Do you ever feel like you are just spinning your wheels? That you are working hard but not getting anywhere? It might be a sign that you need to focus on grounding yourself.
Staying grounded is important for all women, but it can be especially important for those of us who are in midlife.
In this blog post, we will discuss what it means to stay grounded and how to tell when we are not grounded. We will also share 10 grounding techniques that will explain how to feel more grounded.
- What Does It Mean to Stay Grounded?
- How Do We Know When We’re Not Feeling Grounded?
- Why Does Staying Grounded Matter?
- How to Feel More Grounded: 10 Practical Actions
- Physical Grounding Techniques
- Conclusion: Grounding Techniques to Help You Stay Centered
What Does It Mean to Stay Grounded?
As we age, it becomes increasingly important to stay grounded. By this, I mean staying in touch with who we are, what we believe in, and what brings us joy.
Staying grounded means staying present and connected to our inner selves, no matter what else is going on in our lives. It means not getting lost in our thoughts or worries about the future. It means being aware of our surroundings and taking time to appreciate the simple things in life. It means being kind to ourselves and others, and living with intention.
It can be easy to lose sight of these things as our roles and responsibilities change over the years. We may find ourselves caught up in the day-to-day grind, caring for others, or meeting the expectations of others.
However, it is essential that we take time for ourselves – to nurture our own interests, connect with our friends and family, and do things that make us happy. When we stay grounded, we maintain our sense of self – even as the world around us changes.
This can help us to feel more confident and content as we age.
Phrases and expressions with a similar meaning to staying grounded
If you’re still feeling a little unclear about what it means to stay grounded, here are some phrases and expressions that have a similar meaning:
- Keep your feet on the ground: This phrase means to stay sensible and realistic, no matter what’s happening.
- Stay level-headed: This expression is similar to ‘keep your feet on the ground.’ It means to stay calm and clear-minded, even when things are chaotic.
- Be down to earth: To be ‘down to earth’ means to be practical and honest. It also means being humble and not getting carried away with yourself.
- Rooted: To be ‘rooted’ somewhere means to have a strong connection to a place or thing. When you’re well-rooted, you’re confident and stable.
How Do We Know When We’re Not Feeling Grounded?
It can feel disorienting and confusing when we suddenly find ourselves not grounded. We might feel like we’re flailing around, grasping for anything that feels familiar, feeling the negative energy trying to take over. We might become more reactive than usual, lashing out in response to things that trigger us with negative emotions.
Our thoughts might become scattered and unfocused, and it might be difficult to concentrate or make decisions. We might feel restless or antsy like we need to keep moving even though we’re not sure where we’re going.
A panic attack, increased anxiety, and lack of self-care can also be signs that we’re not grounded.
It can be helpful to remember that this is a normal response to major life changes or trauma. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us, and it’s nothing we can’t handle.
Why Does Staying Grounded Matter?
It can be easy to feel ungrounded as we get older. Our lives can be in a state of flux more often than we’d like, and it can be hard to keep up. Maybe our kids have moved out and we’re feeling a little lonely…the grand kids are too far away to visit regularly.
Or maybe we’re retired and have more free time than we know what to do with. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that staying grounded is crucial for our mental and emotional health.
When we feel ungrounded, we’re more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and stress. We may also find it more difficult to focus, concentrate, and make decisions.
So how to feel more grounded when life feels like it’s constantly in flux? We’re going to discuss a number of ways to find our way back to feeling “right” and grounded. But first, here is one simple yet enormously helpful grounding exercise.
Create a daily routine and stick to it as much as possible. This could include things like taking walks, meditating, journaling, or spending time with friends and family. By creating a sense of stability in our lives, we can help ourselves feel more grounded and better able to cope with whatever life throws our way.
Here are some helpful posts and resources for you to get started with a daily routine:
- Wake Up 101: A Simple, Healthy Morning Routine for Women Over 50
- 5 Ways to Create Healthy Morning Routine Habits
- A Weekly Self Care Routine That Works for You
- A Morning Routine List: Create Your Own Healthy Start to Each Day
How to Feel More Grounded: 10 Practical Actions
Physical Grounding Techniques
1 | take several deep breaths:
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it can be difficult to think clearly or make good decisions. One way to help ground yourself in the present moment is to use breathing exercises.
Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, filling your lungs. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth.
Repeat this several times until you feel more calm and centered. You may also want to close your eyes and focus on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body.
Taking a few minutes to ground yourself in this way can help you to feel more capable of dealing with whatever situation you’re facing.
2 | move your body
In order to physically ground yourself, it is helpful to move your body in a way that feels comfortable to you. This could involve stretching, walking, or even dancing. The important thing is that you are moving your body in a way that feels good to you and that helps you to feel more connected to the earth.
You may also find it helpful to focus on your breath and to sink down into your feet as you move. As you do this, you may notice that your body feels more relaxed and that your mind is more clear. Physical grounding is a great way to reduce stress and to feel more connected to your body. Try it next time you are feeling overwhelmed or disconnected.
Here is another physical movement grounding technique that gives you a bit more structure:
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Then, begin to slowly move your hips in a circular motion. You can make the circles as small or as large as you like.
- As you move, focus on the sensation of your feet on the ground and the movement of your hips. If you notice your mind wandering, simply bring your attention back to the movement.
- Continue for a minute or two, then reverse the direction of the circle and continue for another minute or two.
- You can also add in other movements, such as arm circles or stepping from side to side.
When you are finished, take a deep breath and notice how you feel. Grounding yourself in this way can help to reduce stress and anxiety and promote feelings of calm and well-being.
3 | listen to the world around you
When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, take a few moments to ground yourself by listening to the world around you. Focus on the sounds you can hear, whether it’s traffic noise, birds singing, or the sound of your own breath.
If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to the present moment by focusing on the sounds around you. Allow yourself to simply be in the moment, without judgment or worry. This simple technique can help to center and calm you, and it can be done anywhere, at any time.
4 | touch something comforting
To practice physical grounding, touch something that feels supportive and comforting to you. It could be a soft sweater, a pet, a book, or anything else that you can hold onto.
Focus on the textures and sensations that you’re experiencing. What does the item (or pet) feel like? Is it smooth or rough? Heavy or light?
Once you’ve taken a moment to connect with the object, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Visualize your roots growing from your feet, anchoring you to the ground. Feel the support of the earth beneath you.
Stay in this safe space for as long as you need. When you’re ready, open your eyes and move on with your day.
5 | breathe in a scent that evokes calm
Relaxation techniques can be useful at any age, but they may be especially helpful as we get older. One simple and effective way to reduce stress is to breathe in a calming scent.
When you inhale deeply, the scent molecules travel from your nose to the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that controls emotions. Inhaling a calming scent can help to slow your heart rate and ease tension.
For example, when you are feeling anxious or stressed, take a few deep breaths and focus on the scent of lavender. Close your eyes and picture yourself in a peaceful place – a field of wildflowers, beside a babbling brook, or lying in a hammock on a sunny day.
As you breathe in the lavender scent, allow your body to relax and feel the tension melting away.
You may not be able to control what is happening in the world around you, but you can control how you respond to it. By taking a few moments to center yourself, you can reframe your perspective and face the challenges of the day with renewed strength and resolve.
6 | recite a phrase or verse that you know
When you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious, it can be helpful to recite a calming phrase or verse. This mental grounding technique can help to bring you back to the present moment and reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm.
Reciting a phrase or verse that you know by heart can also help to boost your mood and increase feelings of well-being. If you’re not sure where to start, try choosing a phrase or verse that has personal meaning for you.
For example, you might choose a favorite Bible verse (mine is Prov 3:5,6), a line from a poem, or a mantra that you find particularly soothing. Once you have chosen your phrase or verse, take a few deep breaths and recite it slowly, repeating it as many times as needed until you feel calmer.
You can also try closing your eyes and visualizing the words as you say them.
7 | describe a common task
When you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed, it can be helpful to ground yourself in the present moment. One way to do this is to describe a common task in detail.
For example, you might say to yourself, “I am washing my hands with soap and water. The soap is gentle and fragrant. I am rubbing it into my hands and watching the bubbles form. The water is warm and refreshing. I am rinsing the soap off my hands and feeling the water course over my skin.”
By describing a simple task in detail, you can help to focus your mind on the present moment and ease feelings of anxiety.
8 | visualize your happy place
To help feel more grounded, it can be helpful to take a step back and visualize your happy place. This can be any place that brings you peace and joy, whether it’s lying on the beach, taking a walk in the woods, or spending time with loved ones.
My happy place is on Fort Myers Beach, which is particularly poignant at this writing. Estero Island has just been demolished by Hurricane Ian and when rebuilt, will look completely different. It will take a long time to come back, but until then my happy place is in my heart with many wonderful memories.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Picture yourself in your happy place. Notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Allow yourself to feel the peacefulness and happiness that come from being there.
Stay in this space for as long as you need before opening your eyes and returning to the present moment. You may find that this mental break helps to center and calm you, giving you the strength to face whatever challenges are ahead.
9 | focus on an anchoring phrase
When you find yourself feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or otherwise mentally ungrounded, there is a simple technique you can use to bring yourself back to the present moment. Focusing on an anchoring phrase can help to clear your mind and give you a sense of calm.
To anchor yourself, choose a short phrase that has personal meaning to you. It could be something as simple as “I am safe” or “I am loved.”
Once you have chosen your phrase, repeat it to yourself slowly and steadily. Focus on the words and the way they feel in your mouth. If your mind wanders, simply refocus on your breathing and start again.
With practice, this technique can help you to feel more grounded and present in your day-to-day life.
10 | this too shall pass
No matter what life throws our way, it is important to remember that “this too shall pass.”
This mental grounding technique can be especially helpful for women over the age of 50 who may be facing unique challenges, such as Empty Nest Syndrome, caregiver fatigue, or menopause.
When we feel like we are in the midst of a storm, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, by reminding ourselves that all storms eventually come to an end, we can help to weather the storm and emerge feeling stronger and more resilient.
Just as the sun always rises after a dark night, we can take comfort in knowing that better days are ahead. So when you find yourself in the midst of a difficult situation, just remember: this too shall pass.
If you learn well through visuals, here is a helpful video that discusses the 5-4-3-2-1 method to ease anxiety:
Conclusion: Grounding Techniques to Help You Stay Centered
Grounding techniques work with both our physical body and our mental health, helping us to feel calm, ease distressing thoughts, and help us move through that stressful situation.
Whether you choose to practice mindful breathing, listen to your favorite song, breathe in some fresh air, concentrate on physical sensations, quote a Bible verse that has special meaning to you, or practice other grounding exercises, these actions will help you feel grounded.
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