Post By: Steve Graef, PhD | Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Remember when you were kid and your parents would tell you “you're grounded” after you did something wrong?It was the worst, right?Having been condemned to a day spent locked in your room without video games, friends, or even your phone. It was punishment.Well, now perhaps it's time to release that trauma and reclaim “you're grounded” from something negative and unwanted to something positive and needed. You see in a turbulent, stressful, overwhelming world, we need breaks.We need times to quarantine, de-stimulate, de-tach, and unplug ourselves.We need to actually learn how to, dare I say it, ground ourselves.

Grounding is an important skill in the world of mindfulness as a way to de-stress.Taking a few moments to ground one's self has been shown to calm a trauma flashback, manage a panic attack, recalibrate a frantic mind, and offer a break from a busy day.Rather than continually drowning in the turbulent waves of life, learn how to keep your head above water and your feet on the earth.Here are a few strategies to ground…yourself.

Go to your room. You can ground yourself by proactively identifying your grounding spot.Maybe that's a cozy chair in your office, a spot in your house, etc.Whenever you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed or stressed out, you can go to that place, close your eyes, and notice all the good vibes, feelings, and sensations associated with being in that spot.

Blow it off. One of the easiest ways to calm an anxious mind and chill an amped up body is to connect with the breath.Connecting with the breath deliberately chills out the nervous system, as well as focuses the mind.Connecting with the breath involves inhaling slowly through the nose as though you are smelling a pizza.Filling the lungs from the bottom of the belly to the top of the chest.Holding the breath for a moment.Then finally exhaling out of the mouth by imagining that you are gently blowing out a small candle.

Talk back.In this strategy you talk back to yourself by identifying five things you see, four things you feel, three things you hear, two things you smell, one thing you can taste. Doing so will fill your mind with present focused content instead of the overwhelming chatter of stress.

Throw a tantrum.Sometimes sitting and focusing your mind can be hard.Instead, you might need a little more movement, a little more action.An effective strategy then might be to get up and move.Flail your arms, shake your legs, shimmy your body, and make some noise.

Conclusion.Grounding yourself doesn't have to be a punishment.Instead it can save you from losing control or falling prey to a busy day.Next time life throws a bit of trouble your way, rather than getting caught up in it, take a lesson from your parents, and ground yourself.