Learning how to take a moment to recenter yourself can be an extremely valuable tool and it doesn’t need to be super time consuming.
All you really need is 5 minutes!
What does it mean to "recenter" yourself?
When we are centered, we feel a sense of balance and peace within. When we take time to “recenter,” we are working on bringing back a sense of balance to our mind, body, and soul. A centering practice helps us to get back in touch with our true selves.
Staying centered in our modern world can be a difficult task. This is why it’s important to take time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul; and it ‘s important to remember all three. When you forget about one, it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to keep yourself in balance as all three are inherently connected.
Benefits of taking the time to recenter:
There are many benefits to taking the time to recenter yourself, but there are a few specific benefits that are relatively common for people to experience.
Re-centering is a powerful way to break any unwanted cycles or emotions. Taking 5 minutes to recenter can help bring you out of a crappy mood or help you when you’re feeling stuck or unproductive. It’s also great to do when you are just feeling a sense of overwhelm.
This is also a wonderful way to spark creativity as it helps clear your mind so new ideas can flow freely.
Re-centering is good for our nervous system
Re-centering calms our nervous system which is not only important for our mind, but also for our physical body.
When we are feeling stressed, our sympathetic nervous system becomes active. This part of our nervous system should be active in stressful situations that would require us to fight or run away, (this is where “fight or flight” comes from). The problem is that when we are experiencing stress from our daily activities such as dealing with a difficult boss or something similar, there is no actual “fight or flight” that needs to take place. Also, this type of stress is long lasting which keeps the sympathetic nervous system active for way longer than it ever should be. This can be really problematic not only for our mental health, but also for our physical health because there are physical changes that occur in the body when the sympathetic nervous system is taking over.
The parasympathetic nervous system is on the opposite end of the spectrum. We really want to be spending most of our days with this part of our nervous system being active. Re-centering ourselves helps get us out of living in the sympathetic nervous system and instead moving back into the parasympathetic which is a much healthier place for us to be.
Don't use the excuse, "I don't have time"
So many of us use the excuse, “I don’t have time,” for the reason we don’t take care of ourselves, but we need to make time for things that keep us healthy. I know when I use this excuse and I take a step back, I realize that I do in fact have time, I’m just managing my time poorly.
We need to make time to care for ourselves.
Also, taking 5 minutes in your day to center yourself can make you more productive and less stressed which leads to less wasted time. So basically, the “I don’t have time” excuse doesn’t apply here. 😝
How to actually recenter yourself in 5 minutes
The best way to recenter yourself is to sit for a brief 5 minute meditation. If you don’t like meditation, think of it instead as time to rest your body and mind. A 5 minute meditation isn’t going to bring you into deep stages of meditation, but it is enough time to recenter yourself.
You can lay down to do this but if you are someone who gets tired easily, it’s best to sit up tall and unsupported, as this allows you rest while staying awake and alert.
The goal of these 5 minutes is to tune out the external world which is great at throwing us out of balance and to move into our internal world to find that place where we feel centered again.
Since we are tuning out the external world, it’s important to close your eyes (if you feel comfortable doing so). It’s also helpful to listen to some soothing/calming music. With the eyes being closed and the music in our ears, this makes it much easier to enter our internal world.
Try your best to find a quiet space where you can have 5 minutes without being disturbed. 🤞🏼
Ok so you have your private space, your eyes are closed, you have your music playing, now what do you do?
Well, you need to place your attention somewhere to prevent the mind from wandering to what happened earlier in the day or to what you have to do later in the day.
I have two suggestions you can try to keep your mind focused on re-centering:
Place your attention on your breath. This is a great way to prevent the mind from becoming distracted. You want to breathe by using your diaphragm, this is also known as “belly breathing”. This type of breath keeps your nervous system calm and allows the parasympathetic nervous system to take over, which as we learned before, this is where we want to live.
Diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing) is also how we are supposed to be breathing throughout the day, although many develop a habit of breathing more with the chest than the belly.
Place your attention on the third eye, (stay with me here). This is the place between your eyebrows. This is a very centering point in our body as it is where the energy of the left side and the right side of the body meet. This area is also known as the command center and is where our intuition lives, so it’s a wonderful place to recenter.
If you’re not into energies such as these (though just to note, working with your energy can be life changing), focusing your attention on a specific point is helpful at keeping mind in present moment.
To make sure you keep this re-centering session to 5 minutes, you can look up 5 minute meditation music on youtube to time yourself. Of course, you could always take longer than 5 minutes if you’d like.
Sessions such as these help you get rid of stuck/unwanted energy, allow you to be less stressed, and allow your mind to be more clear. This may take practice, so make sure you give it time. If you don’t feel the benefits from the first session, don’t give up! Relaxing and re-centering is not as easy as it sounds and it may be challenging for some people, but it is possible for all of us to do and it is truly an amazing way to keep ourselves in balance.
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