I spend most of my day looking at a computer screen, split between my marketing job and my online classes for life coaching. Unless Puppy Piper is distracting me, I can spend hours sitting at my computer without moving.
However, I’ve found that it’s really easy for me to get in my head and disconnect from my body and heart. That may not sound so terrible but the truth is that we are not just minds transported around by bodies. Our body isn’t just a tool. We are minds. We are bodies. We are hearts (or spirit, however you prefer to term it). We are all 3, and when we neglect one or more aspects of ourselves, we’re actually not living the full human experience.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve really been working on not staying “in my head” for more than 2-3 hours at a time and focusing on dropping down into my body and grounding myself in the present reality.
There’s a couple different things I do to keep myself grounded and connected to my body in the present moment.
Walking barefoot on the earth
The only place where there is soft grass near my apartment is at the dog park. When I take Piper to the park, I take off my sandals and usually sit or stand in the grass and let myself actually feel it. Within a few minutes, I feel so much more alive and connected to myself. Right now, I’m not in a position to really walk the dog park barefoot. There’s way too much hidden dog poop, so I choose to let sitting or standing in the grass be enough.
Okay, let me be brutally honest with you – it’s been months since I’ve done yoga. I was relatively consistent for about 2 weeks a few months ago, but shortly after, my body was feeling wild amounts of pain on a consistent basis… so I stopped. It’s on my list of things to eventually start back, but I have to actually honor my body right now by not doing yoga. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it though. A good place to start is Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube.
Going on frequent walks without my phone
Let’s be real, if you have a phone in your hand or anywhere on your body, it’s probably distracting you and keeping you from the life right in front of you. Trust me, I’m the worst about checking my phone when I feel a “phantom vibration.” However, I feel myself being much more present and in my body when I go walk without my phone. Now, I don’t mean you should go on long walks in sketchy parts of town without your phone. Nah girl! But you can definitely handle a 15-30 minute walk in a place that’s safe without your phone tethered to you. The more often, the better. I try to take Puppy Piper out on a walk every 3 hours or so without my phone.
Geez, I love me some meditation. Every time I get in my head about all the bijillions of things that need to get done and the anxiety starts rising, I put my computer aside and go into lotus position for 2-5 minutes of meditation. Yeah, I know people talk about how you should meditate for 5 to 20 minutes, but that amount of time just stresses me out! Plus, if I meditate for 2 minutes 3 times per day, that’s 6 minutes… so that counts, right? Personally, I choose to meditate without music (because meditation music makes me fall asleep) and just pay attention to my breathing and not all the 35849 things I feel I need to do. Yeah, it’s that simple.
I get it. You’re reading this thinking, “Aly, I’m so freaking busy. Ain’t got time for that!” I hear you. I used to be you. And then here’s what I learned:
Giving yourself breaks increases productivity.
Anxiety reduces productivity. Getting out of your head breaks the anxiety spirals. Therefore, getting out of your head and doing one of these grounding exercises will make you more productive.
Plus, these activities can lead to increased levels of happiness. And happiness leads to greater success levels.
If you want to live your best life, you have to choose to be connected to your body.
So go out there and take some time to drop out of your head and into your body.