Dear Teressa: How Can I Stay Grounded When Others Around Me Are Not?
Could you please provide tips to stay grounded and focused despite being surrounded by people who aren’t? Also how can I cultivate and encourage a friend’s talent without over stepping boundaries?
Years of experience suggests that being grounded – with balanced physical, mental and emotional energy and attention focused in the here-and-now – will be helpful in both instances you’ve mentioned.
Here are some tips that can strengthen your connection with your inner self, enabling you to feel more grounded, secure, clear-minded and compassionate.
Walk with Awareness. We can ground through our feet. During situations when people begin to fray your nerves, go for a walk and notice the details of every step. Be present to the process of walking – placement of your feet, your pace and momentum, your breathing, how you use of your arms and hips. Give your full attention to walking. Be aware of every step. Walking meditation is a great stress reliever and a simple way to calm your thoughts and feelings, allowing you to make emotionally intelligent choices and decisions.
Tune In/Tune Out. Disconnect from the drama and ongoing saga of what others are or aren’t doing. Give your attention to the one person you have any real chance of controlling – yourself. Focus on the business of your life. Doing so will empower you to make better choices and have increased clarity concerning the best way to be helpful to others. Tune out energy drainers and the negatively focused. Tune in to your inner self to feel more peaceful and empowered.
Breathe In/Breathe Out. When stressed and hooked by drama – your own or that of another – remember the grounding effect of breathing. Breathe in through your nostrils and imagine your breath coming into your body through the top of your head and traveling all the way down to your hips. Breathe out through your mouth and imagine your breath completing its journey as it travels down from your hips out through the soles of your feet, connecting you to the sturdy foundation of Mother Earth.
Feet On the Floor. Stand up, feet parallel and shoulder width apart. Consciously, feel your feet under your body, resting against the floor, supporting your weight. If necessary, rock back and forth and side to side, to bring energy and awareness to your feet. Give mental attention to your feet until you feel both of them against the floor.
Smooth Out Your Energy. In your mind’s eye, bring your attention to your body. Begin at the top of your head – the front, back and both sides of your body – and travel all the way down to the soles of your feet. As you travel down your body, imagine your hands interacting with your energy, smoothing it, brushing out tangles, soothing out static, enlivening depleted spots, evenly distributing it throughout your body. Imagine the jagged, jangly energy of anxiety, anger, frustration and fear all dissipating. Envision your energy as smooth, even, calm and grounded.
Help Others By Holding Hope. Current research is providing strong evidence that our thoughts affect our own wellbeing and that of others. These two articles talk about these very concepts:
- Can Positive Thoughts Help Heal Other People (NPR)
- The Science of Positive Thinking: How Positive Thoughts Build Your Skills, Boost Your Health, and Improve Your Work (Huffington Post)
Data suggest we can effectively support others by simply holding positive thoughts about them. That means you may not have to lift a finger or worry for a minute. Just think the most affirming thoughts you can. Agree with the best of what they want. Support them silently by sending hopeful, positive thoughts their way.
Lilliana, I hope you find relief through one or more of these techniques. With practice, they can help you be more grounded and in charge of the choices you make to disengage from those who are ungrounded. They will also help you stay engaged to help a friend in the traditional way or step back, hold hope, allowing that person to find and rely on their inner resources in their own time.
On behalf of the Spirit of Purpose Community, I appreciate your gift of your questions.