Feeling overwhelmed and off-balance, trying to manage when life feels chaotic and out of control can leave us feeling frazzled, anxious, and struggling. Sometimes we react to life circumstances from a place of groundedness, feeling capable and calm, despite the chaos. Other times we feel like a leaf in the wind, being blown about, our emotions at the mercy of the events around us.
“Dig deep & pull the roots of confidence from the ground of your being, standing firm in the raging storm until sunlight blossoms inside you.”
― Curtis Tyrone Jones
Being grounded in life allows us to feel focused, centered, and present in the moment. And even though we can’t always control the events happening around us, we can choose how we respond.
Being Grounded in Life:
- You feel focused, centered, and present
- You have the deep inner feeling of being good enough
- You feel secure and solid in who you are
- You know you will be fine no matter what happens
- You feel a sense of purpose
- You have a sense of clarity and are able to choose your response to the events happening in your life
- You are able to feel and express your emotions without them spiraling out of your control
- You trust yourself
- Being grounded is about understanding the kind of person you want to be and making decisions that support your best self
So how do we practice the art of groundedness when the challenges of life come hurtling at us?
Use these 10 strategies when you feel stressed, overwhelmed, worried, tense, or uncertain.
- Breath focus – coming into your body is the fastest and most effective way to reground yourself. The easiest way to do this is to practice focusing on your breath. Try this method – inhale slowly to the count of four, pause, then exhale slowly to the count of five. Repeat four times and feel your body and thoughts slow.
- Experience with all your senses. This is another way to come back to the body. Take a moment to pause and experience the moment with all your senses. Notice the sounds, sights, physical sensations, and scents around you.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. This is an excellent way to come into the body as well as notice the areas holding tension. By first noticing, then releasing, you can relax and let go of both the physical and mental tension. CLICK HERE for a downloadable PDF with simple instructions.
- Remember 5 positive experiences in the past week. We can instantly change our thought patterns and body tension from worry and tension by focusing on the positive. I have used this technique with my coaching clients and repeatedly seen results. Think back over the past few days and come up with five positive experiences – it could be as small as the friendly cashier at the grocery store to something more significant like a supportive phone call from a friend. The point is to focus on five positive experiences to help break the tension/worry/negativity pattern.
- Gratitude. Take a few minutes and write down or say aloud 10 things you are grateful for
- Ask Questions. If you are struggling with worry – ask yourself, “What event on the horizon is making me anxious? Why is this making me anxious and what’s the worst that could happen?” And then follow up with, “What’s the best that could happen?”
- Shake things up with Movement. Movement is a powerful way to instantly change our physical and mental pattern. It can be something formal like a few yoga poses, taking a walk, or as simple and silly as jumping jacks or dancing to a favorite song.
- Unplug. Even if you can’t completely unplug, take a break free from all social media and news. Set a time limit for yourself – a specific time during the day, or better yet, set aside an entire day or several days. Notice how you feel.
- Spend time in nature. See if you can walk barefoot in the grass. Use all your senses – listen for the sound of insects, the feel of the breeze on your skin, can you smell the fresh cut grass, what do you see?
- Visualization and grounding. Try this technique – Either from a standing or seated position, press your feet firmly into the floor. Visualize the tension and worry draining from your body, pouring into the ground. What color is it? See and feel it moving down your body from head to toe. As the negative energy drains, notice the feeling of lightness that takes over.