In our bustling corporate landscapes where time is currency and productivity are king; stress and anxiety have historically been viewed as badges of honor. It should come as no surprise that the result of these constant pressures of work, personal life, and technology can take a toll on our mental health and well-being.
Amid this ceaseless frenzy, we must ask ourselves: is there a way to stay centered while still striving for excellence?
The answer may lie in an ancient wisdom that has stood the test of time; a practice known as grounding. This powerful practice has gained recognition especially in a post pandemic world for its ability to improve mental health and overall wellbeing.
This practice is not a modern-day fad, rather grounding can be traced back to many ancient civilizations who believed in the healing powers of the earth such as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
The Concept of Grounding
Grounding, also known as earthing, is a therapeutic technique & mindfulness practice that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth and with the present moment. It’s a conscious effort to disengage from the distractions and anxiety of the past or future and instead focus on the ‘here and now’, immersing ourselves in the natural world around us. Grounding finds its roots in Buddhist and Stoic philosophies and has been used for centuries as a tool for wellness, happiness, and clarity.
Grounding techniques involves mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and even simple activities like walking barefoot on the ground, gardening, sitting by a tree or physical exercises that demand your attention in the present moment. The objective is to cultivate a state of awareness that anchors you, making you feel more centered, calm and in tune with your surroundings; grounded.
Grounding and Mental Health
There is a growing body of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of grounding on mental health. Mindfulness practices have been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce stress levels, and enhance overall cognitive functioning.
For instance, focusing on the sensation of the grass under your bare feet during a walk, the rhythm of your breath during meditation or the soft hum of nature in a quiet moment all have a grounding effect on those who practice.
Spending time in nature is one of the most effective ways to achieve a grounding experience. Research has shown that exposure to nature can positively impact mental health by reducing stress hormones, improving moods, promoting a sense of calm and tranquility, reducing our flight-or-fight response, and enhancing the body’s parasympathetic nervous system responsible for relaxation and rejuvenation.
The benefits of this ancient practice extend well beyond emotional well-being. Grounding has been found to enhance our cognitive function, improve focus, and boost mental clarity as well.
When we ground ourselves, we allow our minds to rest, rejuvenate, and function at their optimal level. This can lead to increased productivity, better decision-making, and heightened creativity. By incorporating grounding practices into our daily lives, we unlock our full potential and tap into a state of flow where our work becomes effortless and enjoyable.
In a corporate setting, where stress and anxiety are commonplace, grounding practices can act as a counterbalance. They offer employees an avenue to manage their mental health, thus impacting not just their well-being but also their productivity.
Grounding in the Corporate World and the Benefits to Employees
Mental health issues have increasingly become a focal point in discussions about the future workplace and while grounding has gained popularity among individuals seeking to improve their mental health, its benefits extend into our workplaces.
Organizations face numerous challenges in today’s business environments including high turnover, stress, burnout, and increased anxiety all of which can affect employee productivity, engagement, and overall well-being. Prioritizing the mental health & well-being of employees has become crucial for building a healthy, engaged, and high-performing workforce.
Grounding presents a compelling solution to these problems; one that no longer can be ignored, especially for organizations in this post-pandemic world. Introducing these practices in the workplace can offer significant benefits for both employees and their organizations.
By supporting stress reduction, this practice helps create a positive work environment, foster stronger relationships among team members, and enhance overall job satisfaction for employees. By incorporating grounding practices into their operations, companies can create a workplace culture that values employee well-being, promotes a healthy work-life balance, and cultivates a supportive environment conducive to productivity and innovation.
When employees are grounded, the benefits are multifold. Employees are better equipped to handle stress and less prone to burnout. They can focus more effectively, enhancing their productivity. A clear mind allows for enhanced creativity and problem-solving skills. Moreover, grounding promotes better decision-making, fostering more measured responses rather than knee-jerk reactions to business situations.
But beyond these individual benefits, grounding practices can also positively impact team dynamics. Grounded employees are more empathetic, which can lead to improved communication, better teamwork, and a healthier work environment.
Sound like a dream or impossible to achieve in today’s corporate environments – I promise you, it’s not.
Implementing Grounding Practices in Companies
Introducing grounding practices in the corporate world is not without challenges, but is possible. It requires a change in the traditional corporate mindset and a commitment to employee well-being. But the effort is worthwhile.
Companies can integrate grounding practices into their operations in several ways. It’s about building awareness, providing education, and creating an environment that values and promotes mindfulness and presence.
Implementing a grounding-based wellness program involves several key steps:
- Education: Providing information and resources to employees about mindfulness training, grounding and its benefits.
- Inclusion: Integrating grounding practices into the workday, such as incorporating mindfulness sessions, facilitating “walking meetings” or supporting tech – detox days.
- Support: Encouraging a supportive environment that empowers employees to take time for grounding exercises without fear of judgment or repercussion.
Leadership plays a vital role in this process. By leading the way in practicing grounding techniques and encouraging their use, leaders can help normalize these practices within the workplace and inspire participation.
Creating a supportive culture that prioritizes mental well-being is vital aspect of implementing grounding practices in organizations. Companies can encourage self-care, promote work-life balance, and provide resources for mental health support. By fostering an environment that values employees’ mental well-being as much as their technical skills or productivity, organizations can cultivate a happier, more engaged workforce.
Access to nature is an essential component of any grounding practice. Companies can incorporate elements of nature within the workplace environment, such as indoor plants, natural lighting, or outdoor seating areas. Having green spaces or nearby parks allows employees to take short breaks and connect with nature, even in the midst of a busy workday.
Offering wellness programs that include mindfulness training, yoga or meditation sessions, and promoting regular breaks for employees to recharge can greatly support grounding practices in the workplace.
One example of implementing these kinds of practices in the workplace is Google’s “Search Inside Yourself” program which offers mindfulness training to its employees, combining meditation practices with emotional intelligence exercises. The results have been noteworthy, with employees reporting reduced stress levels and increased job satisfaction.
The Future of Grounding in Corporate Productivity
As the world continues to evolve and become more demanding, the need for grounding practices in both personal and professional settings will continue to gain importance.
The ability to stay centered amid chaos is not just a personal virtue but a corporate asset. It will continue reshape our approach to work, productivity, and corporate cultures.
Grounding offers individuals a pathway to improved mental well-being, helping to manage stress, enhance self-awareness, and improve decision-making abilities. For organizations, implementing grounding practices can lead to a healthier and more harmonious work environment, with benefits that include increased employee satisfaction, reduced burnout rates, and improved overall productivity.
In conclusion, grounding is more than just a stress-relief technique; it’s a tool for well-being and productivity. It’s a way of life that can profoundly impact corporate productivity and employee well-being that empowers individuals and organizations to thrive and flourish.
Learn more about our Author: Kelly Colón‘s multi-disciplinary background gives her a holistic view of strategy development – particularly focused on blending the physical, psychological and behavioral elements of the workplace when supporting new ways of working, changes in work practices and ongoing operational support. At Allsteel, Kelly provides science and insight-informed guidance to a wide range of client projects in sectors including life science, financial, technology, higher education and government; an contributes to Allsteel’s strategic planning process. Kelly joined the Allsteel Workplace Advisory team in 2022, bringing unique and diverse skillsets and experiences from her 32 years in real estate, facilities and operations fields. Her last 10 years have been focused on developing operational strategies, facilities management and construction as well as teaching facilities and operational courses in several Boston-based colleges and universities. Kelly is an active member of CoreNet Global, the international Facilities Management Association and Workplace Evolutionaries, and most recently supported Women in Bio’s mentoring community. Kelly received MS in Facilities Management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy, a BS in Facilities Planning & Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology and an AS in Interior Design from Hesser College. She also competed post-graduate coursework in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at North Central University. Outside of work, Kelly’s passions include spending time with her husband and children, anything outdoors – other than camping – baking, reading and writing.
*Disclaimer: This post was not generated by A.I. It is indeed written by a real life human. A pretty cool human in fact.