Do you struggle with getting out of your own head? Do anxious thoughts demand your attention too frequently? Are you constantly making lists or plans for the future? If this resonates with you, try these three tips to help center yourself in the present.
- Use your senses: one of my favorite grounding techniques incorporates all 5 of your senses and, by doing so, effectively captures your attention and re-engages you with current surroundings. For this exercise, take note of your environment and begin to describe, in detail, what you are seeing, hearing, feeling and so on. This can include: the sounds of traffic, the rhythm made by people walking around you, the color of the sky, where the wallpaper is peeling and beginning to yellow or how the carpet feels on your feet. This narration and attention to the details of the environment will bring your mind back into the present.
- Express Gratitude: gratitude exercises can be useful in several ways. The expression of gratitude can be helpful in grounding oneself in the present, through an appreciation and acknowledgement of the moments of joy in your daily life. For this exercise attend to the happy, good, or even just content moments in your day and take a few seconds to express an appreciation for them. This will help you stay focused in the present by providing you with a goal that challenges you to attend to details and act intentionally.
- Down Time: often the only down time a person has in their day is when their head hits the pillow. At this moment, everything that has happened over the course of that day comes rushing back to us, and our mind is overwhelmed with all the information. It can be hard to be present when our down time is so infrequent, or is spent making lists, composing an email in our head or various other things on our agenda. If you give yourself time to slow down, reflect and relax, you will be more successful at being present.