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Feeling Grounded: Connect to the Present

One of the biggest complaints this time of year is feeling disconnected and anxious. Political polarization takes a toll. Family events are coming up. We are all back in the routine of school and work, trying to carve out some leisure time when we can. Focusing on the future can take us out of the moment. It's easy to lose touch with the right now when you are constantly focused on "later".

This is why I need Grounding. I feel much better, less stressed, happier, and less anxious when I'm living in the here and now.

Grounding makes such a difference! Take a look at the picture. See all the textures? All the colors? Can you feel the knit of the sweater? Hear the crinkle of the dried flowers? Smell the coffee? Taste the donut? This is the practice of grounding.

Take a moment in your environment right now, and examine your sensory inputs.

What can you see? Light and dark, color and texture, negative space, etc.

What can you hear? I have music playing and a sound machine on right now. My kids are playing in the next room, and I can hear my dog walking across the tile floors.

What can you smell? Laundry detergent? Cologne? Maybe you have a diffuser or a candle lit?

What do you feel? The smooth texture of your phone perhaps. Or the soft cushion behind your back.

And lastly, what are you tasting? Maybe you have a hot coffee nearby, or a spiced cider waiting for you in the kitchen.

The Danish term "Hygge" comes to mind for me, when I think of grounding. Their concept typically involves creating an environment where loved ones gather and feel cozy together. But it's all the same idea - focusing on the here and now will sustain our happiness. Address the senses as a way to stay engaged.

You can do this at home or work. Alone or together. Set a reminder for yourself or an alarm for the same time every day. Take five minutes just to appreciate your surroundings.

Snuggle with your kids, or play with them. Read a story and smell their hair. Look into their eyes when they talk to you. Sing or hum a song while you're caring for a little one. These are the ways we are grounding and living in the present moment. Be here now.

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