At a yoga class recently I was reminded of the importance of staying grounded. As we moved into a sequence of balances I had not done for a while I was taken aback by the difficulty of staying upright and moving gracefully at the same time.
This got me thinking about balance and flexibility mentally, using my body as a metaphor. At times when I am mentally grounded, it is as if I have deep roots. These roots don’t limit me or stop me moving, rather they enable me to flex much further without losing my centre. When I am grounded, I am able to explore freely, without hesitation or fear, knowing I have a strong centre to extend from. When I lose my centre mentally, then I find I flip flop around, as if events are flinging me about, rather than me flexing my way through them. If I don’t regularly work on my core, it gets weaker, it just won’t take care of itself.
So, what contributes to mental grounding? The tips below might not seem like rocket science, and they are not. Consistent self-care and self-respect are key to acting with grace, there is no magic bullet or golden formula, just day by day attention and nourishing.
1. Reflection time is absolutely key to mental balance. Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, t’ai chi or simply sitting with a cup of tea and no deliberate stimulation are all great ways to tune into yourself and let go of what’s outside you.
2. Eating well is important for your sense of well-being. Little and often, foods that release energy slowly, plenty of water, and fresh foods packed with nutrients are the order of the day.
3. Winding down well and getting enough sleep and rest is essential to balance and poise during the day. Eight hours of uninterrupted deep sleep is not the formula for everyone, for some a similar period of restfulness including some deep sleep is just as energizing.
4. Regular exercise enhances mental well-being, for me it is like a ‘re-boot’ for my mind. You don’t need to go wild in the gym, a brisk walk out in nature is just as good for your body and more refreshing in other ways.
5. Nurturing others. It may be tending plants, a pet, other people in your life, or yourself, but acts of loving kindness are important for mental balance and well-being. Connecting with nature is enriching, in any form.
Five simple ways you can deepen your roots and add to your agility, all low cost, none time consuming…what are you waiting for?