Sometimes the words centering and grounding are used interchangeably. Centering usually refers to our mental and physical state of mind. It’s the place we know we have to get back to when we’re not feeling like ourselves. When we’re not centered, we might feel lost or out of touch with ourselves. When we center ourselves, we bring calm to our emotions. We do so by slowing down our breathing so that we “feel” more of what’s going on around us. Becoming centered is a way to find peace within the chaos that might be surrounding us. It’s about being “in check” with what’s going on. Individuals who are centered are typically calm and peaceful.
Grounding is a term used in conjunction with the energy fields around us. Being grounded means that we’re content with who we are. We’re sure of ourselves and have confidence in the decisions we make. Becoming grounded is about getting rid of excessive energy in the body, allowing clean energy to come through. When we ground ourselves, we’re calming or slowing down our emotions and getting more in touch with our internal and external worlds. Grounding our energy can be helpful when we feel either unbalanced or nervous. Being grounded also means that we’re more mindful with respect to our environment.
A while ago, the headline for my own personal horoscope said, “Grounding Before Giving,” which was so apt for a week when I was forced to show up for my family in ways that I never had been before. It was a very timely message. The idea is that if we’re not grounded, it’s more difficult to be of service to others. This is a very important concept for psychologists and caregivers to be mindful of or anyone else in the helping professions.
If becoming centered and grounded sounds appealing to you, first center yourself, and then ground yourself.
Here are some ways to become centered:
- Breathe in for a count of five, and then out for a count of ten. Try to do so slowly and deliberately.
- Make a list of all the things and people you love.
- Pause to acknowledge all your senses. What do you see? Feel? Smell? Taste? Hear? Being aware in this way fosters a sense of mindfulness.
- Try a guided meditation, such as metta, where you practice loving-kindness.
- Formulate positive and healing rituals for your day.
- Engage in self-care activities such as walking, yoga, massage, facials, coffee with a friend, or whatever makes you feel better about yourself.
Here are some ways to become grounded:
- Establish a connection with nature by touching the earth with your feet or your body each day.
- Drink herbal teas that are considered earthy.
- Practice yoga each morning.
- Keep a supply of stones and crystals on hand.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Maintain a consistent meditation practice.
- Engage in regular physical activity.
- Allow time to self-reflect.
- Learn to say no.
Previously Published on Psychology Today