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Feeling Positive These Days Seems Elusive—but It's Possible. Here are 7 Tips for Finding Your Center

Feeling Positive These Days Seems Elusive—but It's Possible. Here are 7 Tips for Finding Your Center

By Laura Koniver
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Around the clock we are bombarded with horrific world events, stressful local news, and Supreme Court rulings that may leave us feeling defeated. It’s normal to feel stressed out, unsure, depressed, and anxious right now. But it’s possible to find relief and hope—and this can be found by connecting with the earth.

Through the ancient practice of grounding, which is when our human body directly touches the ground or plants growing out of the earth, we can release pent up frustration, lift tension from our muscles, boost mood, decrease depression and anxiety, and restore hope. The best part is that the earth is free and always available to you. If you are feeling overwhelmed, all you have to do is walk out your front door, step out of your office, or pull over your car at the nearest rest stop and touch the earth.

Here are a few simple exercises to offer you relief:

1. Grounded deep breathing—for when you're feeling overwhelmed by the news.

It only takes three deep breaths to calm your heart rate, decrease muscle tension and feel more centered. Combine that with grounding outside and you’ll get exponential benefits. It can be as simple as sitting outside on the earth and just taking three deep breaths to reset your mind and body.

2. Grounding in morning daylight—for when you're feeling sad or despondent.

Grounding alone can significantly boost mood, but combine that with morning light exposure helps to take that even further. Try to get into a daily routine of taking just a few minutes every morning when you wake up to step outside—you can even take your coffee with you—to greet the day grounded, and feel your mood brighten.

3. Sidewalk grounding—for when you need a break from stress at work.

More surfaces than you think will ground you. You can get grounded on a city sidewalk just as easily as at the beach. You just have to touch it. So head outside and find your favorite sidewalk square. Stand with a foot touching it or sit down and let your hand touch the sidewalk and allow grounding go immediately to work, stabilizing your autonomic nervous system so you can return back to the task at hand feeling much more centered.

4. Touching a tree—for when you need a boost of positivity.

Multiple studies have found that having access to a garden or other green space—even simply viewing plants—decreases depression rates, anxiety rates, and dramatically reduces stress. You can get all of those benefits by seeking out a favorite tree, and then get even more benefits by touching it. All plants that are growing in the ground—including trees, bushes, flowers, even a single blade of grass—are grounded and will ground you instantly when you touch it. So reach out and hold on to your favorite tree, and visit it often, through all the seasons, to add the healing benefits of grounding for a powerful energy boost and mood lift.

5. Eating outside—for when you are feeling fatigued or run down.

The midday slump is real, and dealing with stressful news when we are already feeling depleted makes us feel even worse. That’s why one of the best habits you can get into is taking your lunch outside and eating it while grounded, to help you power through the afternoon. Head outside and sit at a bench, slipping your shoes off and resting feet on the ground while you eat, sit on a sidewalk or cement steps, or even simply touch a metal railing while outside on your lunch break, as all of these will ground you. As an added bonus, grounding actually boosts digestion by supporting your vagal tone, and allows you to process the nutrients you are eating even better.

6. Looking at the night sky—for when you cannot sleep.

One of my favorite ways to ground—especially when I’ve been too busy to ground all day long—is to ground on my way up to bed, standing outside looking up at the stars and moon. Look up and reconnect with the wonder of being a human being standing on a rock that spirals through space in this mysterious, beautiful, alive universe. Doing it while grounded helps even more, as grounding helps deepen sleep and allows the sleep you do get to be even more restorative. So, if you realize you are carrying the stress of the day into bed with you, stop. Go outside and look up. Take a few minutes to ground outside under the night sky to clear your mind and prepare your body for sleep.

7. Quietly walking—for when you are feeling anxious.

Movement gives your body a natural opioid, endorphins, serotonin and anandamide boost, which promotes a feeling of wellness. If you have pent up nervous energy, move that beautiful body of yours! Do it grounded and you will be adding an even deeper level of support from the earth that will decrease anxiety and help you feel more centered. Go on a walk barefoot, even if that is just up and down a small patch of grass or a few squares of sidewalk. Grounding helps release the body from fight or flight mode and allows you to feel centered and safe. Let the stability of the earth ease your panic and calm your anxiety with its power.

The earth is waiting out there to center and support you. So the next time you are feeling despondent, anxious, or overwhelmed, just go outside. Don’t force anything. Touch the earth and let nature work its magic. The earth can hold even your worst of days and remain an immovable source of strength.

You can learn more about grounding and its positive impacts by watching this video.

Laura Koniver MD is an artist, author, holistic physician, and internationally recognized grounding advocate. She is the author of The Earth Prescription, her fourth book. She received her medical doctorate degree from Jefferson Medical College in 2000 and has been passionately supporting her patients’ natural healing ever since. Dr. Koniver’s work has been featured in many news and media outlets, and she’s been featured as an expert protagonist in several motion pictures, including The Grounded, Heal for Free, The Earthing Movie, and Down to Earth. She runs the popular health care blog,