01 September 2014

5 Practical Tips for Introverts - on being present and engaged

"to be rooted is perhaps the most important and least
recognized need of the human soul."

I've written about the topic of introversion/extroversion a few times already and personally being an extreme introvert, I've been doing lots of research and found some tips that really helped me deal with it.
I know lots of you are introverts because i constantly get questions on this topic on tumblr so I'm cramming up all my insights in this post hoping it will help you :)

~ This is not about dealing with shyness or social anxiety, thats a whole different topic! ~

What it's like being an Introvert

Introversion is still highly misunderstood and telling people to "just be more outgoing" does not really help.
As an introvert, you can be interested in other people, want to get out and have fun, but you just can't do it, because you feel your energy being drained so easily from anything that is not you being by yourself in your room.
For the first few minutes hanging out with others, you might really enjoy yourself but then your mind starts drifting off more and more often and you become more passive in interactions and lose interest in engaging.

Is Introversion a bad thing?

Introversion and extroversion are natural tendencies, neither better or worse than the other.
But it is really restricting to need so much alone-time, to need to recharge so much.
As if you never quite have enough energy or attentiveness to get through even the most mundane things.
It's shitty to be passive all the time -however, you shouldn't shame yourself for being an introvert or try to fight it.

"Rather than fighting with darkness, which is impossible anyway, switch on the light."
Osho - Meditation

You need to be anchored to the physical realm, need to start feeling like you really inhabit your body rather than just drifting in some mental/emotional sphere, watching life from far away rather than really being there.

Becoming really present and aware for the first time is kind of like putting on glasses and realizing you can actually see the individual leaves of a tree.
Or like the wonder and excitement of a little child who is fully engaged in reality and acts and reacts spontaneously.

"But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive [...] Life can only be found in the present moment."
Thich Nhat Hanh - Peace Is Every Step

TIP #01; Grounding

There's several ways to ground yourself, to make you feel more connected to the physical realm and calm down your mind.
You can meditate, concentrating on your breath and then imagine yourself as steady as a tree, with roots growing deep in the ground and anchoring you, giving you stability.

Another approach is to literally get down on the ground, not on the carpet of you 3rd floor apartment, but on the grass outside.
Just sitting on the ground outside can help, or doing the same meditation exercise from above outside. You can also do this lying down.

Walking barefoot is great, too!!
Apparently, when doing this, you will absorb the earths free flowing electrons from it's surface through the soles of your feet.

TIP #02; Healthy Lifestyle

I know most of you won't like hearing this, but exercise is a good way to get into your body.
Most of all though, you should actually find something you enjoy doing or you'll just become escapist, your mind drifting away, because you really don't want to be there.

  • Jumping is a really good exercise, because it gives you the physical sensation of gravity pulling you down, literally grounding you. So, getting a jumping rope might be a good idea. It's also a very effective exercise suited for small spaces. You can also just do jumping jacks!
  • Either before or as an alternative to exercising, you can do stretching! Really feeling the energy flowing through each body part that you stretch gives you more bodily awareness and reduces stress.
  • Massages are another great tip! Especially foot massages. Or foot baths!
When it comes to diet, as I've said with exercising, this should not be a punishment or a chore.
Find alternatives that you enjoy!
  • Definetly drink lots of water, keep hydrated, to keep the blood pumping to your brain so you have a longer attention span.
  • Also avoid processed foods as they make you feel drowsy
  • Get enough sleep!
  • Food from the ground (as in vegetables, fruits, legumes...) are supposed to make you more grounded
  • Green foods contain lots of energy, since they are full of chlorophyll and therefore full of SUNSHINE ENERGY

TIP #03; Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of full awareness of the present moment, not thinking about the past or future, not judging anything, just being there.
Eckhart Tolle wrote the probably most popular book on this topic;

"Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there'."
"Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it."
Eckhart Tolle - The Power of Now

You have to realize this: Tomorrow never comes. We can only ever live in the now. The now is timeless and the present moment is all we ever have.

Mindfulness Mediation
Similar to the "tree meditation" for grounding, this one should just be focused on being aware and watching the present moment.
You can do this by sitting, eyes closed or not, and starting to watch your breath. You will probably have lots of thoughts rushing through your mind. That's normal. Don't fight them, just watch them pass in your mind with no judgement and without lingering on them.
Some tips from my personal experience:
  • If you find it hard to concentrate on your breathing with so much going on in your head, breathe very deeply and audibly at first so your full attention goes to your breath.
  • I like bringing my palms together and concentrating on that sensation of my the skin touching. It makes you more aware of your body and less of your mind.
  • Meditation is about relaxing, but most of all concentrate on relaxing the muscles in your face. Your face is usually most tense without you noticing it.

Mindfulness on the go
To get a quick fix on mindulness while you're out and about or don't have time to meditate, these are some quick and easy ways:
  • Body Scans. Concentrate on the sensations in your body, starting at your toes, going up the body to the top of your head. Be aware of all body parts and focus on relaxing your muscles. Where attention goes, energy flows. This will re-energize you to be more extroverted after feeling drained.
  • Sense Scans. Similar to the body scan, concentrate on your physical senses, one after another. Ask yourself "What can I smell right now? What does this chair I'm sitting on feel like? What can I see around me? What can I hear?" and so on.
  • Be sensual. Stimulating your senses is a good way to bring attention to the physical world. Taking hot or cold showers, getting scented candles, really paying attention to the taste and texture of the food you're eating... Just be more aware of your sensory perception.

TIP #04; Surroundings

Especially as an introvert, you can be thin-skinned and easily influenced by whatever surrounds you so you should start being more aware of what and who you surround yourself with.
  • Be with people who are grounded. Children and animals are super grounded so they are a great influence.
  • Make sure to keep the electronics around you to a minimum. Especially at night, make sure to turn them off and not on stand-by!
  • Instead of doing lots of things at the same time, drowning yourself in watching tv, surfing the internet, etc, start monotasking! Only do one thing at a time, with full awareness, like a monk. This is actually a lot more productive. Make to do lists. Dont half-ass lots of things, full-ass one thing!!
  • The color red in color psychology makes us most aware and grounded so surrounding yourself with it is a good idea. Dont go overboard though or it'll make you aggressive!
  • Find anchors. Choose certain things that, when you look at them, are supposed to be a reminder for you to become aware of the present moment again. Red things are great. Something hanging in your room, a bracelet, a sticky note on the mirror... If you see those anchors, you will be reminded of being more mindful in that moment!
  • Simply look up. Not sure if that's just a thing I do, but when I am walking around I tend to look to the ground or let my eyes get out of focus. Remind yourself to really look up and see your surroundings, not just passing them with subconscious awareness but really seeing where you are going.

TIP #05; Binaural Beats

Binaural Beats are sounds on specific frequencies. These external audio stimuli synchronize your brainwave frequency.
There's several options, but in order to ground yourself, binaural beats aimed at balancing your root chakra are the best option.This only works with head phones in!
I like to have a tab of a youtube root chakra binaural beat video open and just listen to it as background noise when I'm blogging etc.
You can also put them on your phone/mp3 player and listen to them on the go, whenever you feel a bit up in the air and need an anchor pulling you back into reality.

 Free Download mp3 60 min Binaural Beats Session :) 

Behavior is made up of habits. A habit takes about 21 days to build and keeps getting stronger from that point on. So, the more you use these tips, the more it becomes natural to you to be more present, aware and engaged.

Good Luck!!
Please do tell me whether these tips helped you or whether you have more advice to share with other introverts :)

♥ Marina


  1. I find this article very helpful :)

    1. Im glad!! I really hoped it would give practical tips :3

  2. This is going to be very helpful for work, with all the social interaction I must do lol

  3. Great tips, I started meditation in 2003, and I did a 10-day intensive Vipassana retreat. The results were staggering, and many positive changes came about in my life. I was so impressed that I went back for four more retreats, and I'm doing another one in a couple of weeks.