What Grounds You? 7 Ideas For Stress Relief

The thought just floated through my mind, what grounds other people? You know, when you feel stressed out, like you’ve just had too much, what do you do to bring you back to center?  Where do you find your stress relief?  I know a few things that ground me – things that bring me, my life back into perspective. Here are 7 stress relievers that keep me balanced.

Stress Relief in Landscapes

stress reliefI love the countryside. Having had the opportunity to take two cross-country trips, I now know how diverse and phenomenal the United States countryside. There are so many types of landscapes, big broad sweeping scapes, as well as narrow tall natural alley-ways carved out from the earth. Landscapes make me realize how small and infinite I really am.  Instantly this can dissipate stress!  There’s a sense of humility in the contrast of the ages of the Earth to the brevity of my life.

Talking with a friend

Ever just need to talk it out? Having a true friend who is patient to listen, slow to judge, and fair to give feedback is truly a precious treasure. The verbal action of putting your isolated, silent thoughts out into audible words can be revealing. Have you ever been thinking something but to actually say it out loud distilled the meaning of it? Suddenly you realized the power of your thought when it came out loud? These “ah ha” moments put stress into perspective and give us new direction.  Talking with a friend brings balance and helps us adjust course.

Centering Through Music

The power of music is huge for me.  Here are 2 songs I wrote about:


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Both the instrumentation as well as the lyrics can move me emotionally. Sometimes when there aren’t words for what I feel or experience there is music that expresses it perfectly.

writing your feelingsVenting with a Pen

Similar to talking it out, sometimes I need to write it out. When talking might feel too vulnerable, writing is another way to process stress or pent up thoughts with more privacy. A big tip: write uncensored!  Don’t edit it with your own rebuttals or your fear of someone reading your inner most thoughts.

Free associate.  Write without concern…if you have to shred it later no problem!  But getting out what you really think and feel can be incredibly cathartic and helpful for relieving stress.

Prayer and Meditation

Prayer helps me to center in on what truly matters. At times there’s a meditative quality to prayer that helps slow the internal system. It helps me focus on a will greater than mine, to trust in a purpose bigger than me. It helps me to get perspective on what does and does not matter. It’s settling and peaceful.

Take a Deep Breath, Get Outside

There’s something refreshing about getting outdoors and breathing fresh air.  And, when you can add some movement to your outdoor time, then you’re really talking stress relief.  I love taking my dogs for walks, going for a run – or better yet – a bike ride. I think more clearly and drop the cabin fever when I’m able to see the sun and get movement into my body.stress relief outdoors

Find Balance and Create Something

Ever experience the need to create something? It could be any array of hobby or craft. Often creating something for me helps me to either brainstorm a direction I want to move in. Or, creating something can be an act of balancing out my life between work/obligation/responsibility and recreation/leisure/relaxation.

So what grounds you?

What makes you feel like you’ve come back to center again? What makes you feel like you again? It’s so easy to get off kilter and stressed out with all the demands of life.  And therefore, it’s important to know your go-to strategies to get grounded, centered, and balanced again.

About Heather Smith, LPC

Heather Smith, LPC offers marriage counseling and couples counseling, as well as treatment for Trauma, Depression, and Anxiety in Alexandria, VA. Heather’s passion for counseling comes out in her avid pursuit of continuing education and specialty training. Heather actively trains in the model of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT) and has substantial specialized training in psychological trauma to include completing her Certificate in Level 1 Trauma Training from the Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education.

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