It’s easy to get swept up in a storm of emotions. Life is bound to throw you some curve balls, and highly stressful circumstances can leave us drowning in our own negative thoughts. When you feel out of control, it’s time to stop and center yourself before moving forward.
Let’s go through a quick rundown of what it means to become centered, why you should do it and how to get started.
What does it mean to be centered?
Yogis and meditation experts constantly emphasize the importance of becoming centered in your daily life. But what exactly does that mean? To put it simply, staying centered or grounded means you’re focusing on the present moment. Our heads often get lost in the clouds thinking about past regrets or worrying about what’s to come. You become centered when you’re in tune to what’s happening around you right now.
Being centered means staying calm, cool and collected. You’re in control of your emotions, especially during stressful situations. Keep in mind that being centered doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time and never get upset. It’s perfectly normal to feel a range of emotions, even the negative ones! What matters is how you respond to them. People who are centered keep negative emotions in check and handle upsetting circumstances more easily.
The benefits of centering yourself
When practiced on a daily basis, centering techniques have far-reaching benefits. Becoming centered relieves stress in the moment and makes you a calmer person in the long run. Stressful events don’t get the better of you, nor do they send you spiraling out of control. Instead, centered people are more likely to go with the flow and accept whatever outcome they get.
Becoming centered can make you a happier person. Centering techniques instruct you on how to let go of worry, fear, anger and sadness. Any time you experience negative emotions is the perfect opportunity to replace them with positive ones. Centered people are able to turn around a bad day, filling it with productivity, accomplishments and happy memories.
Centering yourself will also help get your priorities straight. You’re better equipped to focus on what really matters in life and support the people you love most. Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, you’ll learn to appreciate what you do have. Becoming centered ensures your energy goes into fostering meaningful relationships and working toward your goals.
Centering techniques that actually work
You don’t have to be an expert on mindfulness to become a more centered individual. Anyone can center themselves anytime, anywhere. Centering activities are super easy to learn, and you probably already know how to do many of them!
The following techniques will help you feel centered in mere seconds:
- Walk in nature barefoot: One of the best ways to stay grounded is to literally walk on the ground! The mind and body are connected to each other, so when your body is in touch with the Earth, your mind will be, too. Bury your feet in the sand or feel the blades of grass between your toes. Stimulate your sense of touch to help you feel present in the moment. To become centered, pick your favorite nature spot and simply be.
- List what you’re grateful for: Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to write down everything that brings positivity into your life—not what you used to have or want in the future, but what you have right now. List anything and anyone that comes to mind. You can list bigger things like family or the little joys like brewing a cup of coffee while the sun rises. You might be surprised by how long the list can get!
- Breathe deeply and recite affirmations: Take a minute to focus on your breathing and repeat a positive affirmation that’s worded in the present tense. Slowly breathe in through your nose and exhale through the mouth, engaging your diaphragm to ensure you’re taking full, deep breaths. The mind and body will begin to slow down and relax. Focus on the present moment by repeating a simple sentence that brings you some peace of mind. Choose something like, “I accept my current situation,” or whatever works for you.
Remember that becoming centered isn’t an end goal but rather a tool to help you navigate what life throws at you. Centering yourself is a lifelong pursuit that gets easier with time. The more you practice centering techniques, the more you’ll experience positive changes in your mindset. You already have everything you need for success—now get your zen on!