Feeling Dull and Disconnected? Try These Practices to Connect to the Present Moment
As you start to wind down at the end of your day, it's normal to feel dull, apathetic, burned out, overwhelmed, or checked out. It can happen to anyone, especially if you've been existing in auto-pilot overload or are trying to juggle your overbooked and busy life.
The truth is that feeling dull or disconnected is a byproduct of the overdrive and hyperactive states we often find ourselves in. It happens when we rely on our thinking minds to get us through the day and forget about the wellspring of energy and intelligence in our bodies and hearts waiting to be called upon.
The questions then become:
How do we connect back with ourselves and feel the immediacy of the present moment?
How do we move our attention from our heads to our bodies?
Instead of walking around like a brain on a stick, how do we reclaim our inherent embodied state, disconnected from our physical frame?
Below are my go-to practices for reconnecting with your body, senses, and self. You should try these any time you are feeling dull or disconnected.
1. Notice This Moment
Mindfulness is your capacity to show up at this moment from the level of the mind, body, and heart. You can notice your experience — no matter if what's happening is good or not.
Driving is a great time to practice noticing physical sensations and the environment around you. Notice everything around you — the sky, the trees, the noise, and how your body feels as you sit behind the wheel.
In doing so, you'll become more adept at noticing how your thoughts come and go just as other sensations do. Instead of getting caught up in thinking, you'll be more likely to allow thoughts to come and go.
2. Ask Yourself: Am I Now Here or No Where?
You are likely somewhere between being fully aware and completely unaware in this exact moment. You might be focused on these words or reading them while thinking about tomorrow. In this way, you live somewhere between "Now Here" and "No Where."
Frequently asking yourself the question, Am I Now Here or No Where? can interrupt a cycle of overthinking.
You can also try this more formal practice:
1. Close your eyes.
2. Place your hand just beneath your navel so you can feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly as you breathe. Take a breath in, and in your mind, say, "Now." Breathe out slowly, saying, "Here." Repeat.
3. Continue to breathe in and out in this way, saying in your mind, "Now. Here."
4. When you notice you've become distracted by thoughts or sensations (and you will become distracted), say in your mind, "No Where."
5. Bring your attention back to your next breath.
The antidote to feeling checked out, burned out, dull or disconnected is connecting back to our bodies and the inherent connection found within the present moment. You can practice this "Am I Now Here or No Where?"
Meditation is a formal daily practice or even moment to moment throughout your days. A helpful daily practice is to pause often and ask yourself, "Am I Now Here or No Where?"
Try this free RoundGlass class, Quick Meditation for Inner Peace, by meditation teacher Jay Vidyarthi, to learn how to foster greater mental resilience especially during challenging times.