After, a busy day of being out and about in the city and trying to go from one place to another I remembered how important it is to keep ourselves grounded, mindful, centred and balanced, because it is very easy to get lost in the obstacles life throws our way.
So in this article I am going to delve deeper into how to ground and balance your energy through becoming more centred and balanced using meditation and mindfulness as well as other grounding techniques.
First of all what does it mean to be more ‘mindful’, according to the Oxford Dictionary:
“a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
I find just by presenting this definition that it elicits a more mindful and present awareness…
Which leads me into the first way to become more mindful:
You’ve probably heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’ this also includes what you consume as part of your media diet. If you’re taking time out of your day to read books and blogs (such as this one) to slowly allow yourself to take-on through reading an embodiment of more of a grounded and mindful energy that you can carry with you throughout your day.
This also includes applying the principles that you learn through reading great books. Not just reading and then blindly carrying on with your day, but allowing yourself to soak in some of the deeper principles you can take on in some of the recommendations below:
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
Ikigai, Ken Mogi
My Voice Will Go With You, Milton H. Erickson
As well as whatever other books you might come across in your day to day life, I find that if I keep hearing about a blog, video or book then it’s probably a good sign that I need to read it, so feel free to steal that tip.
However, some people can have trouble finding the time to read because they’re so busy.
2. Focus on one thing at a time
If you’re having trouble finding time in your day for things like taking timeout to focus on being more mindful, then you’re probably struggling with the problem most people have, that they’re too busy being busy.
You may have heard that multi-tasking or focusing on more than one thing at a time can be detrimental. You probably hadn’t heard that it actually hurts your productivity and can even cause some brain damage according to a Stanford University study.
The study also showed that people who focus on completing one task at a time are a lot better at paying attention, recalling information or switching from one job to another, and essentially, those who focus on multi-tasking are actually worse at multi-tasking than those who focus on completing one job at a time.
So, hopefully, that dispels you of the belief that “multi-tasking” is productive and beneficial compared to focusing on one task at a time.
3. Take A Hike and Get Outdoors
One great method to ground and balance your energy and become more mindful and it is almost a meditative practice in and of itself is to get out in nature and take a long walk or a bike ride somewhere.
If taking the bike, I usually enjoy to go on a long ride 45 - 50 minutes to a local park / reservoir and feel the practice of exercising and biking is one of the easiest ways to get present and grounded, because there’s literally not much else to focus on besides yourself and the road or track. Plus it’s great exercise and cardio. And when I’m finished I like to relax on a bench with a cocoa bar and some water as a reward.
The other option is to go for a long walk, again 45-50 minutes carrying a fairly heavy backpack. It can sometimes feel a little bit like a military boot camp, especially when you’re carrying the backpack with rain hitting your face and walking through the park, but again it naturally brings the mind and body into a much more present, mindful state without you even having to try. Unlike meditation, your mind is clear and you just naturally tend to focus on your breath, clarity and body movements without consciously having to do it.
4. Reframe Your Story
A lot of the time, we can get our heads in a spin because the way we “frame” events or choose to contextualise our story in dis-empowering ways.
The way we interpret events in our lives has massive implications on whether we’re able to move through life in a grounded, balanced and mindful way.
There’s a lot of advice in the 21st Century about how we should just “be positive”, and we have a whole movement based around this idea.
It’s not bad advice if taken in the correct context, but sometimes it can be very difficult to put a positive spin on an event that had very negative repercussions and we shouldn’t be blind to reality in some senses, and effectively be avoiding the negative.
In Buddhist teachings there is the idea of “right view”, which essentially means seeing things as they “are”, not worse than they are, not better than they are, but as they “are”.
This means if an event was negative we can deal with it as a negative event and we don’t have to put a positive spin on it, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t try to choose to see something good and empowering in even some of the worst circumstances.
A great book recommendation for this topic would be, “Man’s Search For Meaning, by Victor Frankl”. Frankl was a Jewish psychologist who had to endure the atrocities of the Holocaust, and developed a type of empowering psychology named ‘logo-therapy’, taken from the Greek word “logos” (reason). Essentially, he helped his fellow victims by teaching them to focus on some reason, some good that could possibly come out of all the hardship they faced, that if they could take nothing else from the event apart from an unthinkable portion of resilience from the horrors they faced.
The principle being centred around trying to reframe negative events that may have happened to you in terms of the values you have taken from them - of meeting life with more resilience, courage, authenticity and honour developed from going through some form of challenge.
5. Being Grateful
This ties me into my last method of helping ground and balance your energy, and loosely ties into what we’ve just discussed.
Be grateful for what you have.
A huge amount of personal suffering and stress comes from your ideas of what life “should” be like, not fitting the reality of “what is currently happening”.
Unfortunately, we tend to project all of our expectations onto life and when the pictures of these expectations aren’t met we tend to get stressed, anxious and suffer from panic that life isn’t going the way we want it to.
No matter what you’re going through, there’s probably someone in a worse situation and trying to do more with less.
If we take a moment to focus on all the things we have to be grateful for in the Western world, internet, hot running water, cold running water, clean water, electricity, the whole world being available and being able to instantaneously connect with people in your city or the other side of the world, food, not being in a war zone etc. etc.
The list can go on and on, and, in the light of what we touched upon in the last section, we have plenty to be grateful for.
Research by the HeartMath Institute actually shows that when we get ourselves in a state of gratitude than feelings like stress, which are deemed ‘incoherent’, subside and begin to be replaced by a much more ‘coherent’, or harmonious state of consciousness. So being grateful definitely has some health benefits as well!
Anyway, I hope these 5 techniques gave you some value, insights and epiphanies around how to approach becoming more balanced, mindful, meditative and coherent.