Have you ever met someone who seems to be at peace with themselves, regardless of what hardships they experience? They handle adversity with stride, know when to rest, are confident, and assertive. They do not become easily frazzled, they have a strong moral code, and know when to enact boundaries to protect themselves. Grounded individuals are not exempt from hardships, but they do not let them define them. You may feel envious of this type of individual and wonder why you can’t be more like them. The good news is that anyone can learn to become more grounded with a few best practices. Read ahead for more insight.
What Does It Mean to Be Grounded?
Grounded individuals are not perfect, nor do they claim to be. Rather, they learned and developed a good set of coping mechanisms to handle life’s challenges. Being grounded simply means that a person has the mental and physical capacity to be confident, and know oneself. They do not ignore the inner voice inside of them, as many are prone to do. When they need help, they are not afraid to ask for it. Their outward selves match their inner selves. They are more authentic because they are not afraid to express who they really are.
If you feel “ungrounded” it’s not because you are weak or unintelligent. It is because you learned poor coping skills early on in childhood, perhaps due to trauma or a stressful environment. Perhaps your parents refused to let you make decisions, or they babied you. Or, your parents were absent a lot of the time, and you were forced to rely solely on yourself for everything.
Because of these deeply engrained poor coping skills, we have trouble overcoming hardships and are easily frustrated. We may enter unhealthy relationships, or partake in drugs and alcohol. At the root of it, there is a discrepancy between our outer and inner selves. We are afraid to show who we are because we are afraid that others won’t like us. In the end, this approach only hurts us. Luckily, it’s never too late to do away with bad habits and incorporate healthy ones. You deserve to be grounded and to live the life you were meant to live.
Tips to Become More Grounded
Becoming more grounded is a process, so please stay patient with yourself. It took a lifetime to acquire poor coping skills, and change will not happen overnight. However, with discipline and determination, you can learn to live in peace and be confident in your decisions. Here are some top tips.
· Know Yourself: Do you know what you want, who you are, and what your needs are? Many of us go through life not knowing the answers to these questions. Start a journal and address each of these questions one by one. Be entirely honest; there is no wrong or right answer.
· Learn to Say No: When we do something, we don’t want to do, we are engaging in people-pleasing behavior. In the end, it only hurts us. It’s also not an authentic way to care about someone, and will only lead to resentment. Say no when you want to say no. Don’t go into some lengthy explanation, simply say “I’m sorry I can’t.” This will feel very uncomfortable at first and the urge to apologize will be strong. After some practice, it will become second nature.
· Meditate: Being grounded requires staying in the present moment. Too often we are stuck in the past and worried about the future. This makes it hard to handle challenges because we are focused on how we handled similar problems, or we remain distracted by our fears. Meditation can be a great way to center yourself and get back in the present moment. It also relieves stress, which is critical if you need to handle a problem effectively.
· Find Something You Love: Finding something you love provides a sense of purpose. Is it your work? Your hobbies? Your husband? Your church? If you aren’t sure, start with a dog or another pet. It will provide meaning in your life and get your focus off of yourself. But remember, the most important person you need to love is yourself. Other things can leave you, but a strong sense of self will keep you rooted indefinitely.
· Address Your Problems: Don’t sweep anxiety and depression under the rug. If you have suffered through a trauma or a difficult childhood, you need to address it. Find a therapist who can help you sort through these strongholds and overcome them.
Do you feel overwhelmed, anxious, and ungrounded? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our staff members will be happy to speak with you.