As more people become aware of this fact, they turn to mindfulness practices to help them focus and stay in the moment. Although it is easy to incorporate mindfulness into daily life, learning to gently maintain complete awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and environment comes only with practice.
One of the biggest challenges in practicing mindfulness is staying focused in the moment, says Hanan Al Sammak, founder, life coach, and Theta healer at the HAC institute in Dubai. Within mindfulness, we use a technique called grounding, which is the ability to return to the present moment by sustaining our attention. Contrary to popular belief that grounding is another word for mindfulness, this particular technique involves shifting the attention from ones negative thoughts and emotions by focusing it on their present wellbeing, she continues.
Meditation is one of the commonly recommended and practiced grounding techniques. However, most people find meditation restrictive and boring, which leads to a wandering mind. So to appeal to the general population, life coaches recommend following 10 simple activities that help you stay grounded at the moment and practice mindfulness at any time and anywhere. These techniques include-
Focused breathing: You can count your breaths or maintain their pace by focusing solely on your inhalation and exhalation.
Light stretching: Stretching is a great way to explore the limits of your body and stay focused on the present.
Exercises: From simple cardio workouts such as jogging to high-intensity circuit workouts, exercises help you stay focused and engaged at the moment.
Listening to your thoughts: Unlike a wandering mind, when you start actively listening to your thoughts and being aware of them, it helps you control them and stay mindful.
Keep your surroundings clean: Keeping your home/office desk clean and organized allows energy to flow without any blockages or hindrance in your surroundings, which in turn helps you stay focused.
Bring your focus to an object: choose an object in your vicinity to intentionally turn your attention toward and note its attributes.
Do a mental body scan: Similar to focusing on an external object, bring the focus to your body, the various sensations you are feeling, surfaces you are touching, and such.
Foot exercise: Dig your feet onto the floor to feel the connection it has with the ground. Focus on how the ground is helping you stay stable and centered.
Remember the words of a poem/lyrics of a song: Consciously reciting a poem or prayer and singing or repeating the lyrics of your favorite song is a great way to stay grounded.
Re-orient yourself: To reorient yourself in your environment, keenly notice your surroundings. Note things like the light, sounds, and smells in the area. Now start naming 5 things you see, 5 things you hear, and 5 things you feel. This helps bring your mind back to the present.
There are numerous easy and useful grounding techniques you can choose from, according to your convenience, says Hannan. The idea is to intentionally redirect your mind to something positive and in the moment, away from all the unwanted thoughts and feelings.
Mindfulness cannot be achieved in a day. However, adopting these techniques into your everyday life will slowly help you regain control of your mind and help it focus and be positive. If you feel the need for professional help to combat other difficulties such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, sign up for a life coaching session today at the HAC institute in Dubai.