How to ground yourself when times get tough

We all have bad days. Some of us have bad weeks or even months. Recently, I went through a tough period of time—twice—during treatments for breast cancer. One thing I’ve learned over the years is the importance of learning how to ground myself so I can stay strong, especially on my down days, the days I need it most. Here are three rock-solid techniques for staying grounded (even on your worst days):

1. Connect with nature. One of the best things you can do for your well-being every single day is to go outside. So … ditch the treadmill and make a point to connect with nature. Breathe in fresh air. Feel the sun on your skin. Take in the beauty of the natural environment all around you. Do some gardening if that’s your thing. This simple step (which also happens to be supported by science) instantly helps us to feel better and is known to lower stress, reduce depression and even boost your immune system. Sunshine, too, also has its share of health benefits, including a wonderful endorphin surge. If you’re like me and you love the sounds of water—crashing waves, trickling streams—it could be you’re feeling positive vibes from all the negative ions being released. (For more, read up on forest bathing.)

2. Meditate. I like to sit with my animals and meditate, but you can meditate any way you wish. It also doesn’t have to take a lot of time, though daily practice definitely provides positive effects on our bodies and minds. The best part is, according to various studies, meditation helps us manage anxiety, depression, stress and the like, all the while improving blood pressure, cellular health, our immune system and more. Next time you find yourself stressed, try these tips for achieving peace through meditation.

3. Work up a sweat. When you’re feeling down, finding the motivation to exercise can be really hard! But sometimes we just have to force ourselves. Find your motivation (perhaps cute new jogging sneakers or the excited tail wags of your pooch) and make it happen. Keep in mind exercise is most likely to happen if you’re doing something you enjoy. So take your dog for a walk, do some yoga poses, go jogging, join a Pilates class, ride your bike to the store or coach your kid’s softball team. Just get those endorphins flowing!

These techniques work great for me. But please share: What are your secrets for staying grounded when times get tough?

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Kathleen Prasad

Kathleen Prasad is an entrepreneur, author, educator, spiritual seeker and animal advocate living in beautiful Marin County, California, with her husband, daughter, dog and two horses. She loves being with animals, listening to hip-hop, eating out at vegan restaurants, riding dressage, hiking in the redwoods and traveling the world to meet animal people.
You can learn more about Kathleen here.

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Comments (10)

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    Johnna White

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    This was lovely, Kathleen! Thank you, thank you,thank you for the simple reminders for us to live more fully! (Especially when our minds want to complicate things.) You are a Blessing to All Beings!

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      Kathleen Prasad

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      Hi Johnna, You are very welcome! Glad the article is helpful 🙂 Blessings!

      Reply

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    Mary Alice Santoro

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    Kathleen,

    I find my daily practice of Qigong helps me stay grounded on bad days as well as good ones. Qigong helps remove the blockages to the flow of healthy qi thereby helping one to stay healthy both physically as well as mentally. I always follow my qigong practice with a short meditation and prayer. I think whatever ” floats your boat”, if done on a daily basis, can only help improve your physical as well as your mental health.

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      Kathleen Prasad

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      Hi Mary, That is wonderful to hear how much your Qigong practice supports you to stay grounded and balanced. Yes as you say, there are many roads to the same goal 🙂

      Reply

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    Denise

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    Hi! I really enjoy and learn through your blogs. 🙂 I too have had breast cancer treatments and being in nature always helped to calm me down. Another extremely important tool that I used and still use is journaling. I tend to bottle up my emotions. Writing uninhibited let’s me pour out what I’m feeling. I agree with exercise. I use a lot of heart chakra opening yoga postures. I guess I am what you might call an empath and I always feel a lot of energy blocked in my chest area, so again, I like to clap my hands in front of my chest and do energy exercises by Donna Eden. And lastly, but my favorite, spend time with animals and kids. They make everything better! 😀 Enjoy your day! Looking forward to more of your blogs!

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      Kathleen Prasad

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      Hi Denise, Glad you are enjoyed the blog 🙂 I am happy to hear you are a survivor! Nature is so healing, as is journaling – I agree. I love to write. Yoga is wonderful exercise, and animals and kids make us be active too don’t they! Thanks for your comments 🙂

      Reply

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    Frans Stiene

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    Yes indeed Kathleen,
    When we feel down we can do something to get us out of that.
    Love to go into nature such a healing place.
    Meditation is a must, also to help us before times get tough, so we will be strong when it gets tough.
    I agree too that sometimes we need to get up and break out a sweat so to speak. It will free us up out of the moment we are stuck in.

    Love Qi Gong too Mary, great way of remembering our True Self.

    Reply

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    Maureen Petras

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    Connecting with nature and walking with my family has become a big part of my life since moving to the mountains. Daily meditation is number one to me keeping me my feet on the ground! Without it I can forget who I am. I also just joined a water zumba class that I giggled through my first class because it was so refreshing, yet hard, but I feel great afterwards! I have to say sharing Reiki with the animals at the shelter brings me back to myself. my true self, even on a bad day. My heart becomes whole and my personal stress melts away.

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      Kathleen Prasad

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      Thanks for sharing Maureen, your water zumba class sounds amazing 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences w/shelter Reiki as well. Although it is not the easiest of places to go, the love and compassion created is so healing for everyone! Blessings!

      Reply

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