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How To Find Your Center

How To Find Your Center

The human mind can be extremely complex, multifaceted and ever-changing, so getting control over the most powerful organ we have at our disposal can be at times frustrating, irritating and desperately difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to ‘find your centre’, i.e. find and focus on your core self, shedding the extraneous of the world and achieving the calm and control we all need.

Without further adieu, here are eight of the best ways to find your center and become the chilled, relaxed person you were meant to be.

1. Just Breathe–You’ll Immediately Feel Better

Yes, I know, we all do it, but let’s be honest: how often do you really take notice of how you breathe? Do it now–take some deep, deep breaths and hold for four beats. Then breathe out for a count of four. See how much calmer and more centered you feel?

Being conscious of how we breathe and what we do can help us be in the moment and take stock of everything, allowing us to find our center much more easily.

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2. Sleep More to Feel Better Tomorrow

As someone who hated sleep with a vengeance as a child, I can honestly say that sleep is awesome. Sleep is amazing.

Therefore, any chance I get, I’m taking naps or going to bed earlier just so I feel more refreshed, happier and more ready to take on the world at my very best. Finding your center is all about your optimal conditions, so go ahead and experiment with your amount of sleep until you find the right amount for you.

3. Organize for Peace of Mind and Efficiency

Organizing stuff has recently become a passion of mine, largely because as a teenager, I lived in a perpetual state of rummaging around piles of crap to actually find the thing I wanted.

I’m not suggesting you all become Martha Stewart and have pristine, perfect rooms and organizational skills–trust me, most days of the week I can barely remember what to do in that moment–but clearing the decks and having a bit of structure in your life can be a boon to helping you find and channel your best self at your core.

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4. Lose Yourself in Music

Finding that perfect song for that perfect moment is something we’ve all experienced at least once and which, believe me, can induce the kind of calm and serenity that you need.

It doesn’t even need to be relaxing music–I’ve used EDM, dance, pop, rock, metal, anything with a great beat, and lost myself in that right beat and right song. Listening to music has made me focus on the real things and given me great motivation and grounding. Go get your beat on, and if you dance while doing it, at least you’re also getting your strut on and burning some calories too!

5. Never Stop Reading

We should never, ever stop reading in my opinion, and people who do are kind of missing out on all the wonderful, amazing, inspiring things to be found in books and articles and magazines and whatever you choose as your medium. Reading also has the fun side effect of ensuring that you’re in the moment–if you’re watching a film, you can easily be checking your phone or replying to a Tweet, but reading means that you have to be in the moment to immerse yourself in that world.

6. Believe in Everything You Can

Never stop believing in stuff. In people, in beliefs, in whatever. The fact is that having hope and a passion and a true belief in something roots you in something solid and it grounds you.

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It doesn’t have to be religion in any way shape or form–faith or belief is a strong bond or emotional resolution in something. Finding your center is about finding those beliefs–such as being kind to others or voting in every election–and cultivating the hell out of them.

7. Look for the Good in All Things

There are good things everywhere as long as you keep looking for them. This is something that is kind of ingrained in us as children, but which we sometimes forget. The media tells us of the horrible, scary world we live in and why we should be afraid of practically everything.

There is so much in the world that is good and worthwhile and worth celebrating that focusing on the good in the world and actively searching for the great and the wonderful can not only center yourself; it can make you appreciate life a hell of a lot more.

8. Meditate Daily to Relax

Meditation, meditation, meditation. It’s something that should be part of anyone and everyone’s repertoire of ways to relax and find themselves some inner peace on a regular basis.

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Finding your center is about letting all the miscellaneous fall away, all the unnecessary parts of our lives that we don’t need in that moment, and just letting our selves, our true selves, emerge through the quiet and serenity that meditating can provide. Plus you can do it anywhere, as long as there’s some quiet and some time.

It may take a while–meditation isn’t a first-time-sure-fire thing, after all–but you’ll eventually find yourself dealing with situations with more and more grace and competence than usual. And that’s something worth investing in, right?

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Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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