In today’s world of information overload, it can be very easy to become “stuck in your head”, worried about all the tasks and problems and challenges you have to deal with on a moment by moment basis.
Something that can really help “bring you back to centre”, create greater peace of mind, clarity and grounding is to do what is referred to as a mini-meditation (or the traditional meditative practice - covered at the end).
Just taking some time out each day to concentrate on your breathing and learning how to ground and balance your energy can be a very powerful tool for mastering your day productively.
Research has even shown that just 60 seconds to 10 minutes of meditation a day can help rewire your brain's neural pathways to gain more coherence and clarity. So essentially you’re optimising your mind and body for optimum output.
In this article I’m going to share my main tips for managing to ground your energy.
Most people’s reason for not meditating more is that they’re too busy or don’t have time. So, in this first exercise I’m going to take that excuse away by providing an exercise that’s so easy to complete anyone can do it, even if they’re on transport or at work.
1. The 10 second mini-meditation
As people have hectic lives, this mini-meditation can fit into anyone’s schedule when they feel that they’re anxiety is getting the better of them and they generally appear to be overwhelmed.
All you need to do is sit back wherever you are and either close eyes, or do it with eyes open (optional).
Then take a deep breath in and count to 1, hold that breath for a time period that’s relatively comfortable and exhale.
Then breath in again, hold your breath, and then exhale.
Continue this process breathing in and counting an odd number then holding and exhaling out counting an even number until you get to 10 or 20 inhalations and exhalations.
Hopefully after completing this exercise you’ll find that your anxiety has subsided and you can continue getting on with your daily tasks from a much more grounded and centred space.
The beauty of this technique is it’s short and sweet and you can do it anywhere, anytime without people really noticing that your engaged in a mini-meditation.
2. After Shower 60 second Mini-Meditation
Another great technique I like to use at the start of the day is in the shower. This is another option that will save you time.
At the beginning of the day I like to get in the shower and have a half-hot and then half-cold shower.
The hot water is beneficial because it’s basically helping clear your mind up in the morning. It’s comfortable and relaxing for the muscles, but afterwards, before getting too comfortable, I like to turn the water to it’s coldest level and then rinse off.
Cold water can be extremely grounding and clear up any mental fog you have as well as being good for your immune system and it’s also said to build mental, physical and emotional resilience.
In the beginning, cold showers are very hard as your body just wants to stay in a homeostatic comfortable level, but after a while you get to the point where you start to look forward to the cold shower and find it one of the more pleasurable parts of your morning routine.
Finally, after you’ve turned off the cold water I like to open the shower door and then allow the cool air to help me dry off, whilst I begin my morning mini-meditation.
This mini-meditation involves integrating the same technique above, but counting to 60 seconds or 90 seconds to help centre you for the day.
Whilst doing this technique I like to incorporate more meditative techniques such as becoming self-aware of different parts of my body whilst concentrating on the breath and letting thoughts arise to the conscious mind naturally.
I like to feel into my chest, legs and feet and feel this helps centre your consciousness more fully in your body, because as a result of Western lifestyle a lot of people have the problem of being overly analytical and the cliché of being "stuck in you head".
This is a really great grounding exercise to help centre you for the whole day and get off on the right note.
3. Grounding outside on the patio or garden
Another technique which helps drain off excess static energy built up in your body is to go outside with breakfast, bare foot, and allow your feet to feel the concrete / wood on your patio, or even better to touch grass and soil.
As most people in the first world live in cities, we’ve lost part of our connection to nature and, as we’re always walking around in shoes, we don’t have the barefoot connection to the earth our tribal ancestors had.
This may seem like a small thing, but really it’s very important for us to spend at least some time barefoot to help balance the negative and positive charges in our body's electrical circuitry, otherwise we get an excess of positive charge in the body that leads to brain fog, anxiety and feeling ‘overcharged’ so this technique can get us back to our more natural roots and we can do it peacefully for a few minutes a day, or week, in the comfort of our gardens, or maybe a local park.
4. Traditional Meditation (Headspace)
Finally, the last technique to ground and centre yourself, is traditional meditation. I personally, would recommend the Headspace app, but I’m aware there are others.
This process can be quite easy. And you can do it for as little as 5 to 10 minutes a day.
Meditation isn’t about stopping yourself thinking, it’s just about becoming aware of your thoughts and slowly uncovering some of the unconscious issues that bother us on a day to day basis that we’re not aware of.
It’s like the tip of the iceberg which is what we’re consciously aware of and the other 90% of the iceberg is below the surface.
This is the same with our conscious and unconscious minds and meditation can help shed light on what is preventing us from feeling grounded and centred, and by shining a light on it you’ll be in a far better position to help reconcile those issues.
For meditation it can help to find a quiet room somewhere either at the beginning of the day at lunchtime or in the evening.
Personally, I used to like to find a quiet room at work and take my laptop with me to go through a ten-minute guided meditation at the beginning of the day.
Then a good technique to start off with is to focus on counting the breath as covered in the 10 second mini meditation.
Counting from 1 to 10 and up to the 60 second mark, then starting again.
As you slowly focus on the breath you can bring your attention to other parts of the body and slowly bring your attention to the sounds going on around you. Noticing if there’s any traffic or noise in the environment around you.
Meditation isn’t about getting rid of or resisting this noise, but more about learning to accept the environment around you and improve your relationship with it by embodying a more peaceful, coherent and harmonious state.
After you’ve gone through this stage, you can slowly bring your awareness into the body and start by focusing on the sensations in the top of your body (the head) and slowly bring that awareness down into the chest, then the abdomen and further down into your legs and feet.
Noticing any sensations along the way, and becoming aware of your state, then after this final step you can bring your attention back to the breath and notice that you probably feel a lot more grounded and balanced afterwards.
For further reference on this technique please refer to the Headspace app which is pretty comprehensive.
So there you have it, those are 4 meditation techniques that you could find useful in your day to day life which will help you embody a more harmonious state when you’re feeling overly anxious or busy.