It’s easy to get knocked off balance in day to day life. Stress can sneak up on us at home and at work, on the commute, before the school run – at any time.
When you feel ‘off’, it’s important to know how to bring yourself back into alignment. There are many ways to do this, and you may need to try out a few methods in order to find out what works best for you.
Here’s a quick centering exercise that may help. It can be done anywhere and anytime to help you feel more balanced, strong, and present.
- You can do this standing or sitting, and your eyes can be open or closed. Experiment with it to see which works best for you.
- Take a few deep breaths. Count to four on both the inhale and the exhale. As you breathe, begin to turn your awareness inward. Let the sounds and concerns of the outside world fade. Concentrate on your breath and on the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen.
- Now imagine a column of light inside yourself, a channel that runs straight up and down through the middle of you. This light column stretches from the top of your head down to the bottom of your feet.
- Be inside the pillar of light. Imagine the light moving upwards towards the sky, and then downwards into the earth. Spend some time in this space, in the light column, in the centre of yourself.
I’ve found you don’t need to do this exercise for long to feel better. Just a little at a time, and as often as you can remember to do it. Several times a day can work well. The point is to break the stress cycle, to take your thoughts off things even for a few moments. It’s a bit like hitting the re-set button.
When we make contact with our centre and with our core, we establish contact with our inner resources and strength. We feel present again, more composed, and ready to re-engage with life’s responsibilities.
Doing small exercises like these can be effective in managing our response(s) to stress. Give it a go and try it out for yourself.