Grounding and Centering: What Does it Mean?

These terms are thrown around often without extrapolation. Grounding and centering relate to two relationships which help balance our psyche in both everyday life and in crisis. In both psychology and spirituality you’ll find various exercises to teach and strengthen these techniques. They’re proven valuable in mindfulness and meditation as the goal is to effectively stabilize your mind and energy. Both are equally important and must cooperate in true temperance.

Grounding is a procedure of reaffirming your connection to your environment, to the earth, the ground— it’s a deep and faithful awareness of your surroundings. It’s used to combat dissociation, panic attacks, and flashbacks in psychological disorders and in spiritual practices it’s often considered necessary before rituals or other active extensions of energy. People may use their senses and look around them for a specific colour to focus on and keep track of, or utilize visualization skills and imagine roots growing deep into the ground underneath them. As with most practices, grounding is difficult to begin incorporating into your life but with consistency, it becomes instinctual and is worth the effort. Sensory stimulus, imagination, and quietude are your tools for grounding. 

Centering is similar but confirms yourself and your existence. You must look deep inside and reconnect with the center of you, you exist, you have values, truths, power. Access to your deepest inner life can be blocked in various ways such as by the chatter of anxiety, external distraction, and denial. Centering is like meditating on your connection to reality— become quiet, still, and connect with yourself. Check in. Take a moment to ask if your problems and anxiety spawns from a value, ask your soul the truth and be willing to listen, and if they are going against a value, how can you best align with your core? We wish to find harmony. Perfectionism is counterintuitive to centering, we must accept and use compassion to push deeper into our psyche and realign ourselves. You cannot find and reestablish connection with your inner self by pressuring your personality to be and do what it can’t or doesn’t want to. Find positive reinforcement which makes the chatter desire quietude, rather than shaming and punishing yourself for struggling to center.

Grounding is your relationship with your surroundings, centering is your relation with yourself. Both are equally important. They are two sides of the same coin, the same yet different, creating equilibrium in your psychology and energy. You don’t require mental illness or overt distress to practice these techniques and benefit from them, or be spiritual in any way. They are empirically proven to benefit anyone who uses them. Take a moment to reflect and become balanced in your ways. A stack of rocks remains upright because gravity pushes them down through their center all the way to the ground.

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