How to Stay Grounded When Your World Is Falling Apart
Many people ask me for tips to stay grounded when things don’t go as planned. There are many ways to find your center and stay there. In this post, and I’d like to share with you what has been working well for me.
If you find it hard being grounded as you go about your day, you may be asking yourself these questions below every day, wondering what the solutions are.
How many times has it happened to you before? One second, you can be super 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?
Why Staying Grounded Is So Difficult
In the daily hustle and bustle of daily life, the chances of someone triggering and pushing your buttons and setting you off are quite high. And unless you learn to stay grounded in your experience, it will keep happening.
Imagine all the times you were unable to will yourself find your center in the face of uncertainty and chaos 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 decision to stay grounded, and centered.
When you lose your cool, you react in ways that are not appropriate. You exhibit all sorts of low-frequency emotions like fear, stress, 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, most times, keep things in perspective and look at the bigger picture.
But once your negative emotions get out of whack, all sense of inner groundedness goes out the window.
You lose your grip on reality and react in ways that you may not normally seem appropriate.
Our Reactions to Current Situations May Be Tied to 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.
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 is the reason why you stay grounded with a deeply rooted 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.
Find Your Center By Communicating With Yourself
Now that you know that the main reason why you are no longer grounded is because of unhealed past childhood traumas, it makes sense that the solution to staying grounded lies in identifying your triggers.
Here is what that means:
Being 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 stay grounded.
When you identify what upsets you, you can console your inner child, validate it. Then the pain will subside on its own and you will find your center again within minutes.
When that happens, the responsible adult will take charge of the current situation 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 set you off. But once you understand the deeper layers of your mind and responses, you will stay grounded for longer.
You will learn to tap into your center, enter your Zen, and stay in that spot.
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. I would grow anxious about being left alone.
In those moments, past unhealthy and automated patterns from childhood like self-blame would resurface. I would start wondering whether I did something wrong. The opposite of a grounded mindset.
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 this as rejection. It felt I was being pushed away and I was anxious about why that was happening. I slipped into ungrounded feelings of 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. Most of the time it was unjustified, as my caretakers merely transferring their insecurities and frustrations onto me unintentionally.
I had to undergo years of unjustified sudden anger bursts that made no sense from the adults who were supposed to protect me. No one ever taught me to develop the strong, powerful, and grounded traits I deserved to have.
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 have been my fault I was a target for such a negative demeanor.
I Interpreted Others’ Behaviors A My Fault
Self-blame became a toxic 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 of staying ungrounded 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 mentality with me into adulthood, long after I had left the nest.
How I Regained My Groundedness
It was that same pattern 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 and connect to the core of who I am. I could not even consider the option that what was happening was not even about me, but about my partner’s matters.
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 find my center 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.
Don’t be afraid to communicate with yourself, question your motives and actions. Mindfulness and self-awareness are necessary ingredients to cultivate an inner state of grounding.
Check out here the empowering tool I created that will help you stay grounded and centered.
Understanding your paradigms can help you find the road back to you and stay on course, even when everything around you seems to be crumbling down.