Getting Grounded

"As soon as you start observing the movement of your breath, you become more aware of your inner world, more alert to the here and now. It is also a first step toward developing concentration."

"Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)" by Eline Snel, Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

Ever since childhood my thinking has always been more loopy than linear.

In the creative space, I've always thrived.  

When it came to logic subjects in school and college like math, physics, etc. I struggled.  

My mind moves about 1,000x faster than my feet. 

I've always struggled with focusing on one thing at one time because my brain is constantly pinging and making connections. 

Concentration, to say the least, is a skill that has never come naturally to me.

Being able to ground myself is a key component to me accomplishing my goals. 

But it's because of my nature and struggle and not in spite of it that I am good at helping others get and stay grounded. 

When we're not grounded, we overthink things, we lose the present moment

and the opportunity to take action that will move us forward. 

When we're not grounded, we overthink things, we lose the present moment 

and the opportunity to take action that will move us forward. 

If we are "up in our heads", our thoughts tend to run in circles and if we don't pull ourselves out of that cycle there's a good chance we'll get absolutely nothing done. 

Whereas if we stop, breathe and center - we will look down for a moment and be reminded by our feet that in order to go anywhere – we can only get there by taking one step at a time. 

We must start from where we are and the next logical steps.

Here are a few pieces of advice to help you get grounded throughout the day. 

1. Get your immediate needs met - immediately.

You know when someone says 'calm down' at just the wrong time?

How can I calm down, you think, when I've got five million people pulling at me and a million things to get done.  

It's like giving a homeless person a pamphlet that talks about the importance of nutrition before giving them food.

Gee, thanks.  

For us to be grounded our most basic needs must be met before we can think about anything else. (Think Maslov's Heirarchy of Needs) 

If we haven't slept in days because of a big project, no amount of trying to ground yourself is going to get you feeling present and in a state of flow. 

Make sure our immediate physical needs are met. 

2. Establish rituals that bring you into the present moment. 

I've got a bunch of little rituals throughout the day that help me stay grounded. 

The first is my cup of coffee, and the moments I stand in front of it as it brews and I close my eyes and breathe. 

It has become automatic, and before anything else happens, I get a glimpse of my internal landscape early in the day. 

As the day moves on and the world starts to buzz - my yoga mat is the place I go to land when we need a moment.  

Maybe for you it's that afternoon cup of tea, those few minutes in the morning before the kids get up where you stretch or meditate or maybe you've got one later in the day like closing your office door for 5 minutes to listen to classical music with your head in your hands at your desk.  

Grounding is a process that gets easier and easier the more you do it.

The more time you commit to finding what works for you in the beginning, the less time it will take you to drop in when you really need it later on. 

3. MOVE! 

Grounding is all about getting into your body - which means at some point you have to move your body. 

Sometimes stepping away from the present moment into the next one can mean the difference between sitting for 3 hours and accomplishing nothing or going for a run and sitting for 2 hours and finishing more than you expected to do that day.

Instead of getting frustrated when you struggle to calm your mind down, just stop and move.

Go for a run, get on your mat, get that cup of tea, close your eyes and breathe... whatever you need to bring yourself back down to earth again.

If you liked this article you'll love our 7-day email series "Surrender to Succeed". It's all about shedding the idea that we need to push through and control every little thing in our lives (because that's exhausting) and it teaches you what you need to release in order to receive.

Mary Sabo