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5 Ways to Center Yourself in the Midst of Chaos

online mindfulness therapyI don’t know about you, but to me the world feels less certain and more chaotic than ever.

Both sides would probably agree that the political world has cracked. Climate change, whether you believe in it or not, casts a broad web of stress and conflict. And random acts of violence continue unmitigated. Our personal lives are also less grounded, given the infusion of technological distractions.

Grounded. That’s what we need to feel. Centered and stable. How do you center yourself when you need to? Here are five researched ways for you to investigate.

Remember, stress can cause health issues, so it’s important to know how to center yourself, especially in today’s world.

1. Use a Classic NLP Trick

You can center yourself by using an old trick from neuro-linguistic programming. And there are proven benefits to looking at your life from a distance. It’s not difficult, especially if you can become aware of the visual images in your mind’s eye. Just imagine look at your situation as a neutral observer, and make sure that image appears ‘off in the distance.’

For example, if you’re stressed out while sitting at your computer, close your eyes and imagine what an outside observer would see if look at your from 10 meters away. Simple. Now, you’re no longer caught up in the situation. What can you learn?

2. Use the 4-5-6 Breathing Method

Using a mindful breathing technique can also help you to center yourself when your world feels like it’s devolving into chaos. You don’t need a special outfit, a floor mat or any electronic device. All you need is a few minutes and a quiet place to relax and find your center.

Try this one:

1. Sit comfortably.
2. Breathe in to the count of four.
3. Hold your breath to the count of five.
4. Exhale to the count of six.
5. Repeat until you feel calm.

If you’re learning how to center yourself, this 4-5-6 breathing method works! Think about it: anxiety = shallow breathing, right?

3. Use the Aromatherapy Oil that Calms you Instantly

Scents like Jasmine can help you to calm down and feel centered again. In fact, research shows that Jasmine scent works as well as better than certain prescription medications. For an easy and fast way to center yourself, keep a small bottle of high-grade jasmine essential oil handy. It’s inexpensive and the effects are immediate. And you don’t need any fancy equipment.

I like aromatherapy because it I don’t even need to know how to center myself for it to work. The calming aroma does the job all by itself.

4. Unplug Yourself

As a biological being, constant exposure to electromagnetic radiation and WiFi signals could cause anxiety, brain fog and stress. Protect yourself by unplugging your household WiFi while you sleep, or anytime you can. Turn your phone completely off and unplug the TV, computer and anything else electronic.

You’ll likely feel an instant sense of calm and start being able to focus and think more clearly.

5. Even a Short One Helps

Nap. It’s not only for children.  Studies show that just 30 minutes is a long enough time nap to revitalize and make you feel refreshed and centered, as well as enhancing cognitive function.

The world will continue to be chaotic, but you don’t have to suffer because of it. You deserve to take some time for yourself. Try out one or more of these suggestions to find peace within.

How do you center yourself?

One thing seems certain: If you don’t take measures to ground yourself intentionally, you will probably carry more stress than you need.

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5 Ways to Center Yourself in the Midst of Chaos

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2017). 5 Ways to Center Yourself in the Midst of Chaos. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 25, 2018, from


Last updated: 6 Nov 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Nov 2017
Published on All rights reserved.