Discover seven powerful techniques to feel centered, reduce stress and focus on the present moment when you feel overwhelmed.
Lately, I feel like I have been running a million miles an hour trying to keep up with friend get-togethers, family obligations, long to-do lists and work responsibilities. The busier life gets, the less time I have to practice self-care. Can you relate to this?
While some tasks and calendar events are unavoidable, taking on too much without rest can have both mental and physical consequences. You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or burned out. Your body can have a prolonged “fight or flight” response that causes elevated heart rate, muscle tension, high blood pressure and more — it’s like you are being chased by a tiger, but without the tiger. Your immune system may also become weaker, which could make it harder to fight off colds.
The key to not just surviving — but thriving — no matter how busy life gets is to anchor yourself and get grounded. This will help you notice the signs your body and mind are giving you to slow down and rest. You will be able to make more conscious decisions about how much to put on your plate (both literally and figuratively). You will feel calmer and more focused when unpredictable or difficult situations arise. You will also have more energy to give back to others.
What are some ways to ground yourself?
These are my top tips for getting centered amidst the chaos. I try to incorporate at least one of these practices into my day.
Try a grounding meditation and restorative yoga practice:
Wear comfy clothes, clear a space, grab a bolster or pillow and press play on this YouTube video. You will activate the “rest and digest” state through a guided meditation, deep breathing and supported yoga poses.
Sit in a chair or stand on the floor feeling your feet firmly rooted on the ground:
This simple, yet powerful practice will help bring you into the present moment and feel supported. The best part is it is quick and you can do it multiple times a day.
Take a walk in nature:
If you are on a soft surface like grass or sand, take off your shoes and feel the earth beneath your feet. This is also a great way to rebalance your circadian rhythm.
Make a cup of tea:
Feel the steam on your face and the warmth of the cup in your hands. Inhale the scent. Take a sip and savor the flavor. Appreciating these moments will help you feel more present.
Draw a warm bath:
Give yourself space to unwind without distractions. Listen to relaxing music. Put your phone down. Feel the water cradling your body.
When you have a million thoughts swirling in your head or a heavy emotion you need to release, try picking up a pen and paper. Or make it a daily practice and write down three things you are grateful for.
Just say no:
I’ll admit this is one of the hardest recommendations for me. If you have the habit of saying yes and then regretting the decision or becoming resentful of the obligation, try saying no from the get-go. Before you commit, take a seat and reflect on how it makes you feel. If you feel warm, expansive and excited, that is a good indication that saying yes will be beneficial. If you feel drained, exhausted or overwhelmed, respectfully decline and make room for something else.
These small actions can make a big difference. While it may feel counterintuitive to take time for yourself when things are busy, it is the exact thing that will fuel your productivity and well-being.
Comment below and let me know which of these techniques helped you get grounded. Make sure to share these ideas with friends, family and loved ones.
Now, it’s time for me to take my own advice, close my laptop and get some fresh air.