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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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