How to be grounded
Life is up in the air? Trips you up? Sets you in a spin?
This month we’re exploring Sanguine Element #3: How to stay grounded.
I know when I stand strong in mountain pose (tadasana), with my feet pressed firmly into my mysore rug, it provides me with a sense of strength and a reminder that whatever situation arises, I can return to tadasana and feel grounded and present.
As you probably well know, life is full of uncertainties.
Whether it comes in the form of professional concerns, like the persistent questions about promotion, success at certain tasks, or conflicts with co-workers or clients, or in the form of personal challenges, like struggles with finances, or troubles with illnesses and interpersonal family or friend conflicts, achieving a calm, fulfilling life can be challenging.
Doubt and uncertainty, unfortunately, plague most of us, throughout our life.
There are a variety of coping strategies, but one of the best ways in which to navigate through the uncertainty of life is to first acknowledge that such uncertainty will always play a central factor in most aspects of life.
Acknowledgment leads to less stress because it generally means you have a strategy for combating such uncertainty.
The strategy that I’m going to recommend – you guessed it – choose to be simply sanguine.
Positivity (reality sanguine-based positivity – not Pollyanna-like fantasy!)
After acknowledging the uncertainty, the next step should be reassessing your mental approach to life’s challenges. Worry and concern can plague your productivity and happiness.
Become a glass-half-full person by understanding the advantages and disadvantages of most situations, and choosing to believe in – and focus on – the possibility of positive outcomes, rather than worrying about the potential negative outcomes.
A sanguine strategy that I mentioned in Chapter 29 is to identify and journal about successful or positive aspects of that particular day. Being grateful for the small moments of joy and brightness – no matter how small – can be immensely rewarding. Also, finding the bright side amongst the less-than-ideal moments in the day, while more challenging to do, will help you bring a sense of positive sanguinity to your daily life.
Quieting the Mind
We tend to be reactive throughout much of our lives. We respond to stimulus, sometimes act a bit irrationally and spontaneously when events occur, and do not work thoughtfully through the problem-solving that is required of us.
In order to work through uncertainty and feel more grounded, it helps to start by ending this knee-jerk, reactive process. The way to begin this process is to practice a form of patience, slowness, and mindfulness.
We often are triggered by primitive, instinctual reactions that are built in from eons ago.
Responding to fear, for example, is one of the central ways in which uncertainty and anxiety can be heightened. By identifying fears and anxieties as they occur, and thoroughly and rationally thinking them through in the moment – with mindful clarity – it will not only help reduce your worries but also help you move forward, standing – and feeling – strong on your own two feet.
Embracing Control — And Not
We like to believe that we have complete control over all aspects of our lives. LOL
Being in control feels good, and helps us remain motivated and successful in many aspects of our lives.
However, having a strong sense of control over our lives can be a double-edged sword. There are parts of life that are entirely out of our control, and attempting to manage these can further heighten anxiety, frustration, and uncertainty. It can lead to feeling like the rug has been swept out from under us, leaving us completely unbalanced.
Instead, rather than surrendering to emotional fears and anxieties, take pause and understand that reactive behaviors to that which we can’t control will lead to further uncertainty.
Focus on the controllable aspects of your life, and be prepared, with a healthy, positive sanguine attitude, to confront any unforeseen problems and challenges emerging from situations out of your control.
Focus on what matters most
Decisions need to be made each and every day, from the type of socks to wear, to the lunch you might choose to enjoy, to the type of education you or your children will receive. When you are already struggling with uncertainty, the weight of all of these decisions will feel far weightier.
When you are struggling to cope with your own anxiety, it helps to triage and prioritize people, events, decisions, and communities in your life.
For most people, friends and family are most important. This is a good yardstick for triage.
Building, maintaining, and supporting those you love – and all the relevant decisions therein – will help you institutionalize behaviors and decision-making processes that affect the most important matters in your life.
Uncertainty is part and parcel of a full life. It can be a challenging part, but with a sanguine attitude, it can also help you stay focused and motivated.
What is most important is recognizing that there will always be uncertainty. Even if one issue gets resolved, likely another will pop up in its place.
By being sanguine, mindful and calm amongst the chaos, embracing the things you can and cannot control, and prioritizing your life, you will feel far more fulfilled and be able to better manage the mishaps and messiness that life often presents.
Thank you my friends for joining me today. Until next time, be simply sanguine.
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I’d love to hear from you… What uncertainties are you having to manage in this moment? And how are you choosing to manage them? With calm clarity or unfocused chaos? g
Chrissy Gruninger is an author and mindset coach. She mentors people on how to live their ONE beautiful life, wherever they may be. Her latest book, Lost and Found in the Land of Mañana explores her life in Costa Rica and both the challenges of working and living abroad as well as the beautiful life we can create from those experiences.
She loves her rainforest beach shack in Costa Rica, the sunshine and the rain and passionately believes that through intentional actions we create more happiness, health and harmony in the world.
Her goal: to empower others to thrive in an imperfect world.