What does it mean to be grounded? If you are feeling disconnected from your body, here are some tips on how to be presently grounded in your body, and lovingly nurturing of your emotional well-being.
Good questions to ask yourself:
~ Do you want to be grounded?
~ Do you spend most of your time in your head, thinking in an anxious scattered way?
~ Are you afraid of your emotions?
~ Do you know what it feels like to be in your body?
~ Do you know what it feels like to be grounded?
~ How do you feel about your body?
~ Do you blame your body for doing anything bad?
~ Are you upset with your body for betraying you with illness or overwhelming you with emotional pain?
~ What are the warning signs that you’re becoming ungrounded?
~ What are you thinking and feeling when you feel ungrounded?
~ Do you dissociate from your body because it’s easier/less painful?
~ When do you dissociate - what happens immediately prior?
Possible Physical Signs That You are Dissociating from Your Body
1. Tension in your body.
2. Anxiety in your body
3. Tightness in your chest.
4. Difficulty breathing or a quickening of breath.
5. Blurred vision
6. Numbness of body or specific body parts.
8. Floating sensation
It is important to remember that everyone’s body is different. Find out which grounding skills work for you and practice them every day. The most important factor for anchoring grounding skills is to practice them when you are feeling emotionally good. Then, if you begin to dissociate away from your body, you will be well-practiced in your chosen techniques.
Ways to Practice Grounding
1. Learn to recognize your own personal warning signs that you are about to dissociate. Learn to identify your common emotional triggers.
2. Make a decision to want to stay grounded, and do the inner calming work to stay resourced enough to be able to feel your uncomfortable emotions without dissociating.
3. Practice 1-3 daily habits that ground you into your body every day.
4. Practice grounding skills as often as possible, especially when you are feeling good.
5. Journal about how you dissociate away from your body and practice remembering how to ground back in.
18 DAILY GROUNDING HABITS
1. Create a Calm Place: Find a safe place in your home or outdoors to "condition yourself toward calm." Breathe and meditate in this same place every day.
2. Take a Break from Painful Memories: If you are feeling anxious or ungrounded, take a break from processing painful memories. Set aside overwhelming memories, and anchor into what is good about your life right now. See "How to Extend Positive Feelings."
3. Awaken Your Senses by Returning to the Present Moment: Change your sensory input from your inner life and come back to the present time. Sight: Change what you see by going outside for a walk and noticing all the little details that you encounter. Touch: Give yourself a hand massage with lotion. Sound: Put some music on and dance about how you are feeling right now. Taste: Eat a vegetable or a fruit slowly and mindfully, grateful for every bite. Smell: Go outdoors and inhale the scent of a flower.
4. Practice Joy: Become absorbed in joyful activities. Paint, draw, dance, bake, garden. Spend 30–60 minutes devoted to doing what brings you joy each day. Have fun!
5. Express Yourself Verbally: Yell into a pillow. Sigh loudly. Hum your emotions. Release inner tension through your voice when no one is around. Using your voice can help you feel calm.
7. Write or Draw in Your Journal: When you feel anxious, slowly write or draw out what is bothering you, breathing deeply as you do.
8. Breathe: Take ten deep breaths. Inhale through your nose. Do a long exhale through your mouth.
9. Exaggerate Your Tension: Sense into the areas of your body that feel tense or numb and tighten them as much as you can. Repeat the tensing until your muscles are tired enough to release and relax.
10. Stop and Take Breaks From Emotional Processing: When negative emotions overwhelm you, visualize a stop sign. Say to your painful emotions, "I need a break right now. Please stop."
11. Practice Affirmations: When you feel good emotionally, practice saying caring statements such as, "I am loved. I am safe. I am forgiven. I am a good person. I deserve happiness." Anchor and associate these loving statements with the good feelings that they create in your body.
12. "I see...": When you are dissociating from your body, look around and speak out loud or think about what you see.
13. Self-love: Look into a mirror and say, "I love you." Gaze into your own eyes and hold your gaze for five minutes with love. See How to Love Yourself.
14. Reverse Negative Thoughts: Play a game for 30 minutes a day. Set a timer. Every time you think of a negative thought, immediately voice an opposite positive thought.
15. Powerful "Now" Statement: Practice powerful presence statements - all day - when you feel good as they are more difficult to believe when you feel bad. Repeat a simple statement that feels powerful to you such as, "I am here now. I am safe now."
16. Identify Your Triggers: Keep a running list of what emotionally triggers you.
17. Exercise: Exercise every day for 15–30 minutes to siphon off anxiety. Listen to affirmations or uplifting music while you exercise.
18. Pray the Serenity Prayer: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference." Create a journal page with one column listing the things in your life you can change for the better, and another column listing the things you cannot change. Practice accepting everything that you cannot change.