5 Daily Habits to Help Center Yourself Mentally

Photo by Felipe Borges

Centering yourself is one of the most beneficial ways to feel good as you move forward in life. In your early years, it’s easy to race through life and focus on your to-do list. Between life events, work, and the other demands of life, it’s very easy to allow life to whizz right by. By centering yourself on a daily basis, you can become more aware, alert, and appreciative of that life that’s in front of you. If you’re unaware of how to center yourself mentally, consider adopting these five daily habits.

1. Stretch

When you wake up in the morning, it’s not uncommon for your body to feel stiff. Even people who consistently exercise and maintain a healthy physique need to stretch in order to feel good and limber. This is more of a situation as people age. Once you wake up in the morning and get out of bed, take five minutes to do a few stretches. Touch your toes, and count to ten. Stand on your tip-toes and reach for the ceiling. The stretches don’t have to be synonymous with a full yoga workout. It just needs to be enough to prepare your body for daily movement.

2. Take Note of Your Senses

Oftentimes, people reach for their phones when they wake up in the morning. Instead, take note of your senses. When you open your eyes, pay attention to what you see. Revel in the feeling of your bedsheets touching your skin. Listen to what sounds you hear first. You might hear the birds chirping, the hum of the air conditioning unit, or the low buzzing of white noise. If you have a cup of water next to your bed, savor the taste on your tongue. As you notice these seemingly small details, they can actually help you center yourself in the present moment.

3. Meditate

Meditation continues to grow in popularity as more people benefit from a consistent practice. Meditation requires you to quiet the mind in order to get centered. For many people, the idea of quieting the mind seems impossible. This is why a guided meditation can be really helpful. It’s an excellent idea to take a course that allows you to learn to meditate. When you gather to tools to properly meditate, it can become an invaluable part of your regular routine. Many people can easily spend hours in meditation.

4. Express Gratitude

If you don’t learn how to be grateful for what you have, it’s very difficult to live a happy life. In order to be centered and happy, appreciate what you have. Appreciate what’s in front of you. Even if you’re in a tough, challenging situation, you have breath in your body. If you’re still alive, you still have another chance to change your situation. For many people, the seemingly little things are what keep them going. Before you end your day, take time to write five to ten things you’re grateful for. As you write down five to ten things, you’ll realize that the list could continue with even more things.

5. Breathe Intentionally

Even though breathing is an involuntary function of the body, so many people fail to breathe intentionally. In fact, it’s pretty common for people to hold their breath when they’re in stressful environments. Deep-breathing exercises are excellent for helping to center an individual. Deep-breathing exercises can be effective ways to lower blood pressure and slow the heartbeat down. Breathing is also helpful for releasing pent-up stress and tense emotions. If you feel yourself getting tight and tense, begin to take a few deep breaths. One of the benefits of this habit is that it can be done anywhere. Stale air can build up in the lungs, and deep-breathing exercises can also help to circulate it out.

While you might feel tempted to rush the process and simply add these items to an ever-growing task list, know that rushing defeats the purpose. Instead, take your time. Slow down your pace. If you need to wake up earlier to include these habits into your daily routine, it’s worth the effort. Go to bed earlier so you’ll be able to wake up earlier to begin your practice. When you start your day with these activities, you’ll prepare and center yourself for all that’s coming.