Woman sitting outdoors holding a mug of tea. Calm, peaceful, grounding.

Cultivating Calm: 7 Simple Ways to Re-Center and Ground Yourself in Times of Stress

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the demands of daily life. Work, family, and other responsibilities can leave little time for self-care, and elevate stress and anxiety. However, incorporating centering and grounding techniques into your daily routine can help you achieve a sense of calm and well-being, even amidst the chaos.

Grounding is the practice of connecting with the present moment and the physical sensations of your body. It can help you feel more centered, focused, and calm. Here are some practical tips for incorporating grounding techniques into your daily self-care routine:

1. Purposeful Breathing:  Just the simple action of taking a pause with a deep, cleansing breath is often enough to recenter your mind and body.  If you have a few minutes though, using them for a mindful breathing exercise will help focus your mind into the present, release tension in your muscles, and clear your mind and energy.  

2. Mindful Movement: Soothing movement, Yoga, or Tai Chi are excellent ways to ground yourself and release tension from your body. The combination of gentle movement and intentional breathing helps you stay in the moment, let go of the stress, and find your center again. 

3. Time in Nature: Spending time in nature can be a powerful way to ground yourself and connect with the present moment.  Just simply sitting outside and letting your senses take in the natural life around you – the breeze against your skin, the birds and life sounds around you, the rustle of trees or leaves.   Just a few moments paying attention to the greater natural world around you is a powerful way to reconnect and mentally reset.  

4. Expressing Gratitude: Take a few moments each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for has an incredibly powerful effect.  Taking a moment to appreciate the little bits of lovely in your life – like a warm cup of tea, a pretty flower, the gift of conversation – helps ground in the positive. By shifting your focus to the positive aspects of your life, you cultivate a sense of calm and thankfulness in the present moment, and for each day.

5. A Break from the Screens: In our everyday world we have information, data, and requests coming at us from so many sources.   Taking purposeful breaks from the technology and screens. Putting down the phone for a few minutes. Stepping away from the computer.   Disconnecting from all the input – even for a short 5 – 10 min break, gives your eyes and your mind a rest, gives you time with your own thoughts, and allows you time to process and experience the world in the present moment.  

6. Journaling: Taking time each day to “think on paper”  – to write out your thoughts, process through emotions, ideas, and decisions, and share what’s happening, your ideas, and your thoughts in your journal – is a powerful tool for cultivating a greater sense of clarity and calm.   It allows you to process through the “churn and swirl”, ground yourself in joy, gratitude, and intention.  It can help you reframe the overwhelm, gain insights, and center your mind and soul for the next phase of your day. 

7. Activate the Senses: Engaging your senses with calming sensory cues also helps you recenter and embrace the calm in the present moment.  Take a few moments to curling up in your favorite spot, with a hot cup of  tea, and your favorite scented candle or diffused essential oils.  Breathing in the relaxing aromas.  

Or, if that’s not an option, how about running your fingers over a smooth stone, or a bit of silky fabric, or a textured calming strip.  Building calming sensory experiences and cues into your daily environment equips you to activate those positive, calming memories, release the stress, and center in the present moment. 

Incorporating these centering and calming  techniques into your daily routine doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, a few minutes journaling, or a short outing in nature.  But by  making the practices that work for you a regular part of your self-care routine, you can achieve a greater sense of calm and well-being, even amidst the chaos of daily life.


Cultivating Calm: Strategies to Invite Calm into Your Busy Life

Appreciating Nature’s Wonders: Finding Little Bits of Lovely in the Great Outdoors