If you're struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Sometimes when we're experiencing behavioral and emotional issues, we don't always know why. We feel as though we don't know what the causes of our unwellness actually are. We can't necessarily pinpoint the origins of our feelings or even remember when they first began. One of the greatest contributing factors to our mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, along with our addictions, is often our lack of internal groundedness. What happens when we don't feel grounded and centered within ourselves?
Insecurity and Fears of Inadequacy
When we don't feel grounded, we tend to lack security and stability. What does this mean for us in our daily lives and our personal experiences? Many of us feel extremely insecure about who we are. We can feel down on ourselves, insufficient, incomplete and lacking. Sometimes we even feel as though we hate ourselves. We have strong fears of inadequacy and inferiority. We compare ourselves to other people and compete with them, always fearing that we don't measure up to them, that we're not good enough, and that they are somehow better than we are. We struggle with issues of jealousy, envy and spite. We resent other people who have the happiness, popularity and success we seek. We try to bring other people down, criticizing them and speaking ill of them, in order to feel a little bit better about ourselves. We're filled with bitterness and scorn.
Being ungrounded makes us feel unstable, within our sense of self and in our lives. We don't feel at peace or at ease within ourselves. We don't feel happy with our identities or how our lives are unfolding. We don't feel as though we have a sense of direction or purpose in our lives. We feel lost, empty and alone. We feel like we're constantly being thrown around by the challenges of life, unable to find our footing or to be present and grounded in our reality. Things seem to always be changing, but not for the better, and beyond our control. We feel a tremendous amount of inner turmoil and conflict. We often feel at odds with ourselves, like we're fighting an internal battle we can never win.
Our Chaotic Lives
Our lack of groundedness, our insecurity and our instability often transfer to our everyday lives. We can have a very hard time setting schedules for ourselves and creating solid routines that we can follow. Our lifestyles can feel haphazard and chaotic. We can feel like our lives are a total mess. We struggle to set intentions and to follow through on goals. We have a hard time making plans. For many of us, this means we struggle financially much of the time. We have a hard time holding onto jobs or figuring out which career path to take. We might bounce from one job or apartment to another, never feeling as though we're settled and always feeling as though it's impossible for us to thrive. Success and happiness feel completely out of reach for us.
Our Tumultuous Relationships
Our lack of security and stability also transfers to our relationships, whether with family members, friends or partners. Many of us have intense trust issues. We constantly feel afraid we'll lose the person we love. We experience a great deal of contention, conflict and misunderstanding within our relationships. We never feel secure within our relationships, especially the ones that are most important to us. We struggle to feel seen, heard, understood and appreciated. We often feel taken for granted. Many of our relationships end with separation, hurt feelings and burned bridges.
Addiction & Mental and Emotional Pain
All of these patterns translate to deep feelings of unwellness, sadness and inner pain. When we're not grounded, we're not connected to our internal resources for strength, courage, balance and peace. We're more prone to falling into episodes of depression. We experience intense anxiety and panic attacks. We might struggle with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Many of us turn to our drugs of choice to cope with how ungrounded, unstable and insecure we feel, within ourselves, within our relationships, and in our daily lives. For some of us, our drug of choice is an addictive substance like drugs or alcohol. For others of us, it can be an addictive behavior we come to depend upon to make us feel better in the moment, whether it's playing video games, dating, or shoplifting.
Our addictive tendencies make us feel so much worse about ourselves, and the more we feed into them, the more insecure and self-hating we become. We feel as though we canct stop ourselves from acting out, hurting ourselves, and giving into our addictive habits. We feel as though our actions are out of our control. We develop strong dependencies and attachments to unhealthy substances, behaviors and relationships, none of which are a substitute for the internal groundedness we want to cultivate within ourselves if we want to really heal and be at peace.
Grounding with Nature
Luckily there are wonderful tools we can use to help ourselves find inner groundedness. There is a whole practice of grounding and earthing that involves finding stability, equilibrium and peace by connecting with the natural world. We can try walking barefoot on the ground. We can hug trees. We can lie down on the sand or grass and watch the sky, observing the birds flying and clouds rolling by. Some of these techniques might sound far-fetched if we're not familiar with them. How can touching the earth make us feel more grounded? We actually can connect with the earth's energy, how solid, rooted, firm and strong it is, and absorb it within ourselves.
Meditation and Affirmations
We can try incorporating meditation and visualization into our daily routine, imagining ourselves grounding ourselves and rooting ourselves down into the earth like a tree. We can visualize ourselves whole, healed, grounded and at peace. We can practice embodying what it would feel like to feel stable and secure. We can also repeat positive, grounding affirmations. “I am secure within myself. I am stable. I am grounded. I am finding my path in life. I love myself. I am at peace within myself.”
Discover your path. Discover your purpose. Discover your life!
At WinGate Wilderness Therapy, our mission is to support you as you heal.
Contact us today!
P.O. Box 347 Kanab, UT 84741