How many times has it happened to you before? One second, you can stay grounded, having a perfectly normal day, having fun, and then you lose your cool the next second for some reason.
How are we constantly pulled down into internal turbulence by other people? And, better yet, how can we avoid it?
If you find it hard to stay grounded as you go about your daily life, you may be asking yourself these questions every day, wondering what the solutions are.
Why Is It So Hard To Stay Grounded
In the daily hustle and bustle of daily life, the chances of someone pushing your buttons and setting you off are quite high. And unless you get a handle on the situation, it will keep happening.
Imagine all the times you were unable to will yourself to stay grounded and centered when the world outside of yourself became stormy.
Maybe you were experiencing poor customer service, or got unexpected bills through the mail, or almost got in an accident after someone cut you off on the highway.
In any case, you were completely thrown off and forgot about your resolve to remain grounded and balanced.
When you lose your cool, you react in ways that are not appropriate. You exhibit all sorts of low frequency emotions like fear, anger, rage, and so on.
And we act that way because we are triggered.
Ideally, you should be able to stay grounded as long as you want even if it feels like your world is falling apart. You should be able to always keep things in perspective and look at the bigger picture.
But once your emotions get out of whack, all sense of inner balance goes out the window.
You lose your grip on reality and react in ways that you may not normally deem appropriate.
Our Reactions to Current Situations May Be Tied to Painful Memories in the Past
When you reflect on a painful memory, certain neuro-pathways in your brain are lit, just like they were when the memory was actually taking place in the past.
When this happens, you recycle the same old pain and hurt from the past from which you never really healed.
The emotional reactions like rage and fear don’t happen solely because of the event that triggered us.
These outbursts happen because our brain links the triggering event to painful episodes in the past. That’s when you seize being grounded.
That is the reason why you experience a strong sense of self one second, and in the next you become a totally different person. Before you know it, you find yourself feeling infuriated, weak, needy, lonely, fragile and scared.
You Have to Recognize Your Unhealthy Patterns By Communicating With Yourself
Now that you know that the main reason why you stop being grounded is because of unhealed past traumas, it makes sense that the solution to staying grounded lies with identifying your triggers.
Here is what that means:
Stay in tune with your internal workings and constantly communicate with yourself.
In this way, you can always gauge your emotional temperature and identify things, events, and people that upset you or throw you off balance.
Only by understanding what makes you losing your temper and showing compassion to yourself, can you truly become grounded.
When you identify what upsets you, you can console your inner child, validate it and then the pain will subside on its own.
When that happens, the responsible adult will take charge of the current tsituation and will choose to respond mindfully.
You even gain the presence and clarity of mind to identify what you need to do or ask for in order to feel differently about the situation.
At the moment, it probably doesn’t take much to trigger you. But once you understand the deeper layers of your mind and responses, you will be able to stay grounded for longer.
You will learn to keep your Zen.
How I Learned To Stay Grounded Through My Relationship
Take me, for instance. When I had just begun my current relationship, I would easily fall into an abyss of irrational fears and behaviors. I would grow anxious about being left alone.
In those moments, past unhealthy behaviors from childhood like self-blame would resurface, and I would start wondering whether I did something wrong.
It really got worse when we decided to move in together. My partner was studying for an important exam and was preoccupied with catching up with the study material needed to succeed.
That should have been completely understandable to me. But that’s not how I took it. I interpreted the behavior as rejection. I felt I was being pushed away and I was anxious about why that was happening. I slipped into feeling shame and constantly wondered what I was doing wrong.
And in hindsight, I can easily see why I behaved that way.
As a child, I experienced years of anger and being yelled at by my mother. Most of the time it was unjustified, as my mother was merely transferring her insecurities and frustrations onto me unintentionally.
I had to undergo years of unjustified anger from the adults who were supposed to protect me.
I ended up always searching for the ‘why’ – a justification for the hurt I was constantly going through.
“Why would they treat me like that?” I wondered. It must had been my fault I was a target for such a negative demeanor.
I Interpreted Others’ Behaviors A My Fault
Self-blame became a strong habit of mine as I decided something had to be wrong with me to merit that sort of treatment.
And I also adopted the mindset that dictated that it was my responsibility to do something to fix myself or undo whatever damage I had made.
And in those moments as I struggled to bring back or regain my mother’s love, I begged her to hug me and tell me that everything is okay and that she was no longer mad.
Naturally, I took this survival mindset with me into adulthood, long after I had left the nest.
And it was that same mindset that was acting up shortly after having moved in with the partner I loved.
While my partner needed to concentrate on studies to increase the chances of success, I was beside myself with worry, wondering what I did wrong and how I could “fix it”.
My emotions went out of balance and I could not stay grounded.
I could not even consider the option that what was happening was not even about me, but about my partner’s issues.
However, when I searched deep and communicated with myself, I realized that my emotions were affected and I was reacting inappropriately.
I realized that I couldn’t stay grounded like I wanted because my inner child needed reassurance. The situation with my partner was resurrecting old fears of abandonment from the past.
I hugged the little girl within me that needed reassurance so badly, and told her I will always stand by her side.
Within a few minutes of self-dialogue, I was able to bring back my inner grounding and became centered again.
I was able to stop feeding my old programming of self-blame and fear of abandonment only by inquiring what was going on inside me and showing myself compassion.
To Sum It Up
By carrying out self-observation, you can tune in with yourself and gauge your emotional temperature.
Understanding your patterns can help you find the road back to you, even when everything around you seems to be falling apart.
Don’t be afraid to communicate with yourself, question your feelings and behaviors. Mindfulness and self-awareness are necessary ingredients to cultivate an inner sense of grounding.