your energetic field. Clear your space, and clear your mind.

9. Rest

  • put yourself first: learn to say no

  • take a hot bath

  • moisturize (sesame oil is very grounding)

  • take a day(s) off work

  • netflix n’ chill

  • change your bed sheets

  • stay in bed all day


10. Social Media Detox

  • End of day limit: pick a time where your social media is done for the day. Ie. No social media after 7pm. Bonus: it’s great for your circadian health. In the latest update, Apple iPhones have the ability to block the use of certain apps after a specific time.

  • Time limit per day: this same update on iPhones enables you to track how much time per day that you spend on your phone. There are other apps as well, and basically you can learn to reduce the amount of time spent on your phone.

  • Extended detox: 1, 3, or 7, or even 30 days total break from all social media. You can delete the app (to prevent auto piloting it), but personally I just move the apps to a folder a couple of pages off from the home page.


11. Communicate

  • Express your need to go inwards and be still with those around you. Be it a friend, a partner, or an employer: it’s important people understand where you’re at, so that they can support you. Most businesses these days are incredibly supportive of “mental health” days, and by explaining to those around you how you’re feeling/ what you’re needing, you can avoid unnecessarily causing tension or friction that can occur when someone retreats. “Those that matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter,” Cat In The Hat knows: those that support your time to rest are the ones worth keeping around.


and perhaps most importantly of all:

Release the Guilt

Our society is rooted in a deep imbalance of the masculine: a need for incessant overachievement, entangled with the materialist, always Doing. Even in the most spiritual person, there is often a deep guilt associated with just Being. We need to reclaim the honouring of rest… of the sacred feminine. We needn’t feel guilt for observing, quieting the mind.

 Nature’s stillness: so much is going on, and yet… utter stillness.  Mystery Lake, Vancouver, BC, Canada. November 2018.

Nature’s stillness: so much is going on, and yet… utter stillness.

Mystery Lake, Vancouver, BC, Canada. November 2018.

Do you have experience with any of the above? What resonates? Comment below x