12/21/2012 12:10 am ET

GPS Guide: Carolyn Ziel's Centering Tools

The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life -- and your well-being -- off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

Follow along with Carolyn Ziel as she shares her personal centering tools to guide you to a place of calm:

Exercise 1: The five minute dump. Set the timer for five minutes and just write, let whatever emotion, anger, frustration, joy, sadness, love bubble up onto the page. Don't think, just write. Don't edit, just write. Don't worry about what you write, just write. If after five minutes you feel more centered -- great. If not, go for another round.

Exercise 2: Write a list. Title your list anything that's up for you. Whether it's traffic, anger, the name of your dog or the name of your spouse. Whatever pops into your head, let that be the title. Under the title, create your list. Write details about how you feel about this thing, what happens in your body (does your heart skip a beat?), what you remember about it -- anything that is detailed. Let it be cinematic, filled with images. Be creative and have fun. List anything and everything you can think of.

I love lists because they are fun and really get me out of my head and into my body and my heart. My memory is triggered and I can feel my emotions. When I am done with my list, sometimes I have accidentally written a poem.

Exercise 3: Breathe. Try my favorite breathing exercise: While breathing in deeply into your belly for a count of four and holding the breath for four counts and exhaling for four counts, remind yourself, "In this moment I am fine, I have nothing to do, nowhere to be, nothing to say, in this moment I am calm, I am love, I am energy, I am"

These exercises help me to feel more calm, grounded and centered.

Carolyn Ziel's GPS Guide

Carolyn Ziel is a writer, speaker and creative workshop leader; however, she is, in her heart, a writer. She has been an entrepreneur most of her career. As the founder of Essential Search, Inc. she has collaborated with companies like The Guitar Center Inc., U.S. Auto Parts Inc., Guess?, Inc. and many others helping them to build dynamic teams. She graduated UCLA with a Bachelors in English Literature, she has studied poetry with Poet Richard Jones and currently is part of Jack Grapes Method Writing Collective here in Los Angeles. Her blog is semi-autobiographical and is a mix of prose and poetry. Carolyn lives with her husband and two cats in Torrance, Ca.

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