Mindful Living #AtoZChallenge Personal development Wednesday Wisdom

Centering Yourself #AtoZChallenge #WednesdayWisdom

Centering: A breathing technique to help you focus, let go of worries and accomplish your goals

In life, we constantly face stressful situations.

Right now, even as I adjust the halo around my head feeling super-proud of myself for posting on five blogs for three days in a row (that’s 15 posts, people, and includes the writing, formatting, stressing over images and creating pins and whatnot)—I am truly intimidated about doing this consistently for 27 more days. Really! As much as I love the A to Z Challenge, the stress mounts when work deadlines also loom, along with the usual routine stuff.

Do you experience that kind of pressure, too?

Thing is, stress is a standard part of life. It’s just that the levels vary depending on what we’re facing at the time. Sometimes we let our nerves get the better of us and allow feelings of anxiety freak us out. Our hearts beat faster, we feel breathless, sometimes sweat—all symptoms of anxiety.

The good news is, I have learned an effective technique called “Centering” to redirect all this nervous energy into positive concentration.

And I am about to share it with you, because I am sure I am not alone when it comes to freaking out over that never-ending to-do list or an important deadline!

Best part? This technique is great for children as well, what with exam-time stress and other performance pressures. So as you learn to do this, please also teach it to your children.

Read/bookmark/pin: Is meditation good for your kids?

What is Centering?

An ancient visualization technique in Aikido the Japanese defensive martial art of spiritual harmony, centering guides you towards focusing on the here and now by taking power away from all those negative thoughts. The result? You stay grounded and stable.

Aikido trains your mind to control the body’s reaction with the concept of “qi”. See, our mental and physical power is generated from the flow of energy around our body. When we become stressed, we lose energy. So centering redirects the negative energy so that we benefit from it.

Can you recall a time when you were scared or stressed? What was your physical reaction? Breathlessness? Sweaty palms? Shaking? Rapid heartbeat?

Okay. Now, just think of these feelings as an outcome of energy flowing through your body. When you practice centering, you use your mind to redirect this energy to the center of your body, producing inner calm.

Practice centering to improve your focus and manage stress. You can use it before a stage performance, an exam, an important meeting, a game/match, before a tough conversation, an event and just about any time you need to gather your wits around you. Centering will help you express yourself clearly, compassionately and effectively.

Centering: A mindful breathing technique to help you focus, let go of worries and accomplish your goals

Here is a step by step guide to centering

Did you know that whenever you accomplish something effortlessly and with focus, you are already practicing centering? Yes, you are.

Because you are awesome!

Now let’s put a structure to this centering so that you can maximize your focus! It is easy and there are just three steps!

Step 1 Focus on Your Breathing

Breathe deeply, consciously, using your diaphragm to inhale air into your lungs.

Here’s how you do deep breathing

  • Lie down comfortably.
  • Place a hand on your stomach.
  • Inhale deeply through your nose.
  • The air will push against your hand.
  • Move only your stomach.
  • Don’t move your chest and shoulders.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth.
  • Repeat

Focus on your breathing. As you breathe slowly and deeply, release the tension from your body. Scan your body, starting with your toes, working your way up, focusing on each group of muscles. Relax any muscles that feel tense.

Step 2: Locate Your Center

Next, find your physical center of gravity, which is about two inches below your navel. Focus your mind on this area. Soon you will find yourself feeling grounded and stable.

Whenever you feel stressed, focus your attention on this center—that area below your navel—to feel balanced and in control. Breathe deeply as you concentrate on this area to feel centered.

Step 3: Channel Your Energy

It’s time now to redirect your energy towards achieving your goal. To visualize all the energy in your body flowing into your center, use imagery of your choice.

One example I can give you is to imagine it as a bright balloon. Imagine putting all your negative thoughts into this balloon. When you inhale, say : “I let…” and when you exhale, say “go!” Imagine this balloon floating away! If you want to imagine your energy as a ball, visualize throwing it away into the distance. Essentially, you are letting go of all that’s stressing you out.

Now imagine your center filled with calm, free from stress and tension.

When you inhale again, focus on what you want to accomplish. Focus on positive thinking.

I like to use an affirmation where I imagine positive outcomes. Use one of your favorite quotes.

The whole idea behind the centering exercise is to remove imagined problems and what ifs from your mind and fill it with confidence.

Do practice this and let me know. At any rate, practicing deep breathing will take you half way there!

Be happy!

Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, reflections and humor.

13 Comments

  • Reply
    Shilpa Gupte
    April 3, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    To begin with….you are participating in the A to Z on 5 blogs????? Where are your feet, Vidya? I would love to touch your feet and seek your blessings so that I am able to complete this challenge on this 1 blog, successfully! You are like the Blogging Goddess, you know?! <3

    True, breathing consciously helps you stay focused on the moment, on the activity you are doing at the moment and drives away any distractions and negative thoughts that can spoil our focus. I have been working on it for some time now and I feel I am inching towards it, slowly and steadily.
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…C – Connect with your tribe. #AtoZChallenge

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 3, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      Hahahaha! A hug will do just as fine, Shilpa! I have registered only this blog in the AtoZ Challenge, but I figured I’d write on the others too.

      Breathing is good. Besides keeping us alive, it keeps us alive happy! I think you’re doing a wonderful job on your blog! Me, I am just a work in progress!

  • Reply
    Jemima Pett
    April 3, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Love the clear instructions, Vidya – thank you!
    Jemima Pett recently posted…C is for Castles – an AtoZChallenge Flashback special #IWSG

  • Reply
    Monika
    April 3, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Omg how do you manage 5 blogs?? The post is very interesting but I want to know other blogs too

  • Reply
    Suhasini
    April 3, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Nice article and wonderful tips Vidya. Your articles are just awesome

  • Reply
    Mayuri Nidigallu
    April 3, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    I love the idea of visualising the ballon as you let go. I am going to try that. Thanks for introducing us to ‘Centering’.
    Mayuri Nidigallu recently posted…C is for, Churches & the Cream Donut #BlogchatterA2Z

  • Reply
    Kalpana Solsi
    April 4, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Now Vidya, you will to write a post on how you manage the 5 blogs. It would be an interesting read.
    My son feels stressed before exams and I ask him to practice deep breathing. I too take deep breaths when I am stressed. (This has come with growing old). Thanks for introducing Centering to me.
    Kalpana Solsi recently posted…Dimples : Parts of the body

  • Reply
    Giggling Fattie
    April 4, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    When I’m in a classroom, I like to do a few breathing techniques with my students. Especially when we are changing activities from something really fun to something a little more serious. It’s important to get that mindful calm before proceeding onto the next thing.

    Giggling Fattie
    http://www.noloveforfatties.com

  • Reply
    Rachna Parmar
    April 4, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Vidya seriously! 5 Blogs. You are giving me a heart attack. I am already struggling with managing with just one. As you pointed with professional work it is quite challenging. I am hanging in there. Thanks for sharing the centering technique.
    Rachna Parmar recently posted…Punjabi Dal Tadka Recipe | How to Make Dal Tadka

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 4, 2019 at 9:42 pm

      Rach, I’ve only registered this one for the challenge. I am writing on three others because I feel like it. The fifth may or may not be regular. So far so good. 🙂 I am already late for today’s posts thanks to work deadlines. 🙂 You are a rockstar!

  • Reply
    PraGun
    April 4, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    reading your post when I decide to go for yoga and breathing session weekend. and wow 5 blogs hats off to you. going to remember it in my sessions for sure.

  • Reply
    Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    April 8, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    This is amazing! And very, very helpful. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ronel visiting from the A-Z Challenge with Music and Writing: There’s Only One C…
    Ronel Janse van Vuuren recently posted…Grr… #AtoZChallenge

  • Reply
    Vanita
    April 10, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Wonderful guidance mama. I do this from time to time. I need to do it daily! Maybe multiple times a day!
    Vanita recently posted…Why Your Subconscious Impacts Your Business Planning Success

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge
    %d bloggers like this: