When energy is scattered, out of control, and “all over the place,” it is very hard for kids to calm down. Here are some grounding techniques that can help you and your child re-center, re-focus, and calm the body for focused attention, becoming present and “grounded” in the moment.
Transforming scattered energy and being able to settle herself, is a tool that will benefit your child her entire life from test preparation, interviews, sporting events, homework completion, and musical performance to simply calming herself for restful sleep. Self-soothing is an ability that is an essential part of emotional regulation, the ability to shift from strong emotion to calm emotion.
In the energy medicine world, “grounding” is used to define the act of calming scattered, high energy, transforming it into calm, centered, focused energy within the body. Practitioners talk about “grounding cords” which are energetic channels that connect us with the Earth. And, that makes sense to me. I mean when my energy is “grounded,” I feel heavy, weighted, calm, “down to earth, solid and connected to the world around me, firmly rooted in present time. My center of gravity is aligned with the Earth and I don’t feel as if someone could push on my shoulders and just topple me over.
When I am feeling “ungrounded,” I can feel lightheaded, air-like, easily distracted, and dizzy, disoriented, scattered, flighty and easily distracted, maybe a little “out of this world” or like my “head is in the clouds.”
Kids experience this too. I often go into classrooms and help kids to tune in to see how the energy is in the room. Asking them to take note, especially if it is really loud, high energy and scattered. After we do these activities, then I ask them to tune in again and they can see how the energy has shifted. Often it is now, very calm, quiet, centered, focused and more kids are paying attention.
Here are some fun, engaging ways to transform scattered high energy into focused, centered energy. Try them out and let me know what you think! Most of all…..have FUN!
Invite your kids to become captains of their energy ships. Play Anchors Away.
Read this script: Right now you get to become the captain of your energy ship. Even if your energy is really high, scattered, and all over the place, this will help you to calm your body. First, stand tall, like on the deck of your ship. Get ready to drop your anchor. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, really feel the breath entering through your nose and exiting through your mouth. Breathe in, let your tummy fill up like a balloon. Breathe out, let your tummy go flat like a pancake. Now imagine that you are holding a rope with an anchor on the end. Now drop that anchor right behind you, deep into the earth. As it drops, imagine that it is connecting you to the ground below you, securely, safely anchoring your energy right where you stand. Feel your feet solidly connecting with the ground beneath you. See if you can imagine this anchor, sending it even deeper down, dropping deep deep down, even further, as far as you can. Drop it deep deep into the center of the Earth, like an anchor dropping deep into the ocean. (pause) Now notice how you feel in your body as your energy is calm, quietly connecting deeply within the Earth. Maybe you can imagine your energy calming, feeling connected, centered, balanced? Good! When you feel that your anchor is down as far as it will go right now. Take a couple of more deep breaths in and let them out. Really feel the solid, calm weight of your feet on the ground. Excellent!~ Slowly begin to bring your attention back to the room around you. (pause) You can open your eyes when you are ready.
Have you child check in with her body now and note if anything has changed. If you are doing this in a classroom, invite the class to share their different experiences. Note the energy in the room as a whole. See the difference. Eventually after you have practiced a couple of times, you can use the code word “Anchors Away” when you want to shift the energy in the room and it will be the cue for everyone to center and ground using this activity.
Other KidsRelaxation blog posts that include grounding activities can be found here:
Inner Mountain Game by Leah Kalish
Grounding Cord Meditation by Sarah Wood