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Tips to Finding Your Center

When we speak about being centered, physically, we often think of the center of gravity and being well-balanced. For mental and emotional states, it is very similar. Being centered means being very balanced and at peace. It is often referred to as a state of emotional and spiritual equilibrium. It allows you to be accepting of the good and the bad in life and understand that things are always changing, but you can return back to your center to help yourself feel more balanced and grounded when things are difficult.

Being grounded and centered is more of an emotionally controlled state. Similar to mindfulness, it is a position where you are connected to how you are feeling, what you are thinking and you feel in control of these thoughts and emotions. Now it would be completely impossible for any person to be in complete control 100% of the time and if we really examine our experiences you will want to have times of intense emotions, such as happiness or surprise. It is also normal to experience sadness and even anger. If we sit emotionless then we are not connected truly to how we are feeling so that is not the goal here.

The goal is to feel what you feel in the moment, but also be reflective and pensive about the situation so that you are more centered and in control of your experience. This is a time when we want to focus on having balance between our emotions and our thoughts. Again, many people can focus too much on their thoughts and be wrapped up in their head or the reverse and be too focused on emotions. That is not the goal. Again, the goal is about maintaining a balance of our thoughts and our feelings - our head and our heart.

Being centered or being able to return to center during an emotionally difficult situation is very helpful. Centering allows you a moment of self-reflection and to work on bettering yourself. Centering also helps you to be more in tune and aware of how you are feeling as well as your overall mind-body well-being. This will help you to cope with difficult emotional experiences in the future as well. Centering can help with coping of many negative emotions, such as grief, anger, trauma, depression, and sadness. A regular practice of centering can also allow you to have deeper and more meaningful connections with others

Tips for centering yourself:

1. Breathe Mindfully:

Take a few minutes each day to meditate, pray, or sit in a quiet space being mindfully present and focus on breath. Take it easy in the beginning and start with 30 seconds, then build to 1 minute, 2 minutes and so on. Practice and work up to 5 minutes. Many people are turned off at the idea of meditation because it seems too difficult or they do not fully understand what that may entail. This is simply a breathing exercise that provides time to pause, breathe and just be. A time to be quiet without distractions and be very present in the moment. One of the easiest ways to be mindful is to focus just on your breathing.

An example breathing exercise is to sit or lay comfortably, close your eyes or leave them in a soft gaze and focus on your breathing. You’ll take notice of each time you breathe in and what this feels like. Slow your breathing down to a controlled state. Pause after you breathe in and then exhale slowly, again while paying close attention to how this feels both physically and emotionally. Continue these steps for a few minutes, again building on the amount of time you do this. This simple breathing exercise will assist you in feeling more centered and it’s a great way to start your day being more mindful and present.

2. Be Present:

Focus on the moment. Limit your distractions and be present. Put technology away for a brief time and be present. Now, this isn’t possible every moment of the day. We need to make phone calls, check our email, do work, etc., but this is making a purposeful effort to be present with those around you at particular times. For example, you may be out to lunch with a friend or having date night with your partner and you think to yourself, this is a good time to put my phone away and be present with the person I am with. This allows you to be more engaged in the experience and moment. The point here is that being in a more centered state means that you are very present in the moment. So work to increase times of being present in your day to day routine.

3. Be Aware:

Be aware of your emotional state and take a moment to pause when you are feeling out of balance. Many times throughout the day we may succumb to feelings of stress, anxiety or sadness and when we take a moment to realize those feelings and sit with them, it can have a profound impact. You can be present for a moment with the feelings and get rebalanced and centered before continuing your day. Often times, if we do not get rebalanced or centered, we continue to carry these emotions and they build throughout the day often leaving us with overwhelming feelings of stress or anxiety. This idea of being present with your emotions is not necessarily going to make all the “yucky feelings” go away, but it will help you to be more aware, more present and more in control to how you are feeling. This helps you to feel more centered, aware and in control.


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Blog written by: Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist, Relationship Coach & Founder of the Loving Roots Project, an online wellness practice specializing in personal growth, mental wellness, & relationship betterment.

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