How can becoming calm in any situation help you to manage whatever comes your way? How can a sense of calm confidence become your new lifestyle? There are ways to create that calm and design your life around it so you can handle life’s pleasures more fully and life’s upheavals with patience and grace. How, you might ask?
First, let’s talk about the benefits of being calm
Here are my top 10 benefits of being calm. There are so many more — and, here’s a good start: You can …
- create control over your life.
- see things more clearly.
- tap into your own inner wisdom.
- recognize your unique talents and gifts.
- learn to love yourself unconditionally.
- manage stress more effectively.
- release your negative, limiting thoughts.
- envision what you want and go for it.
- learn to rely on your intuition to guide you.
- become the master designer of your own life.
I invite you to sit quietly and ponder this list. If you were to gain just some of these benefits, would you feel better about where you are in your life today? Would more calm in your life, in your demeanor, in the way you interact with the people you encounter every day, help you to feel more in control of what happens? Think about it. If finding ways to create a sense of calm about you makes sense, let me share a few of the things I do to create the calm in my own life.
Five easy-to-practice tips for becoming calm
Most of these practices can be done no matter where you are physically or emotionally. Sitting in your car or at home, in a meeting or with your kids, in the midst of an argument or when you are alone — see which one or more of these exercises work for you to change the vibration of the situation in which you find yourself. Lowering the vibration of a situation, meaning bringing down the level of tension or volume, or both can immediately instill a sense of calm. This allows you, and the people involved, to back off a bit, rethink, change your perspective and readdress the situation. Many times, that’s all it takes to take the “kaboom” out of an explosive discussion or to put the “ah-ha” into an internal struggle. Give these a try.
1—Breathe in calm
This should come as no surprise that it is my first tip. Most of us take breathing for granted. Unless we are meditating, we don’t purposefully use our breath. Watch what happens when you do. Right where you are, notice where there is tension in your body. My tension manifests itself in my neck and shoulders most often. Now, stop what you are doing for a few moments and sit quietly. Take a deep breath in, to the count of 5. Hold it for a count of 5. Release it for a count of 5. Repeat this 5 times. Then, take a deep breath in, to the count of 5. Release it to a count of 5. Hold your breath out to a count of 5. Repeat this 5 times. With each breath out, focus on the area with the most tension and relax that area. If you do this several times a day to start, it will become a normal practice for you and whenever you notice the tension, you will likely breathe to release it before it becomes debilitating for you. Releasing tension is the first step to becoming calm.
2—Lower your voice
Whether you are in a discussion or argument with someone else or you are having an internal conversation to resolve something for yourself, lower your voice. Take a deep breath and lower the volume and pitch of your voice. This works every time for me because it makes me very conscious of how I am reacting to a particular situation, whether it is internal or external. First of all, taking a deep breath reminds me to calm down. Then, lowering my voice volume and pitch usually causes me to speak more slowly, too. When people sense this, they are likely to follow suit, especially if you maintain that calmness in your voice even as they continue to shout. I’ve done this for years and I’m amazed at how it works. See if it works for you, too.
3—Use movement to calm
Now, I am no athlete and I don’t love to exercise for the sake of it. I do it because I have to, just to maintain my weight. However, when I’m feeling stressed or tense or like I’m about to explode, I move. What do you like to do? Walk? That works for me. Stretch? I like that one too. Run? Not me, but if you like to, go for it. The point is when we move to relieve stress it can bring with it that sense of calm we need to think more clearly. Do whatever works for you — just be sure to move. I love to stretch on the floor when I’m stressed — mostly because it brings my furry friends running. I just get on the floor and both dogs and one of the cats immediately join me as I roll around and stretch. I release some stress and they make me laugh! Which brings me to my fourth tip …
4—Laughter is the best medicine
I know how hard it can be to laugh when things are tough. It is not our first instinct to laugh when life throws us a curveball or someone makes us angry. But it sure can diffuse a volatile situation pretty fast. I’m not suggesting you laugh in anyone’s face, which might insult them and make things worse. However, you could step away when you can and release some of your own tension with laughter. Call someone who always makes you laugh — for me that is my husband. I can always count on him to find the humor in a situation and he helps me to see it too. Who is that for you? Reach out. It might even be YOU! Find the humor, the lighter side, the absurd side — and laugh at it. Big belly laughs. No mere chuckle will do! This can do amazing things to change your perspective about something, which often lets you find the calm and approach the situation differently when you are ready to face it again.
5—Sit quietly to bring calm
Getting really quiet is probably the best method I know of bringing calm to my life. Find a space where you can limit interruption. Bring with you your favorite cup of tea or beverage of choice. Do you like soft music playing to calm you? What about a darkened room? Sit in your most comfortable position on the floor, a chair, or a couch. Do you want a wrap to stay warm? Or a fan to stay cool? Whatever you need for comfort right now, treat yourself to this quiet time. It could be just 15 minutes that you need, or 30 or 60. Sit quietly. Breathe deeply to bring the calm into your body. Let your mind rest for a while. You have probably done enough thinking so, give it up for a bit. Try to clear your mind of the things and thoughts that have caused your stress. This is your time to get calm, relax, and re-energize. What requires your attention, a decision or a revisited discussion can wait for just a few minutes while you take care of yourself — while you get calm.
One final thought …
Remember the list of benefits at the beginning of this article? Revisit it now. Remind yourself of some of the good things that come from becoming calm. Can you see them coming to you? If you think about anything in your quiet time, think about tapping into your own inner wisdom, think about releasing your negative thoughts, think about becoming the master designer of your own life. I applaud you for giving “calm” a try!
Take the First Step
If it’s hard for you to find your calm-place because you are facing adversity and living with uncertainty about how to move beyond it, you may wonder if it’s even possible. Making choices that move you forward can be hard, and getting some guidance may be just what you need. Start by exploring how change can impact you? And learn how to move through it with more dignity and grace by reading my free ebook. Click here to take the first step: From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition.