Recently I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t let others’ stress get to me. A lot of times a couple of my coworkers get stressed out very easily and everyone in the office has to suffer through their negativity. Don’t get me wrong, I love my coworkers, but they aren’t always the best for my stress levels. Listening to their stress may not be the only thing that puts me off balance, but they are who I am with the most throughout the week so I will be referencing that situation a lot throughout this post. In this post I will be offering tips for how to center yourself when you are stressed out.
I have a ring that has another ring in it that spins. I have had three different versions of this ring over the past couple years and I feel stressed when I don’t have it. It is very calming to spin the outer ring around in circles. It helps me focus on something other than the stress around me. I also find just any sort of thing I can play with, like a necklace, is calming.
Before I talk about how to center yourself, I want to discuss what centering yourself means. Centering yourself is a method of visualization that helps you focus on the here and now. It helps you take power away from outside concerns and negative thoughts and allows you to stay stable and grounded. This concept of centering comes from a Japanese form of defensive arts called Aikido. Aikido believes that the body’s physical and mental power comes from energy around the body, so when the body is stressed your energy is lost. Centering allows you to redirect that energy in a beneficial way.
The 3 steps to centering yourself are:
- Focus on your breathing – Use your diaphragm to breathe air all the way into your lungs and release all of the tension. Keep breathing deeply until your body relaxes completely.
- Find your center – The center of gravity is a few inches below your navel. By focusing your mind on your center you will feel grounded. As you focus on your center, breathe deeply.
- Redirect your energy – Imagine your energy as an object, for example, a glowing ball. Place all of your negative thoughts into that object and inhale, exhale to release the object along with all of your negative thoughts.
In addition to the methods above, I also like the idea of essential oils to center myself. There is a lot of conflicting research about whether essential oils actually work, but I want to share my opinion. I will get into the conflicting research in another post next week hopefully. I believe essential oils work because they allow you to associate that scent with a feeling. Find an essential oil and apply it when you are feeling calm and relaxed. Breathe it in and out and focus on how relaxed you feel. Practice this everyday to really associate that scent with a centered mind. When you are in a stressful moment, I believe that if you smell that scent your mind will calm down because you are associating that scent with a calm moment.
What are your favorite ways to calm down and center yourself?