STAY CALM

Photo Credit: Anfal Shamsudeen

I don’t know why, but it feels incredibly easy to get wound up these days. The underlying tension level just seems higher. Maybe it’s the constant bad news or the Facebook feeds full of arguments and memes or the feeling that if we miss one text or email notification, our phones will explode in our pockets; I can’t say for sure.

I can say that life is just a bit easier when you maintain a certain level of calm. I get it, life is crazy. I’m trying to find the calm within the crazy. You have to look at the chaos around you and find a way to breathe through it. It’s like the guy in movies walking away from an explosion in slow-motion without even flinching. I want to be that calm.

I’d be willing to bet that if I asked you what images come to mind when I say the word calm, you might imagine something like a beach. The sand and ocean rhythmically “breathing” or the stars silently shining down on a clear night while you’re off camping or enjoying tea or doing yoga. These are very natural things, but then again so is chaos.

When a stressful or chaotic or emergency situation arises, the best thing you can do is maintain a sense of calm. It’s too easy to be violently swept away into the noise and only see what falls within your tunnel vision. Take a moment, breathe, and find your calm. Try to imagine what that even looks like for you.

When it comes to making calm your default reaction, it takes time. You first have to develop the ability to spot when your stress is elevated. Mark it somehow. Say out loud “This is it. I’m stressed,” or pinch your hand or close your eyes. Do something that becomes your trigger. You start feeling stressed, you stop what you’re doing, you breathe, you slow down, you open your eyes, and you decide what to do from there, from that calm place.

You’ll make far better decisions and feel better doing it.