Updated: Oct 23
Life happens! You can be cruising along perfectly happy when all of a sudden something throws you completely off-kilter. This is happening to me at the moment and I realized this weekend I needed to do some serious grounding or else the wheels were going to continue falling off my world!
What makes you lose your grounding? Why are we not able to tap into our most powerful inner source when we need it most? These are questions I’ve been asking myself and as a result, I've recognized that I’ve become trapped in the crazy antics of my mind.
This isn’t a pleasant space to be in, even more so when I really should know better! This realization has made me take a step back and review what it means to be grounded and how mindfulness is the tool to get me back on track in an upside-down world.
What Does It Mean to be Grounded?
Whenever I’m grounded I’m in a state of being, living in the present moment. Grounding means staying focused on your body, the NOW, and your connection with the earth. I know I'm grounded when I’m calm, balanced, happy, and at peace.
When I’m not grounded, the following happens:
I revert to old habits and limiting beliefs.
I react to situations instead of responding in a responsible manner.
I become spiritually disconnected.
My emotions are all over the place.
My body rebels and manifests physical symptoms (read Louise Hay's book, "Heal Your Body" to understand the thought patterns responsible for certain illnesses and diseases.)
Being grounded keeps you centered. When you lose your grounding, you end up drifting all over the place with no focus or direction. I pride myself on being a grounded person, so when I lose my sense of grounding because of something that throws me off my path, I become unhappy.
How to Recognize a Grounded Person
When I look at a grounded person, I notice the following traits:
Calmness: A grounded person lets very little shake their world. These people can remain calm even during the hardest times. This means they make the right decisions and know what to do in the heat of the moment. Their greatest attribute is saying, ‘It’s not the end of the world” even when it feels exactly like that!
Reliability: You can always rely on a grounded person. This is the person who shows up even when things are falling apart around them. A reliable person doesn’t make excuses, they stick to their commitments, and they plan ahead.
Strong core values: A grounded person has a deep understanding of their own personal core values. They use these values to guide them in making the right choices, standing steadfast during challenging times, and staying connected.
Humility: Humbleness is a strong trait of grounded people. They don’t need to impress, show off, or use pretentious manners to get their own way. Humility keeps you grounded in the moment and stops you from wasting energy on trying to be something you’re not.
True to Self: A grounded person knows who they are and don’t try to conform to other people’s demands and expectations. They stand up for what is right for them (and for the greater good.) By being true to your Self, you don’t compromise your Truth.
I know wonderful people who have these traits and I’ve spent years observing them so I could learn the same traits. It’s not easy especially when you need to figure out how to be true to your Self. Herein lies the crux of the matter – understanding your own worth, valuing it, and living by it. I truly believe this is the key to being a grounded person.
Using Mindfulness to Stay Grounded
Everyone faces challenges in their lives. Being grounded certainly helps to get through those difficult times. But, when you lose focus it’s very easy to suddenly find yourself drifting in the wind!
When the unraveling happens, you don’t see it at the time. But, the aftermath can be disastrous to your mind, body, and soul.
Mindfulness is key to staying grounded. This technique helps you bring your attention to the present moment to have focus and grounding. However, while it’s simple to tell someone to be mindful, practicing the art of mindfulness isn't easy especially when you’re stressed.
When your thoughts are racing around your mind like a bunch of uncontrollable monkeys, the last thing you want to focus on is mindfulness. And, yet that is exactly what you need to do to reign in those crazy thoughts and stop the monkey mind! If you don’t, your external world will continue to be chaotic.
So, how do you use mindfulness and grounding to keep you grounded even during the most stressful periods of your life? Consider using any of the following techniques.
1. Bring Your Attention to Your Breath (or anything else)
When I feel myself losing my grounding in a situation, I bring my attention to my breath. I stop, close my eyes, and focus on my breathing. I ensure that my breath is coming from my stomach, and I take three deep breaths to still my mind and my actions.
If focusing on your breath isn't easy for you, then consider bringing your attention to some object within your vision. This could be your pen, an ornament in the room, or even a plant or bird in the garden. Focus completely on this object and allow your mind to calm down.
2. Practice Meditation
I’m going to keep saying this until I’m blue in the face! Meditation is powerful and empowering. It’s a daily practice we all should be incorporating into our day. Meditation helps you work with your overthinking mind and it allows you to restore your grounding.
When I keep up with my daily meditation practice there’s very little chance of me becoming ungrounded. However, as I’ve discovered in my latest life experience, when there’s a catastrophe I stop meditating. Sounds counter-productive, doesn’t it? My only excuse is that I’m human!
3. Scan Your Body
This is a very simple grounding technique but highly effective. It does require recognizing when you’re feeling out of sorts but when you do, you need to stop what you’re doing and close your eyes. Now, bring your focus to every part of your body.
Start at your feet, and slowly turn your focus to each part of your body as you do a complete scan. By focusing on your body, you’re being drawn into being present. And, before you realize it, your mind has calmed down as you move your attention away from the racing thoughts.
Dr. Joe Dispenza's book, "Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon" includes some great ideas for doing body scanning exercises.
4. Acknowledge What is Happening and Be Kind to Yourself
It’s essential to acknowledge what is happening to make you lose your grounding. It could be the death of someone you love, being retrenched, or some other major life event that causes you to lose focus. When you’re able to acknowledge what is happening, you’re able to express how you’re feeling and take ownership of your thoughts and emotions.
What’s crucial, in times like this, is to not beat yourself help for falling off the path. Instead, realize you’ve lost your grounding, understand why, and implement the techniques to help you find mindfulness once more.
Mindful journaling empowers you to unpack what is challenging you and threatening to unbalance you. By expressing what is going on in your life and within yourself, you’re allowing yourself to seek grounding again.
When you write about your problems, solutions often present themselves. This is the power of mindful journaling so make it another one of your daily grounding practices.
Staying grounded through your most challenging times is not easy even when you know what you should do to be mindful. Living in the moment is so powerful and yet, sometimes, life throws you a curveball. Looking back over these past two months, I wish I had been more mindful so I didn’t lose my grounding. But, I’m going to be kind to myself, acknowledge what is happening, and start again.
I know what it takes to be a grounded person. I know I own those traits. I just need to tap into them again and use mindfulness to find my grounding once more.
PS: Eckhart Tolle's book, "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" is an excellent read if you want to empower yourself by living in the present.
This post was originally published on June 21, 2021, and updated on September 7th, 2022.