Mindful Mondays: A Grounding Meditation for Relieving Stressful, Overwhelming Thoughts

Teryn is here again! Today for Mindful Monday I wanted to offer a simple mediation you can do at home to help you relax and ground down when you’re feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed in your mind. If you’re feeling very “in your head,” this meditation may help quiet down the chatter within and help you feel a little more present and calm. (We call this being “grounded” in yoga, and I’ll explain a little more about being grounded further down in this post).

Meditation for Relieving Stressful, Overwhelming Thoughts

·      Lay on the floor or on your mat. You may sit if you’d like.

·      As you lie or sit, begin to breathe deeply. Inhale and count to 3, exhale and count to 3. You may find another number to be more helpful. Wherever you end up with the count, find a breath that is deeper than what you normally do each day. Make each breath even.

·      Imagine that you are lying/sitting on the earth, and that the earth is below you hundreds and hundreds of feet. It may be helpful to picture the earth below you as a red or brown color. Continue to breathe and picture the earth below you, and see if you can picture yourself lying/sitting on this stable, comfortable surface. Breathe and picture yourself lying/sitting on the earth that goes down many hundreds of feet for at least 3 minutes.

·      As you breathe, begin to scan your body. Start with your head, then slowly let your breath and awareness trickle down from head, arms, chest, hips, legs, and down to toes. Take time to notice different areas of your body and breathe into those areas. Scan your body for at least 3-5 minutes.

·      Do one more body scan from head down to toes. As you scan your body with your breath and awareness, imagine yourself sinking down into the deep, red-brown earth with every breath. You can even imagine that your body is growing roots that are growing and tethering themselves to the earth. Do this for at least 3-5 minutes.

·      Breathe deeply in and out, letting the visual of the earth fade. Just lie or sit on your mat for 1-2 minutes.

Notice if this meditation helped you feel more steady, rooted, and less in your head.


On Being Grounded in Yoga

The purpose behind the concept of being “grounded” in yoga is to help you get out of your head and into a more centered place that is grounded in the reality: the reality of the present, of your body, and in the natural pull of gravity and the earth.

Many of you may live in your head constantly, and this can cause you to become even more stressed, depressed, and flighty. Ever heard of the expression “head stuck in the clouds”? For many of you, the more you stress out, overthink things, etc., the more detached from the steady, earthy reality of the present you can get. In order to achieve balance in your life, you need to constantly come back to a firmer, more solid place of being more grounded in the present and of realizing that there's a stable earth underneath you. A meditation like this can help you get out of your head too much and calm yourself.

(Note: It may take a daily practice of meditation and thinking about grounding down over time. Oftentimes, things aren’t fixed overnight, but consistent work to ground down can really lead to positive results over time.)

Please let me know what you think if you try this at home!

Abby Mortenson