Grounding (related words: to ground, to be grounded; opposite: ungrounded)
One of the common definitions of “grounding” is the connection between an electrical device or circuit and the earth. The earth contact safely absorbs excess voltage so you don’t blow a fuse or damage equipment. Think of the mind as the electrical device and the physical body as the safe contact. When the mind is too hyperactive – too buzzy – that excess energy can be grounded, or neutralized, by bringing awareness to the physical body and to its connection to the physical world.
How do you do this?
With your mind! You use your imagination and focus to bring your awareness back to the body and direct it to relax and let go of excess mental noise.
In yoga, the standing poses such as mountain pose (tadasana) help you do this by directing your attention to how you are standing on the earth and by encouraging you to take deep, relaxing breaths to release tension and calm the mind.
In terms of the chakra system, the root chakra at the base of the spine is seen to be the area of the energy system where grounding takes place – is if it were a root connecting you to the planet. Attention placed on the legs and feet, visualizations of roots or a cord that connects you to the Earth – all are ways to channel mental energy back into awareness of the physical.
When you extend the metaphor of grounding into your everyday life, then it means that you don’t just live in the world of ideas or possibilities, but that you also are practically oriented toward being safe and successful in the physical reality. If you try some of these things and you feel calmer and more connected, then you have succeeded in grounding.
See also: centering