Health And Wellness

9 Ways To Balance Your Root Chakra When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

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woman with a balanced root chakra

Do you know what your root chakra is? If so, are you aware of how to balance your root chakra to bring peace and calm into your life?

Your chakras are energy centers that run the base of your spine to just above the top of your head. They're inextricably linked to your embodied experience: What you sense, think, and feel. They mirror that experience.

Therefore, if you balance your chakras, you help bring your body, emotions, mind, and spirit back into balance.

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The root chakra relates to stress, survival, and safety.

The root chakra, also called the Muladhara, is located at the base of your spine. It's the chakra most attuned to your stress response and survival instinct. It relates to satisfying your basic needs, safety, and survival.

To reduce overwhelm, you'll need to balance your root chakra with a few simple, natural practices.

But how can you understand the root chakra's relationship to basic needs and safety during the pandemic?

Balancing your root chakra is more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.

These are really difficult times for so many people. While you face extraordinary health and financial threats, you're severely constrained in what actions you can take to help regain your balance and security.

It's hard not to feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. At times, it's like walking a tightrope draped across a long, dark abyss: Lots of uncertainty still lies ahead.

Now, more than ever, self-care is critical. Recall that the root is all about the fulfillment of basic needs, physical survival, and safety. It also relates to your sense of belonging, whether it's to a clan, ethnic group, community, etc.

Isolation, an outcome of fear and stay-at-home orders, is a challenge for the root. It's easy to see how the pandemic and financial recession could wreak havoc on your root chakra.

Here are 3 reasons why your root chakra may be strained right now.

1. Possible health stressors. 

You might be anxious about your health or the health of your loved ones. If you're an essential worker or recently returned to work outside the home, there's a chance that you could bring the virus home to your loved ones.

Caution and health orders prevent you from socializing with friends. You spend more time alone, especially if you live by yourself.

2. Possible financial stressors. 

On the financial side, you or another family member may have had your hours cut or even lost a job altogether. A significant dip in your income could put your housing at risk.

3. Real or imagined stressors.

The experience of these events — or simply the fear that any of these events could happen — will throw you and your root chakra out of balance. The imbalance of energy in this center could be expressed as too much energy (surplus or excessive) or too little energy (deficit).

Which might you be experiencing?

Your fight-flight-freeze response is associated with the root chakra.

To understand the connection between your energy centers and your body, consider that the root is closely associated with your vagus nerve.

This is the part of your nervous system that modulates your autonomic "fight-flight-freeze" response to threats, stress, and overwhelm — which is also known as the sympathetic response.

The vagus nerve, through the parasympathetic response, enables the body to rebound. This innate and automatic response is critical to the success of your body's survival instinct. 

Here are 2 major symptoms of an unbalances root chakra.

1. Excess energy imbalance.

Feelings and behaviors associated with excess root chakra energy are: fear, worry, anxiety, ungroundedness, overwhelm, feeling unsettled, distrustful, unable to focus or sit still, hyper-vigilant, and compulsive.

All of these feelings and behaviors connote agitation and excess, which mirror the nervous system's states of fight or flight.

2. Deficit energy imbalance.

Feelings and attributes associated with deficit energy in the root chakra are: Feeling lethargic, sluggish, tired, drained, heavy, obsessive, fixated, hoarding, depressed, over-eating, and exhibiting other eating disorders.

These feelings and behaviors imply dampening or shutting down, which mirror the nervous system's states of freeze or numb.

You undoubtedly recognize some of the symptoms of root chakra imbalance. It's possible that you've experienced excess and deficit energy imbalances under different difficult circumstances, or maybe one expression of imbalance is more common for you: your habitual response.

When you balance your root chakra, you also improve the balance of the vagus nerve, and both can mitigate your stress response. In fact, many of these practices are suggested for toning your vagus nerve to rebalance and bring down your stress levels.

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Here are 9 ways to balance your root chakra when you're feeling overwhelmed.

1. Practice slow breathing.

Take deep, slow inhales and exhales. Deep breaths stimulate nerve endings in the lower lungs associated with vagus nerve activation.

2. Meditate.

This can be a seated or moving meditation. Follow your inner compass to identify that practice that shifts your energy up or down, depending on whether your root chakra is in deficit or surplus.

3. Follow guided meditations.

Listen to guided meditations that ground and center. Grounding and centering draws your scattered energy back in. It can also build strength when you feel depleted.

4. Go outside and get some fresh air.

Spend time in nature and walking barefoot. Nature rebalances both excess and deficit root chakra energy.

5. Regularize your schedule.

This can lessen the sense of disorder or chaos that is often associated with the excess energy of overwhelm.

6. Eat fresh, healthy foods.

Eat root vegetables and red meat, which are grounding. Heavier foods help reduce excess energy.

Light food and effervescent drinks as well as bright herbal tea such as ginger, lemon, and mint help shed the heaviness of an energy deficit.

7. Get yourself moving!

Bring your attention to the body through stretching, exercise, or dance. Movement is particularly helpful for energy deficits.

8. Try essential oils.

Diffuse grounding essential oils derived from the roots and resins of plants such as vetiver, which has antioxidant properties.

9. Socialize in reasonable ways given the pandemic.

Organize or attend virtual Zoom meetings, schedule regular check-in calls with family and friends. Host a socially distanced outdoor gathering with just a few friends.

Natural healing takes time and repetition. When you put your attention on yourself and how you're feeling, you notice when you start to shift off balance. This is the time to do some self-care practice and quickly regain your balance.

You'll know when your root chakra is balanced, because you'll feel safe and secure. You may not have been able to solve all your problems, but you'll feel more confident, grounded, courageous, resourceful, creative, and hopeful.

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Patricia Bonnard, Ph.D., ACC is a certified International Coaching Federation (ICF) leadership coach and a certified Martha Beck life coach. For more information, visit her website.

This article was originally published at Star Chaser-Healing Arts. Reprinted with permission from the author.