Being more grounded and present can help in many ways. It can help to stop us being so reactive to triggers, it can also help us to be more aware of our emotions, and more able to process them rather than repress them. Perhaps most importantly it means that we can savour the moments of life, rather than seeing it all go by in a blur!
When we train ourselves to be more grounded and present, day to day, and in the small things of life, we find that we are more present and able to cope with bigger challenges and triggers. In this way mindfulness or meditation practice is not a separate activity, but becomes part of our daily lives.
Here are some simple ways to be more grounded and present.
Try them out, take thirty seconds a few times a day to do them over a week or two and see which ones work for you.
- Notice 5 things: particularly if you feel upset or stressed, take a moment to notice 5 things you are aware of – 5 things you can feel, hear, see or taste, right now. This grounds and centres you and you will be more able to respond appropriately rather than being reactive.
- Take 3 deep breaths – again when stressed, take the time to take some breathes and to notice any tension or rapid breathing. Exhale more slowly that you inhale, which calms your nervous system and reduces stress hormones.
- Become conscious of your body and surroundings when driving – use that time as a meditation, and enjoy the journey! (After all, you do want to be present when in charge of that big hulk of metal!)
- When walking, feel your feet on the ground
- Standing in a queue, or sitting in a waiting room, feel your feet on the ground and witness your breath
- On waking notice if you feel expanded or contracted – any painful feelings or stress are basically a sense of contraction, any pleasant feelings a sense of expansion. Simply take a moment to notice your experience of life as you wake up. This can change your whole day!
Be present more present and grounded in your relationships:
- Take the time to connect with your partner:
- On waking, leaving the house, arriving home and before sleep, take the a few moments to really connect – to look in each others eyes, say hello and have a hug
- How are you really? – when someone asks you how you are change it from a unconscious “fine” to an opportunity to be mindful of how you really feel.
- In this way mindfulness is a gift to others and can transform your relationships!
Notice habitual patterns and become more present with them:
- Our habits are to regret the past and worry about the future
- Leading to attention being scattered and unfocussed
- Leading to kneejerk, habitual, and unhelpful reactions to challenging events
Mindfulness is waking from life on autopilot. Practised over time, these techniques can bring us out of our unconscious patterns and lead us to a more self-aware and fulfilling life.