Tips On How To Be More Grounded And At Peace
Life has always been full of ups and downs – we’ve never met anyone who’s had totally smooth sailing the whole time! But today’s world seems especially full of uncertainty. You may be worried about illness, making ends meet, finding a fulfilling job, family relationships, or any number of different things (and likely several of them at the same time). But there are some very simple ways that you can calm your mind and increase your sense of well-being even in times of stress and uncertainty.
And don’t just do them during the stormy times – you can practice them even if life is going relatively smoothly right now! In fact, that might be one of the best ways to make sure they become ingrained so that when hard times do come, you automatically fall back on the good mental habits you’ve already created.
So what are these simple ways to increase well-being?
Learn To Be Aware Of Your Emotions
We humans are deeply emotional beings, but too often in today’s world, we shunt them to the side. This may be because we feel that we need to focus on getting things done, “put on a brave face,” not burden others with our issues, or maybe we simply lack the energy, time, and motivation to deal with them. But if we decide to pay more attention to what we’re feeling, then we can learn to have more control over our emotions – as well as what causes them and how we respond to them.
So next time you’re grappling with emotion, stop and reflect a little. Name what you’re feeling (is it frustration, fear, stress, anticipation, satisfaction?), notice what in your environment is tied to that emotion (a coworker, being late, a date with a new person, beautiful scenery on your evening walk?), and think about what actions you can take to mitigate the negative feelings and/or boost the positive ones. Eventually, this mental habit can help you be more proactive about your emotions instead of reactive.
Give Emotional Distancing A Try
We’ve all been in the grip of strong feelings and said or done things that we regretted. We’ve also all had negative experiences that impacted our emotional well-being, leading to a bad day or maybe even a bad week. Unfortunately, these experiences are inevitable – life simply isn’t comfortable all the time. But one of the ways we can decrease the impact of negative experiences on our lives is through practicing emotional distancing.
When you emotional distance, you simply take a mental step back from the situation. Ask yourself: how am I going to feel about this tomorrow? In a month? A year from now? This exercise can help you keep stressful times in perspective, and can even lessen the negative impact they have in the moment.
Reframe The Situation
When life just feels like a constant struggle and you’re feeling a little down (and maybe a little out too), it can be helpful to reframe the situation in a positive way. We know reframing is easier said than done, but we believe there’s something to be learned from everything we go through in life. The trick is finding it. Reframing is the perfect tool to help you do just that and move forward armed with the knowledge that your struggle isn’t in vain.
Try focusing on the good things (they’re always there, even if they seem small!) This could be anything from a lunch out with a friend to beautiful fall colors. You didn’t want to be up with a colicky baby at 4 AM but hey, at least you got to experience a gorgeous sunrise. Maybe your recovery from knee surgery was worse than you expected – perhaps there were complications – but you now have increased empathy and compassion for people in pain. These are just a few examples of how reframing can help you see the good and find a purpose in the hard times. Focusing on positive or even neutral events, people, and things can have a huge impact on reducing stress. It may be difficult at first, but with practice, it can come much more easily over time.
Accept Your Emotions
This might be one of the toughest things we as humans have to learn how to do. Emotions are hardwired into our brains and bodies; we often don’t choose to feel the way we do (otherwise no one would have to suffer through anxiety, fear, shame, and depression!) But studies show that people who accept their emotions have greater control over their reactions and can more easily avoid and/or handle situations that trigger them.
Think of it as being a fly on the wall when you’re experiencing stressful situations or longer-lasting hard times in your life. Observe the emotion you’re feeling, name it, and most importantly, accept and acknowledge it without passing judgment on yourself. This can help you avoid negative secondary emotions, such as guilt about feeling angry or frustration about feeling depressed. You’ve already got one big feeling to deal with; you don’t need to be piling more on yourself! Accepting that you’re feeling the negative emotions can help you deal with them in a way that’s healthy and constructive.
These well-being exercises can help everyone, and the more you practice them, the better at them you will become. If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or just need a little extra help, please reach out to a licensed, trusted therapist. There’s no shame in getting the help you need to grow, thrive, and feel good about yourself and life – you deserve it.
What ways have you found to increase your wellbeing? Leave us a comment!