ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Center Yourself In The Midst Of Chaos

Updated on April 20, 2021
jacope profile image

Jody has been working with energy her entire life and has been sharing her experiences in order to help others for over 15 years.

Centering is frequently lumped together with grounding because one often comes as a result of the other, but they are two different techniques. They are both powerful techniques to know and use, especially in these stressful times.

Grounding v.s. Centering: What’s The Difference

Grounding is becoming connected to and aware of your present environment. This allows you to have a solid foundation for dealing with whatever is going on in your life. It’s like the roots that keep the tree from blowing over in a storm.

Centering is being able to create a distance between yourself and what is going on around, or within, you so that you can observe and act rather than just react. It’s like standing in the eye of the storm where everything is calm while the winds are spinning and causing havoc around you. When you are centered you can dwell within the storm without being drown by it. You can move with or through chaos without being scrambled by it.

Important Components

  • Breathing is very important to centering. I go into breathing techniques more in my article The Power of Breath, for this one I’ll just explain why. It’s important because taking slow and even deep breaths pulls your body out of fight or flight mode. When you’re in fight or flight mode, everything that’s not needed to fight or run away is shut down and the tension in your body increase in preparation. Your brain focuses on determining if something is a threat and lets the instincts choose to fight or flee. Your ability to process other information decreases because survival is more important. In the past, this was extremely important and beneficial. In this day and age it isn’t as beneficial because it can be caused by things that aren’t life threatening, like jobs and small things in everyday life. It can also be caused by postures that have become habitual due to the type of work that we do or the way we try to fit into society.

  • Feeling is also important. That may sound strange but feeling happens before thought takes form. If you can feel it, even if you’re just imagining it, it’s already happening. When you feel yourself pushing back the thoughts or emotions and creating that distance, you don’t have to work so hard at not being distracted by other thoughts popping into your brain at the same time and trying to take over. Feeling also tends to trump thought. It takes a lot more energy to convince yourself that you’re not scared with thoughts that is does when you focus on feeling calm or strong or brave. Feelings are like the raw energy of a lightning strike, whereas thoughts are more like the controlled energy of the electricity we power our homes with. Both are extremely powerful, but are different in application.

  • Visualization or imagination can also be important. This ties in with feeling. It isn’t necessary to visualize actual images. It’s the creating of the feelings that bring about a certain visualization or imagined state. To create the visualization of walking calmly through a crowded room it takes creating that feeling of calm and combining it with movement. The feel of your gait, the tilt of your head and shoulders, the feel of the air moving past you; all of that goes into creating that visualization, but it’s all feeling that you have given form.

How To Center

There are as many ways to center yourself as there are imaginings. This is a basic one that is effective and is easily adapted to you and what you have going on.

  • Take a deep breath and as you exhale feel it push everything back to create a pocket of calm inside of yourself.

  • Feel that calm expand and fill your entire being. Feel it be impenetrable. Nothing can get through that calm to bother you.

  • Visualize yourself calmly dealing with or moving through what you need to. This step is optional. It’s often easier to do this one in preparation for doing something you’re dreading than it is to do when you’ve had chaos dropped in your lap. For those instances it can be more effective to combine the visualization with the first and second steps and feel yourself at the eye of a storm. Feel and see that calm barrier around you keeping the wind and debris on the other side. You can even use the visualization of the storm itself keeping everything going on around you at bay. Use what resonates with you and what comes to you.

Variations And Adapting It To You

I’ve gotten to the point where I can center myself with just a breath, although occasionally it takes more than one. I just feel everything be pushed away and my tension flow out of my body into the earth. The being connected to and flowing into the earth is part of being grounded. Another way I know some people use is feeling themselves as something else. Royalty or a God or Goddess are frequently used because those beings/people are often seen as “untouchable” and that is the state the person wants to be in. To reach that calm and untouchable state others will see themselves as feel themselves in the center of a stone or crystal. Others will feel themselves as water or flame or air itself. When those elements are “attacked” the attack just goes through them without damage. They flow around it. And, in the case of fire, sometimes consume it.

Notes To Remember

It’s important to find a visualization or feeling that works for you and that you can pull up instantly. It should be something that you don’t have to think about, you just do it and feel it. Be the calm. Be that “untouchable” being. It can be very beneficial to practice feeling yourself in that state when you’re not dealing with a disaster so that you will know what it feels like to pull it up when you are dealing with one. Knowing what being in that state is like makes it much easier to create. The more you practice it and are in that state the faster you’ll be able to do it when you really need it. Practice seeing/feeling yourself in that chaotic state and moving into the calm centered state. Knowing that transition will help you realize when you need to use it as well so you don’t get caught up in the moment, or at least not as much.

Questions To Ask

Sometimes when you’re feeling overwhelmed with emotions, they aren’t actually yours. We’re all energetic beings and the energy around us flows through us. If you’re around people, or sometimes if a large number of people somewhere feeling strong emotions or going through difficulties, they will be giving off that energy and you will start feeling it. This is especially true if you don’t shield. When you’re feeling a lot of anxiety or depression or anything else, center yourself and ask “Is this mine?” You might be surprised at how often the answer is no. Even if the answer is yes, you can ask yourself if it’s really something that you need to react this way to. When you’re centered it allows you to be more objective. It can also be beneficial for dealing with past traumas. Why do I need to hold onto this? Could I have done anything to change it and if I could would I if I could go back? What did this event teach me? How did it help me grow? Did I really care then and do I now? Why did this event trigger this response or emotion? When you’re centered you can ask these questions from an objective point of view and not get bogged down by the emotions tied to the events. That doesn’t mean you won’t still feel them, but they won’t be as intense. Sometimes it can be like you’re looking at someone else’s memories. You’re along for the ride but also detached from the emotional impact so you can see all sides. At times, this can be easier said than done. Sometimes all it takes is finding a new perspective to look at it from.

Have you ever used a centering technique during a stressful situation or moment?

See results

© 2017 Jody Cope


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • jacope profile imageAUTHOR

      Jody Cope 

      15 months ago from Missoula, MT

      You're welcome. I'm glad you found it helpful! I'd love to hear of the applications you find for it as you incorporate it into your life more. I've found it to be essential when dealing with the emotions of those around me who are healing from losing loved ones, especially when there have been multiple losses in a short period of time.

    • tiffany delite profile image

      Tiffany Delite 

      22 months ago from Wichita, KS

      Thank you for this article! I have been practicing grounding, and I think I will do a little more research and start practicing centering as well! So helpful!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)