In order to give yourself the best shot at happiness and success in the coming year, it’s important to stay level and grounded. As your online mental health counselor, I’m here to help you. In honor of the New Year, I’ve put together a few simple tips and suggestions to help you stay grounded.
What Does It Mean To Be “Grounded”?
Before we can delve into strategies for staying grounded, it’s important that we agree on what “being grounded” means. For our purposes, we will define being grounded as being balanced in all aspects of your emotional and mental life. A person who is grounded feels her emotions without being controlled by them, is in tune with her body’s needs, and remains optimistic but realistic in various aspects of her life.
7 Ways To Stay Grounded
There are several different strategies you can use to ground yourself. There is no one “right” way, as different methods work for different people. I’ve put together a list of my favorite strategies that I have seen work for both myself and my clients. Hopefully some of these will work for you, too!
1. Begin A Regular Exercise Regime.
Biking, walking, swimming, yoga, martial arts… No matter what form of exercise you choose, it provides a great opportunity to focus on and connect with your body. As an added bonus, exercising releases endorphins that help boost your mood.
2. Spend Time Outside.
There is something deeply grounding (and even spiritual) about being outside. Simply breathing in some fresh air is often enormously beneficial, but if that’s not enough, try walking barefoot in the grass. It’s amazing how good it feels to connect with nature!
3. Hug A Tree.
As much as people sometimes joke about “tree-hugging hippies,” there is some wisdom in taking your connection with nature to a deeper level. Wrapping your arms around the trunk of a tree can help put things in perspective by reminding you that you are a piece of a greater whole – a beautiful world filled with possibilities.
4. Eat Protein-Rich Foods.
Your diet can significantly influence your mood. In order to stay grounded, it’s helpful to eat a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Protein-rich foods are especially important. The chemicals found in pesticides can also impact your overall physical and mental health, so eat organic food whenever possible.
5. Float In Water.
The sensation of weightlessness that comes from being suspended in water is more than just physical. Floating in water can melt away tension and stress, helping your mind feel as light as your body. The ocean is best, but lakes and swimming pools work too. If you can’t get access to a large body of water, soaking in warm bath is also helpful.
6. Adopt A Pet.
We have a lot to learn from animals. Animals (especially mammals) are excellent at caring for those they love without sacrificing their own needs. They are also experts at living in the moment. Studies show that caring for a pet (and being open to the lessens they can teach) can help boost your mood and keep you grounded.
7. Limit Your Time On Electronic Devices.
For all the convenience that modern technology offers, it can also be a significant source of stress. There is, unfortunately, a lot of negativity in the world, and sources such as television and social media make it all too easy for that negativity to permeate your home and your mind. Give yourself at least an hour per day without a phone, tablet, or other electronic devise in your hand – you may be surprised what a difference it makes.