When the world is so self centred, how can you maintain a centered self? This guide will show you how.
As a meditation teacher I am often helping people to stay centred. And I’ll be honest, it isn’t always easy. We are so bombarded by pressure and information overload that it can be difficult to stay calm, focused, and yes, centred. But there is a solution, which I will share in just a moment.
First, let’s discuss exactly what it means to be centred and why you might want to invest a little time into centring yourself.
What does it mean to be centered?
To be centred means to be calm, in control of our emotions, and mindful of the present moment. It’s the way you feel when you have had a good day, when you feel like everything is well in the world, and when your mind is clear.
It doesn’t mean that you don’t have emotions. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t have negative thoughts. Rather, it means that you maintain conscious control of yourself without getting swept up in feelings and thoughts.
Some people compare centring to grounding. But there is, in fact, a difference between being centred and being grounded. As Diana Raab Ph.D. wrote in an article for Psychology Today, being centred means having calmness of mind, where being grounded is more about being confident and content in ourselves. Note that if you want to feel grounded, I recommend doing my guided grounding meditation.
Not only does it feel good to be centred, but it is very beneficial for your health.
The Benefits Of Being Centered
Being centred means having calmness of mind and being in control of our emotions. And this brings with it many other benefits.
Our thoughts and emotions are the route cause of a lot of issues and illnesses. Stress, for instance, is the number one cause of illness. When you are centred you are less stressed. Therefore, by being centred you reduce the health effects of stress.
Naturally, being centred has a huge effect on mental health. Most (all?) mental health issues relate in some way to our thoughts and feelings, whether that being anxiety, depression, or even something more complex such as borderline personality disorder. Therefore, by being centred we a) help to prevent mental health issues from arising, and b) reduce the symptoms of any pre-existing conditions.
Beyond this, being centred simply makes life more enjoyable. When you’re free from stress and negative thoughts, you are more able to enjoy the moments of your life.
And finally, for we meditators, being centred helps us to stay mindful.
Sounds good, right? So how do you get centred?
How To Feel Centered In Life
1: Meditation For Centring
The following meditation for centering will help you to feel calm and peaceful, and to maintain control of your thoughts and feelings.
Sit comfortably with good posture. Close your eyes.
Focus your awareness on the sensation of your breath moving through the space just beneath your nose.
Breathe in through your nose to a count of four. Hold for a count of four. Breathe out through your mouth to a count of four. Hold for a count of four.
Continue to breathe and to observe your breath for at least ten breaths. If you are distracted by thoughts, say to yourself, “This is just a thought”, and then return to focusing on your breathing.
Now bring your awareness to the world around you. Tune in to the world through your five senses. What do you hear? What do you taste? Touch? Etc. Simply be mindful of the world around you by focusing on your senses.
Continue to breathe as describe in step 3 while focusing on the world around you. Do this for ten minutes.
Open your eyes. I bet you are feeling centered now!
2: Take a long walk in a natural spot
What is the most relaxing space around you? Perhaps you live by the sea and can sit at the beach. Perhaps there is a local park. Maybe a river? Go to the most relaxing space in your local area and walk. Oh, and do not take your phone. Nope. Just go there, disconnect, focus on the world around you, and take a nice, relaxing, slow and mindful walk. If you’re up for it, go barefoot. This will help your body to absorb the negative ions from the ground, which is excellent for centring.
3: Practise yoga or tai chi
One of the best ways to feel centred is with slow, mindful forms of exercise. For instance, try tai chi or yoga (particularly yin yoga, which is a slower form). Exercises like these are called Integrated Body Mind Training, which means that they work your mind and your body at the same time. In particular, they are excellent for increasing the mind-body connection, which is vital for feeling centred.
4: Write a gratitude list
Gratitude is an incredibly healing emotion. In fact, there have been many studies on gratitude that show that it can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s also really easy to do. Simply write a list of 50 things for which you are grateful. You can include anything in the list that makes you feel grateful. For instance, for me that would include my mom, my cats, sunshine, water, art, and so on. Trust me, if you spend just five minutes doing this right now, you will feel a lot happier.
One of the worst things for inner peace is information overload. Your phone, your emails, social media, blah blah… all that junk fills your mind with too much noise, knocking you off course. The good news is that it is easy to stop this with just a little willpower. Turn your phone off for a couple of hours. Go through your emails at specific times of the day instead of checking them over and over. Get off social media. It might sound like a hassle, but it is 100% worth it.
Get centred and stay there!
Yes, it is hard to be centred in this day and age. But you can do it! And I am here to help you. Start by using the tips above to centre yourself. And if you truly want to experience (and maintain) a centred mind, book an online meditation lesson with me today!
Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison