2 Easy ways to help kids ground their energy
This is a question I ask my Connected Kids students when they are learning to teach kids meditation.
It is one of the simplest ways to remedy our energy yet we often don’t notice what ‘being ungrounded’ is (until things really go pear-shaped!)
Being ungrounded means
- feeling overwhelmed
- unable to think clearly
- in the fight/flight/freeze response
- sensitive to others/environment triggering strong reactions
- unable to sleep easily
- poor coordination
- poor attention on a task
- never completing anything
- wanting to eat and graze
- tension in the body
- unable to relax and switch off
If this sounds familiar to you (perhaps your own state of wellbeing or your children) then this is what we mean by being ‘ungrounded’.
Today’s lifestyle does little to support our sense of feeling grounded;
- over exposed to technology,
- diet (overuse of stimulants/sugar),
- lack of physical play for kids,
- lack of being in nature…
…are a few of the issues that contribute to a young person feeling ungrounded.
In addition, if a child is on the autistic spectrum or has ADHD, then ‘being grounded’ is a tougher challenge as they lack the filtering systems (sensory processing disorder) so their nervous system is more easily triggered.
This is why we teach adults, educators, professionals and carers how to help their children mindfully ground their energy – because it’s like a life-raft when their energy is ‘all at sea’.
Difficult behaviour in the classroom/home life
The increase in difficult behaviour in the classroom, at home and a growing lack of resilience, emotional intelligence and self-regulation… can all be managed more effectively if we help the young person
- identify how they are ungrounded
- and teach them how to ground their energy
- and help them notice when they are becoming ungrounded.
It sounds simple (and it is) but it just takes consistent, regular practice to see the results.
And it starts with you.
If you are ungrounded (think back to the symptoms listed above) then it will be impossible for you to help a young person become more grounded.
Then you introduce these ideas mindfully and compassionately to children. This is how we help people teach their kids or become Professional Meditation teachers on our Connected Kids Programme.
Grounding Techniques 101
The breath is key. It is the first aspect of our physiology which changes when we are becoming ungrounded.
You may have heard the breath called an ‘anchor’ in meditation. That’s because it not only helps our awareness anchor into the moment, but it helps to reduce the affects of the trigger that is stimulating the stress response.
Focusing on the out breath is a very easy way to calm the nervous system.
- To engage children with focusing on the out-breath, invite them to make a sound and listen to it as they make it (remember to join in!)
- Or you can invite them to notice the sensation of their breath on their hands as they breathe out.
Connecting to the ‘mother ship’
Then we have the connection with our feet to the ground.
The magnetic pull of the earth (eg gravity) helps our bodies connect to the ground and by focusing on this, it is an easy way to help us feel more grounded.
Once we imagine it, we can bring in awareness of the breath so that the connection feels stronger.
If you imagine connecting yourself to the ground it will help to ground the energy (mental, emotional and physical).
During our online Connected Kids programme to help people become professional kids meditation teachers, we developed a couple of ways to combine the breath with becoming more grounded.
Listen to 2 simple, easy, grounding ideas.
I have a host of other ideas in our Calm Kids book (foundation level) and Connected kids (if you are working with autism/adhd or wish or are working professionally with kids. If you are really serious about this then these books come as part of our training – hope you can join us!
And if you can’t – practise and invite your kids to join you!
Want to know more?