You’re Grounded! A Lesson in Staying Present

Don’t let the worries and busyness of the day pull you away from yourself. 

Staying “grounded” and being self-aware in every moment isn’t something reserved for monks or New Age gurus. As school, work, family and other daily obligations tug and pull at your strings, it’s easy to lose your sense of balance. This opens you up to increased stress and anxiety, often over things that truly don’t matter and issues that you can’t change or control. By learning to find the positive in every situation, and discovering how to release the worries of both the past and the future, you can function at a higher, happier level in the here-and-now. And you don’t even need to chant an om. No New Age BS required!

1. Recognize the positives.

Often, when things get away from us, all we see in our narrow field of vision are the negatives glaring back. Counter this by naming ten positive things in your life, counting them on the fingers of each hand. It might be hard once you hit fix or six items, but that’s the whole point. It will force you, even in the most stressful of situations, to dig deep and find something positive — sometimes, something so small that you overlooked it before.

2. Recognize that this is it.

When our minds wander from the present moment, we start working on autopilot. That’s when negative patterns, stresses and habits become ingrained. Steer yourself back to the moment by telling yourself, “This is it.” This. This moment right here. Not the past, which has no bearing on now. And not the potential things in the future that “could” go wrong, because the future doesn’t exist. In fact, the future will never exist, so why worry?

3. Recognize your emotions.

The final step — after becoming more aware of your positives and recognizing that this moment is all that counts — is recognizing your emotions. When you’re sad, angry, frustrated or feeling similar emotions, they often entrap our spirits and take on a life of their own. All of a sudden, you’re just angry. ANGRY! Beyond all rationale and thought. Instead, look at yourself. Ask, “What is going through my mind?” Then ask, “What emotions am I feeling?” There is a difference. The intellect is often aware of an actual primary stressor. Say, a late assignment in university. But your emotions are completely subjective. Learn to see that a situation may be unpleasant, but you have control over your response. Take a deep breathe, recognize that you may be facing a painful or stressful moment, but learn to greet and release those negative emotions.

What are your own ways to deal with stressful situations and moments that seem to just get away from you? Send me and the rest of the LIVE team a tweet at @LIVEhealthmag.

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In 2010, Laura Wong traded in her potato chips for kale chips and hasn't looked back. Laura's hope is to inspire people to find more energy, more health and more life through their daily dietary practices.

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