Finding Center

We are all emotional beings with mood swings and sensitivities and for the most part, we can handle them. However, sometimes these feelings can get the best of us and they can cause us to feel pretty weak. If you get into a situation with a loved one or new condition in your life and you are feeling super clingy, desperate, depressed, angry, or anything to the point of tears, here’s a good rule of thumb that will help in even the mildest of unhappy moods. Before you do anything else, think anything else, say anything else, get back to your center.

Think of yourself in your best state: when you feel normal, you've slept, you’re thinking clearly, your mood is good. When you’re in this state, you can do all your routine things: go to work, exercise, hang out with friends, laundry, all with very little issue. You’re clear, content, thinking, fine. Nothing seems overwhelming or daunting. Picture yourself in this state. Think of how it feels. This is your center. Remember it.

When you start to feel like you can’t be happy without another person, that your life is terrible now based on a new condition, or that a person can cause you to feel tortured forever; when you start to get overwhelmed, feel anxious, feel desperate, or like everything is too hard...this is you off kilter. When you start to think of reality from this off kilter place, no matter what you’re trying to figure out, it will become distorted and much more difficult because you are chemically compromised. Step one when you’re feeling like this is always to get back to center.

How is the interesting part. It’s not some new age weird miracle drug or special class. It’s basic chemical balancing self-care. Get enough sleep. Get outside. Get exercise. Eat well. Talk to friends, reach out and tell them about where you are even when you hate to do that. Try to stay away from depressants like alcohol. This first step takes you mighty far. It won’t work instantly or anything but it will work and you will slowly regain clear vision. 

Even the simple act of recognizing that you are off kilter in a moment like this will help immensely. It reminds you that you are no longer thinking clearly or rationally because you are emotionally triggered and that the problem will be much more manageable when you are feeling better. Also, it reminds you that the logic you might be using is created by these heightened and dramatized feelings and therefore not true. Just remember, “I am looking through a tinted lens right now, I cannot make any conjectures about my life or my reality.” A good tool you can use to decipher the difference between emotions and reality, and bring yourself back to your center is a little chart with two circles.

Directions: Draw two circles that overlap in the middle with a sliver that takes up about a quarter of the two. The left circle is where you write in objective information, literally what you know to be the facts in your situation. Call it “rational”. The right circle is where you write in how you are feeling, call it “emotional”. Where they meet in the middle is where you combine those two lines of thought, call it, “wise mind”. When you’re in a bad place that emotional list will fill up fast, so sometimes it will take a while to even out the rational. What goes in the middle is your truth, your knowledge based on what lives on both sides. Fill that part out last. It should lead you to a sound thought and not one driven by the wrong feelings. If you can’t complete it yet, then wait a minute. I know it can get confusing, especially if you’re upset.

Hope this helps when you need it the most. I use the circles quite often as I tend to misidentify a lot of heightened feelings as “real” or “passionate” when in reality it’s just me, off kilter. 

Life gets a whole lot easier when you know where you are and who you are at all times.


  1. I often have to remind myself not to speak or act in the moment of high emotion, never works out well. Great post!! Hope everything is going well for you and the baby :)

  2. What a fabulous, fabulous post! I love the circles idea. I am going to try it, because while I am feeling pretty at peace at the moment, I'm sure in the coming weeks I will veer a bit off kilter again. Thank you!


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