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How To Tell When You're Ungrounded - Sue Mahony, Ph.D

How to tell when you’re ungrounded

Being ungrounded happens a lot. You feel a bit off. Not quite there. Or completely over-excited.

You’ve lost touch with yourself physically. Lost touch with the earth. Lost touch with the reality of the situation you find yourself in.

You lose touch with yourself emotionally. You’re either lost in emotions and swept away by them, or you’ve swept them under the rug so well you just feel nothing.

You lose yourself mentally. You’re so deep working in the Zone you’ve forgotten to eat, drink or pee. Your anxiety sends you mentally out to sea. Your stress is through the roof and you can’t find your way back down.

Don’t worry. It happens.

It’s not ideal, but you can handle it – once you know how.

Symptoms of not being grounded

Everyone has their own particular set of habits and traits when they’re ungrounded.

When you’re ungrounded, you might do all kinds of not-necessarily-the-best-thing-for you things. From eating too much (or too little), to staying up too late or lying in bed too long in the mornings. Making unwise decisions. Rushing into things. Procrastinating and delaying on things you shouldn’t delay on. Unnecessary purchases. Picking arguments. Lots of things.

The thing about being ungrounded is that sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re grounded or not. Sometimes you think you’re grounded, then you actually get grounded and think “oh shit, was I really that ungrounded earlier?!”

You can be ungrounded for months – even years – and not notice. You can vary in your groundedness: more at the weekends, less during the week, depending on what you’re doing and who you’re with.

Groundedness is on a continuum. From super totally grounded (I think maybe only a Buddha can do this) to really really ungrounded (though you’re never 100% ungrounded – there’s always some connection there).

These traits follow a few main patterns, with more or less energy involved and available in each type.

Have a look at these, listed from low energy to high. See which one(s) you recognise yourself doing.

  1. Trance/vague-ing out
    You’re just not really there. You feel fogged in, away from everything. You feel generically tired, apathetic, lethagic. This mode tends towards depression, being cut off from your feelings, motivation, and energy.
  2. Robot mode
    You go very practical, logical and analytical. You’re not aware of your own feelings. You’re certainly not aware of other people’s feelings. You keep going and keep going. You might become sergeant-major-y. You push through. This mode tends towards burn-out. If this is you, read more here: Geek numb.
  3. Hyper
    You talk incessantly. You rush from one thing to another. Your movements are lively, even over the top. You’re full-on, turned up to 11. This mode tends to maintain itself in a whirlwind of busy-ness, occasionally coming back down to earth before spinning wildly off again.

You may have a more or less developed version of ungroundedness, sustained and built up over a long period of time. Or be occasionally ungrounded, after being in The Zone for a while, moving through difficult circumstances, or being out of touch with your body and emotions temporarily.

Some of our ungroundedness comes from our upbringing (related: How to Heal from Insecure Attachment).

Some of it from habits we’ve developed along the way – as children or adults.

Some of it comes from the situations we put or find ourselves in, especially traumatic ones.

How to ground yourself emotionally

Whatever the cause, increased grounding can be developed in a variety of simple ways, whether physically, emotionally, mentally.

Anything that brings you into better physical connection with yourself and your environment helps you to ground. Grounding yourself physically helps you ground yourself emotionally.

Sports, movement, dance, walking, yoga. Plus lots of other ways. When you get into grounding, you’ll find that some methods work better for you than others, and some are better for certain situations than others.

Free Grounding Course

In my free eCourse The Basics: Grounding, I take you step by step through what grounding is and how to get grounded using guided meditation.

Two guided audios take you through self-awareness and grounding exercises.

Sign up here to get access to the free eCourse – The Basics: Grounding

You might also like to check out my online retreats. I often lead retreatants through grounding, with practical exercises as well as good explanations.

Find your best (favourite / most enjoyable) ways to ground yourself, and enjoy feeling grounded more of the time!

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this webpage are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this webpage. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this webpage. Sue Mahony PhD disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this webpage.

Sue Mahony PhD is gifted, autistic, and ADHD. She provides 1:1 specialist support for brains similar to her own, giftedness group programmes, speaking and bespoke support for organisations, and a wealth of articles on this website.

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