FREE 30-Day Gratitude Challenge with every purchase

Free Shipping on orders $75+ Shop Now

How can we remain mindful when we are trying to live full lives that keep us constantly busy? Finding the balance between the two can be challenging. When we’re too busy, we sometimes forget about the importance of embracing and appreciating the moment. We can become overwhelmed by the day-to-day grind and begin to slowly drift from social and fun activities.

Instead of being present in the moment and mindful about our daily lives, we might end up ruminating or simply procrastinating. When this happens, we need to get out of our heads and get into our bodies. In other words, we need to adopt a more holistic approach to life and reconnect our body with the mind.

How? There are many established practices that help us connect with our bodies. In this article, we’ll talk more about the embodied consciousness school of thought and share some tips on how to apply it to your personal life so you can get out of your head and into your body when you need to.

The embodiment of consciousness

During the mid 20th century, Jean Piaget––one of the most important developmental psychologists of all time––discovered that children develop logic by first interacting with objects and people in their environment and then internalizing those interactions and repeating them mentally. The process of internalization here refers to our ability to take in external influences (events, ideas, beliefs, stimuli), absorb them, and use them to build the abstract wonder that is our character. This is how we learn and mature, and how our experiences shape us as individuals.

Simply put, there can be no cognition––our ability to develop consciousness––without bodily experience, according to Piaget. However, as adult humans, it seems like sometimes we get lost in that same mind that gives us this divine ability to be conscious. We become set in our ways and, once we’ve established our own sense of self, it can be challenging for us to let go of it, step back, and re-learn new behaviors.

So, how can we step out of this cycle? Our answer is simple: backtrack the process. We can enhance the connection between the body and the mind by reconnecting with the physical world and internalizing our physical experiences once more—or as much as we need to.

You can become more present, engaged, and grounded in the now by strengthening the connection between your senses and your mind. This will transform you from an observer into an active participant in life.

How to embody the mind

Body awareness can bring so many benefits to our lives. Improved or well-maintained mental health is certainly one of the main, direct benefits, but they actually extend much further. Embodied living improves your quality of life and your performance in all spheres of life since it helps you find more meaning in everything you do.

If you are being present in the moment, the people around you find it easier to connect with you, and, this way, you tend to build more intimate and meaningful relationships. Embodied living also allows you to enjoy your hobbies more and even perform better at work without being cognitively exhausted and burnt out.

What actions do you need to take to start comfortably nesting into your body again? Here are some techniques to help you get in closer contact with your body and regain consciousness in your everyday life.

Talk to Your Body

When you get caught up in your head and neglect your body, you are treating yourself like a machine. If you don’t focus and use your senses, they get numb. If you don’t pay attention to how your body feels, you stop feeling yourself.

Consider the following questions:

  • What does my body feel like now?
  • Can I feel the clothes that I’m wearing? The chair I’m sitting on? The solidity of the ground I’m standing on? What does this feel like?
  • What are the elements of my body that I can’t feel? What would it be like if I could?
  • Is there anything I am feeling in my body right now that I don’t want to be feeling?

Being curious and asking yourself questions about your body may be more important than answering those questions and finding solutions or fixing anything. These questions ground the mind in the body. In the long term, this is a great strategy for embodying the mind.

For instant grounding, you can also apply some of the following techniques:

  • Savor a scent;
  • Move the body by stretching, jumping, dancing, or exercising;
  • Take an ice cube in your hand and notice how you feel about holding and melting it;
  • Go for a walk;
  • Take deep breaths;
  • Touch different objects and textures;
  • Put your hands in cold water slowly by inserting the fingertips first. Think about the process as you dip the whole palm;
  • Recite poetry from your memory;
  • Come up with a phrase or an affirmation to anchor you;
  • Focus on a math problem that can be solved ‘in the head’;
  • Spend time with your pet;
  • Visualize your favorite place or a moment of peace;
  • Make a grounding playlist and play it every time you feel disconnected from your body.
Research the Connection Between the Mind and the Body

From a holistic point of view, physiological discomfort affects our psychological well-being and vice versa. If some of your basic needs are not satisfied, your energy levels will drop, and the state of your endocrine and neural systems changes. This makes it challenging to focus on fulfilling your more complex needs until you take care of your health and well-being.

Simply paying attention to your basic needs can significantly improve the connection between your mind and your body. Let’s start reviewing how you can fulfill your basic needs:

  • How are you sleeping? How many hours per night? What time do you go to bed?
  • What is your nutrition like? Is your diet balanced? Are you properly hydrating? Do you get enough of the necessary nutrients?
  • Do you spend enough time outside?
  • Do you exercise and move your body? How often?

The following prompts can also help you get a perspective on your current lifestyle:

  • Are there any sources of stress in your life? What are they?
  • How do you cope with stressful situations?
  • Do you connect with other people?
  • Do you live up to your values?
  • Are you self-sabotaging yourself and your happiness?
  • Do you have self-limiting beliefs? How do they hold you back?

The answers to these questions can give you an overview of the areas in your life you might want to focus on. Being aware of what stresses you out can help you create better coping mechanisms or reinterpret stressful situations in a different way.

For example, if there’s a challenging task at work that makes you feel stressed out, you can change the way you approach it or you may use this newfound awareness of your stress-trigger to change the way you think about it and react to it. An example would be to adopt a growth mindset and start viewing problems as learning opportunities and as opportunities for growth, rather than as obstacles and never-ending misfortunes.

Apply Relaxing and Tension Release Activities

We can often feel the psychological and emotional tension in our bodies. Anxiety can keep our shoulders stiff, which leads to neck and back pain. Sadness and tiredness can appear in the body in the form of chest pain, back pain, and a feeling of weakness or fatigue.

Your body can impact your emotional state as well. However, you can release a lot of this tension from your mind by simply engaging in certain physical activities. Physical activities increase the level of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin in your brain, and this chemical shift can also make a meaningful improvement on your mindset and emotional health.

Here are some of the best activities to de-stress and release tension:

  • Yoga: To explain it simply, yoga combines body movement with meditation and helps achieve a special way of thinking that can help you feel healthier and more connected with yourself.
  • Running: Running can be quite meditative. Many long-distance runners report experiencing runner’s high––a euphoric state of relaxation after an intense workout.
  • Martial arts: This type of sport requires a great level of focus and synchronization between the body and the mind. There are many different types of martial arts you can take up, like aikido, tai chi, judo, karate, or taekwondo.
  • Breathing exercises: Breathing exercises help you enhance your lung, heart, and chest capacities, maintain healthy levels of blood oxygen, and remain calm and connected to yourself.
  • Laughing: A genuine laugh tends to return you to reality and set you free from tension. Spend more time with people who make you laugh. Watch or read something you find funny at least two or three times every week.
  • Quality time with loved ones: Spending time with loved ones is crucial for releasing tension. The feeling of belonging and connection gives you a feeling of purpose in life and helps you overcome adversities. You don’t necessarily have to talk about your problems and tackle emotional issues when spending time with a loved one. Simply enjoying each other's presence is enough to feel more connected with yourself.

And how do you know whether you’re doing all these things right? You may notice that you are smiling more for one thing. You may also notice that your posture is straighter, and your walk is becoming more relaxed. Your communication with others can feel deeper and more peaceful. If you recognize some of these cues, you’re definitely headed in the right direction.

Practice Mindfulness

One of the most powerful practices designed to reconnect the mind and the body is the practice of mindfulness. Most people are familiar with mindfulness meditation, but there is so much more to this practice than a few exercises. Mindfulness is an approach to life. It’s about being conscious and present when you eat, exercise, or spend time by yourself.

Physical Contact

We are not all equally comfortable with touch. However, if this is something you want to work on, spend some time analyzing how you view physical contact and whether you want to challenge yourself more in this area.

For example, organize a massage session with someone you are close with, and relax each others’ shoulders, arms, and feet. It can be your best friend or your partner. Or, perhaps you’d be more comfortable visiting a professional masseur. You can also learn how to release tension from your shoulders, how to massage pressure points on the body, or how to massage your hand to release tension. Additionally, you can try using different types of massage oils for relaxation.

Massage should be coupled with a mindfulness practice and full conscious engagement. Through this, you can easily retrieve the mind-body connection you might feel you’re missing.

Spend More Time in Nature

Mother Nature gives us life and it can be a great therapist as well. You can quite literally ground yourself by sitting or walking barefoot on the grass, spending time in open air, taking care of your garden, or swimming in a lake or sea. If you live in an apartment, you can enrich it with plants––taking care of them can be surprisingly rewarding and soothing.

Nature is cyclical. Observing the changes between day and night, the seasons, or the landscape around you can also feel calming and rewarding.

Limit Your Technology Usage

It can be challenging to maintain mind-body contact in the digital era, especially when our phones, laptops, and other gadgets have become gates to the never-ending digital environment. Spending too much time in the virtual zone can affect your relationship with your body negatively.

Limiting your technology usage, especially when you are physically present with other people, or when you are working, studying, or preparing for sleep can help you regain a sense of being in the moment.

_____________________

One of the greatest challenges of human cognition is to process the idea that one day we will no longer be and that our reach in life is very limited. And we are constantly being reminded of this. The topic of our personal limitations and our limitations as humans can be quite challenging to deal with sometimes, but learning how to accept it and enjoy the life that is given to you is often liberating.

You cannot control everything, but what definitely is within your power is to accept that life is like that—infinite and fleeting at the same time, unpredictable, and full of surprises. And as long as you are in harmony with your mind and body, you decide how to live it.

See All Articles