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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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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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