Oh, to feel more grounded. At some point or another, you have probably come across the idea of being “grounded” without actually understanding the meaning. On the other hand, you may associate the term with other commonly used statements such as the idea of being present or living in the moment.
While the latter association is an accurate definition of what it means to be grounded, the idea itself sounds great but can be quite difficult to actually achieve. The feeling of I don’t feel grounded in reality is more common than you might think.
What does it mean to feel more grounded?
As fast-paced and stressful as our daily lives tend to be, being able to quiet the mind and direct full attention to the moment at hand is both an elusive and invaluable skill to possess. Becoming grounded is an effective way to combat the stress and overwhelming aspects of daily life that you are confronted with.
In this article, we will discuss ten of the most effective strategies related to how to feel more grounded in reality.
Don’t Resist Unwanted Thoughts
When you find yourself in a state of mind in which a formless jumble of thoughts, particularly negative thoughts, begin to cloud your mental clarity, your initial reaction is probably to resist them entirely. Naturally, blocking out or ridding your mind of these unwanted visitors may seem like the most logical option.
The truth is, exerting a significant amount of mental energy trying to block these thoughts from entering your mind or ignoring their presence tends to reinforce and strengthen them. Instead of labeling these thoughts as negative or unwanted and confronting them head on, try thinking of them as neutral, temporary visitors that are allowed to flow in and out of your mind as they please.
Engage In Sensory Stimulation
A great way to feel grounded in the current moment is to become more aware of the sensory feedback in the moment. While your mind will gladly take you to other places, your senses are much more focused on the here and now.
Wherever you find yourself, direct your mind to the sensory stimuli around you. Focus on the pressure of the surface you are sitting on, the air conditioning or sunlight on exposed skin, any smells that find your nose. Unlike your thoughts, these types of sensory feedback are only available in the present moment.
Transfer Thoughts To Paper
Something about the simple act of transferring what is in your mind to a physical location such as paper can greatly improve your sense of the present. Doing so is almost like moving a chunk of information taking up space on your computer to an external hard drive.
When your mind becomes cluttered with recurring thoughts, to-dos for the next week or any other information that is not pertinent at the current time, writing these things down can free up space in your head. The resulting increase in mental clarity promotes a much better sense of grounding and perception of the current moment.
Mentally Change Your Situation
Being grounded is much easier when you are in an environment that makes you feel more present and at ease. The problem is that the situations in which you could really benefit from being more grounded typically don’t occur in this type of place.
While it may sound too idealistic, sometimes mentally placing yourself in an environment that is more conducive to being grounded can actually be enough. When you feel your thoughts begin to swirl and worry sets in, center your focus and attention on recreating your ideal environment in your mind.
Focus On Positive Internal Dialogue
Although it often goes unnoticed, there is a fairly constant conversation going on in our minds. We are always engaging ourselves in these mental chats, commenting on the things around us and discussing personal things about ourselves.
Given the frequency of these conversations, the tone with which you speak to yourself is important to consider. With regards to feeling grounded, you must avoid criticizing yourself and being impatient when you cannot seem to focus on the present. On the contrary, reassuring yourself that you can focus and that you are capable of being grounded must remain a point of emphasis.
Be Aware Of Your Breathing
Another effective way to become more grounded is to identify a point of focus that you can keep returning to when your thoughts begin to wander. One commonly used focus point is breathing.
By sitting quietly and focusing on your breath, it becomes easier to immerse yourself in the moment at hand. Breathing naturally, feeling your chest rise and fall and being aware of the replenishing wave of oxygen in your lungs can replace the erratic thoughts in your mind. Much like other similar techniques, this does require practice to maximize its effectiveness.
Spend Time Outdoors
In today’s world, the majority of us do not spend much time outdoors in our daily schedules. From working in an office, watching TV in the house and traveling via car to and from these places, outdoors usually requires a conscious effort.
The problem is humans were made to spend time outdoors. There are a variety of processes within our bodies, including mood and mental clarity, that require some of the things that the outdoors provides. If you find yourself feeling a lack of focus or in a negative state of mind, try moving some of your typical inside activities outdoors or allocate some of your spare time to doing so.
Do Things You Enjoy
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that allowing yourself to become grounded in the present moment is more difficult to do when you are engaged in activities you don’t enjoy. This is why, when possible, you should make sure to include these things in your life consistently.
While life doesn’t usually allow us to spend every waking moment engaged in hobbies or activities, we are passionate about, make sure to maintain a healthy balance of mandatory and voluntary things in your life.
Let Your Body Move
Similar to a vast list of other negative physical and mental effects, not getting your body in motion enough is really detrimental to your sense of focus and being grounded.
Your body is made to move and, therefore, things don’t function properly when it doesn’t. This does not mean you have to subject yourself to grueling workouts, maybe that’s not your thing. However, you must make sure to routinely engage in some sort of physical activity such as outlined in our blog on positivity exercises.