Center Up. . .
We have all most likely heard of the term “centered”or heard it used when someone needs to get their life or mindset in order. But what is centered?
It’s easy to get swept up in a storm of emotions. Life is bound to throw you some curve balls, and highly stressful circumstances can leave us drowning in our own negative thoughts. When you feel out of control, it’s time to stop and center yourself before moving forward. Yogis and meditation experts constantly emphasize the importance of becoming centered in your daily life. But what exactly does that mean? To put it simply, staying centered or grounded means you’re focusing on the present moment. Our heads often get lost in the clouds thinking about past regrets or worrying about what’s to come. You become centered when you’re in tune to what’s happening around you right now.
Being centered means staying calm, cool and collected. You’re in control of your emotions, especially during stressful situations. Keep in mind that being centered doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time and never get upset. It’s perfectly normal to feel a range of emotions, even the negative ones! What matters is how you respond to them. People who are centered keep negative emotions in check and handle upsetting circumstances more easily.
You don’t have to be an expert on mindfulness to become a more centered individual. Anyone can center themselves anytime, anywhere. Centering activities are super easy to learn, and you probably already know how to do many of them!
The following suggestions are simple ways to help get the mind centered up. It can be anything as long as you take the time to ground yourself and point the mind at the moment – not the tomorrow or the last week but this very moment.
- Walk in nature: One of the best ways to stay grounded is to literally walk with your presence. As we approach warmer weather ditch the shoes and let those toes connect with the earth. The mind and body are connected to each other, so when your body is in touch with the Earth, your mind will be, too. Bury your feet in the sand or feel the blades of grass between your toes. Stimulate your sense of touch to help you feel present in the moment. To become centered, pick your favorite nature spot and simply be.
- List what you’re grateful for: Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to write down everything that brings positivity into your life—not what you used to have or want in the future, but what you have right now. List anything and anyone that comes to mind. You can list bigger things like family or the little joys like brewing a cup of coffee while the sun rises. You might be surprised by how long the list can get!
- Breathe deeply and recite affirmations: Take a minute to focus on your breathing and repeat a positive affirmation that’s worded in the present tense. Slowly breathe in through your nose and exhale through the mouth, engaging your diaphragm to ensure you’re taking full, deep breaths. The mind and body will begin to slow down and relax. Focus on the present moment by repeating a simple sentence that brings you some peace of mind. Choose something like, “I accept my current situation,” or whatever works for you.
Remember that becoming centered isn’t an end goal but rather a tool to help you navigate what life throws at you. Centering yourself is a lifelong pursuit that gets easier with time. The more you practice centering techniques, the more you’ll experience positive changes in your mindset. You already have everything you need for success—now get your zen on!
Peace and Love, Jim
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