According to Ofcom, the average adult in Britain spends over forty hours a week online.
While the internet undoubtedly makes communication easier, have you ever noticed how you can pass through a time warp, spending far longer than you intended to and feeling quite disorientated when you come off the screen?
Feeling spaced out and unfocused can be signs of being ‘ungrounded’. When you are grounded you anchored in the here and now and able to deal with life when it presents a challenging situation. If you’re ungrounded, you are easily thrown off course, might feel overwhelmed and be forgetful. If you take a moment to think about some of your friends or colleagues you might be able to spot instantly the solid, grounded, stable person and the one who is changeable, easily distracted and edgy.
If you’re feeling ungrounded yourself, here are nine ways to get back into the present moment.
Sitting is the new smoking and sitting for hours on end with your head in a screen can take you right out of the present moment and make you feel as if you’re no longer inside your own body! One of the best ways to ground yourself is to move yourself physically. From walking to dancing to working out in the gym, moving your body will help you feel more in tune with yourself and it has numerous other benefits to your health. The current guidelines are 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Get into nature
We spend less time in nature than ever before, despite feeling so much better when we’re out and about. By literally getting your feet on the ground you can feel more present, more in the moment and more grounded. Bonus points for walking barefoot! There are no excuses, we live in one of the most beautiful areas in the Forest of Dean, so get out there and hug a tree!
One of the simplest ways to stay grounded is to garden. If you don’t have a big space or much time, you can take care of a few pots outside the front door. Windowboxes and hanging baskets offer another alternative. If that doesn’t work for you then houseplants are a fantastic way to improve the air quality of your home and give you a chance to get your hands in the soil.
Here are three books to inspire you to make the most of a small space:
Walking is brilliant for our health and by adding one other ingredient – mindfulness – you can turn an ordinary walk into something extraordinary! Mindful walking means taking time to fully feel every step you take. Notice the feeling as your heel hits the ground, your foot rolls and your other leg lifts up ready to move forward. Take notice of the ground beneath your feet – what does it look like, smell like, feel like? By concentrating on these feelings you’ll feel more present and aware of the moment.
Sit on the grass
Do you remember spending time sitting or rolling around on the grass as a child? It’s such a simple thing to do, yet adults often don’t make time to enjoy it. While you’re out there why not take a tip from the trees – visualise roots growing from the soles of your feet down deep into the earth. You might be surprised how much more anchored you feel and no one needs to know what you are up to!
Take a bath
Aromatherapy is the use of plant essences to promote spiritual, physical and emotional health and well-being. Essential oils can be applied directly to the skin through massage, added to bathing products or lotions, inhaled with steaming water or spread throughout a room by a diffuser. Essential oils are broken down into three main categories – top, middle and base notes. Some of the base notes oils are claimed to be incredibly grounding. Try sandalwood, cedarwood or patchouli – add a couple of drops to a teaspoon of cooking oil to disperse, then add to a warm bath.
Click on any of the images to buy. You will be taken to Amazon. I receive a small commission for any products you buy – at no additional cost to yourself.
Get your hands busy
Keeping your hands occupied in a grounding task is an easy way to bring yourself back to the present moment. Especially if it’s something that requires a bit of concentration. It might be knitting, kneading bread, pottery, painting, wood work or playing the piano. If you love it and you can get totally absorbed in the task then do it!
Yoga Nidra is a wonderful relaxing technique that draws your attention to your breath and systematically through every part of your body. It reduces stress and tension and is ideal if you’ve spent too much time on the screens. There are all sorts of methods and guidance online. Here is one of my favourite YouTube videos which takes 20 minutes to complete:
Here are a couple of books about Yoga Nidra:
If you prefer to listen to a recording, rather than read, you could use a CD or digital download:
Borrow a child, or a pet!
You only have to observe an animal or young child to know that they are masters of being in the moment! And the best bit is they won’t judge you for silly behaviour, so go ahead and take your dog for a romp in the woods, splash through puddles with a child or get down on the floor to stroke a cat and feel its purr vibrating through your hand.
What about you? How do you stay grounded and in the present moment?