At the end of a day, have you ever plopped yourself onto your bed wondering where the day went? It’s not an over exaggeration to say that the entire day was just a big fog. You close your eyes and promise yourself that tomorrow (or every day from now on) will be different. The next morning, you forget the promise as quickly as you made it and get pulled into mindless fog, going from task to task, giving in to the modern-day cycle of life.
This may be the new normal. However, being normal is not always the best way to live. There are countless examples throughout history where activities or states of being that were once considered normal were stamped out or phased out due to people evolving, revolting or adapting with the changing times.
Mindless living is when we live being disconnected from what’s real, our true selves. Grounding yourself means to reconnect with reality, and the most effective way is to be aware of your body. Grounding exercises are things you can do to bring yourself into contact with the present moment – the here and now. They can be quick, like taking three deep breaths, or longer, more formal exercises, like meditation or yoga.
We all have many moments throughout the day when we are distracted, out of touch with our bodies and stuck in our heads with a type of mental dialog that quickly evolves into ‘mental diarrhea’. Dealing with family in the mornings, driving, navigating the workday at the office, at the gym, or any other time of day, we can be distracted or overwhelmed by bad memories, worries of the future, stories, drama etc.
The following simple grounding exercises are about using our senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch – to reconnect our mind and body in the present. It is our basic human senses that remind us we are here now, and we are safe.
Some of these exercises might feel childish or insignificant, but remember how mindfulness seemed to come so effortlessly when you were a child? Children live in the present; that’s why it takes so little to make them happy.
Even though these exercises seem ridiculously simple, remembering to do them isn’t easy. Be patient with yourself and give yourself credit for even attempting to improve your day to day living. By getting into the habit of grounding yourself, you’re well on your way to mindful living.
This post was part of our Monthly Intentions program throughout the year. Each month at Evolutions we focus on one intention to guide our practice, our wellness and our attention – inside and outside the club. Join us on this journey through Facebook and Instagram @EvolutionsAnnapolis #monthlyintentions #evolutionsannapolis.