Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like your mind is just so full it gets hard to think or make decisions? For me, it’s the same effect as feeling overwhelmed, but it’s more of a feeling of being overloaded. That’s usually when I realize it’s time to bring some of that energy from my head to the rest of my body, to get grounded or centered.
Now, I’m far from a Zen Master, and I’m still learning how to be centered, but here’s what I’ve figured out so far. When I’m centered:
- I feel calm.
- I’m more likely to be proactive, rather than reactive.
- I have the energy to handle the curve balls life throws at me without panicking or going into panic mode.
- I have better access to guidance through my intuition, friends, family, the divine, spirit guides, angels…anything.
All of these benefits help me think and cope better overall. And being centered also facilitates connection to yourself, so it is one way to access spirituality.
But how do you find that centeredness in the midst of a crazy day? Luckily, you don’t have to go on an extended retreat. Although it’s not always easy to get centered, let alone achieve and maintain it with any sort of regularity, here are five tips that can work for me.
Tip #1: Take deep breaths. Take just a moment to breathe deeply. Use the number five as your guide: Inhale, hold your breath and exhale, each for a count of five. Do this five times in a row, and you’ll notice a difference immediately. The best part about this is you can do it anywhere pretty inconspicuously and as many times as you need throughout the day. Try it in the car, at your desk, in the middle of a meeting or an argument, to start your day or finish it…you get the idea. It’s amazing what a little oxygen can do to ground you.
Tip #2: Enjoy some quiet time. There’s an amazing amount of power in quiet. Our lives are filled with so much noise–it’s no wonder our brains get full. Unplug and make time for quiet. A few ideas:
- Get up a little earlier and enjoy a few moments of quiet before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.
- Take a walk around your block or office building or go somewhere quiet, whether it’s a library or a park.
- Meditate or pray. If you aren’t sure how, get a guided meditation CD, or join a local meditation Meetup Group in your area to learn and mingle with others who share this interest.
- Write or reflect.
- Take a bath.
Anything that helps you relax and focus will help you be more centered, and having quiet time is a great way to do this.
Tip #3: Experience nature. Nature has a slower rhythm than busy, modern life, so being in it naturally (pardon the pun) helps you center. You don’t have to go to a remote mountain to access nature. Walk barefoot on grass in your backyard or neighborhood park. Feel the sun on your face. Play in the sandbox with your kid. Anything that brings you in contact with the earth more will help you feel its rhythms, slow down and be more centered.
Tip #4: Do grounding exercises. The first, or root, chakra is all about grounding, or connecting us to the earth. This is an important part of getting out of your head and into your heart and body. Certain exercises help you strengthen this sense of connection, and none of them require a personal trainer. Try:
Stomping, marching, or kicking. This brings the energy to your feet and legs and can’t help but bring you back into your body. Just make sure you have a bit of an open space to do it so you don’t hurt anyone in the process (yourself included).
Listening to music with strong drum lines. Play drums or turn your dashboard or desk into a drum set. Get a heavy beat going. Drums and a heavy beat easily get you grounded and more centered.
Tip #5: Invoke scents. Aromas speaks to the primal part of your brain and immediately help you be in your body more. Try inhaling some earthy, grounding scents, such as patchouli, cypress, vetiver or sandalwood by burning your favorite candle or diffusing essential oils anytime for immediate results.