Calm strength –
We don’t often think of being calm and being strong as the same thing but it certainly can be. Choosing to respond to the challenging situation in front of you in a calm way takes great courage sometimes. You don’t have the protective armor of anger, defensiveness, frustration or worry. You let go of the habits that you thought were important and you connect with a deep well of inner peace and stillness. You may feel a little vulnerable at first until you realize that your calm response can be relied upon. Often being calm is the strongest and most effective way forward.
A good place to start to understand the benefits of being calm is in your day to day routine. When something happens that normally makes you feel upset, try to resist getting caught up in the drama of it and keep feeling good. So many silly things happen throughout the day, that are not worth getting upset about. The traffic is going to flow the way it wants to flow, interruptions happen, relationships can be challenging, children can be challenging and our environments may not be perfect. You don’t have to look too far for a reason to not be calm but don’t let it slip away so easily.
When something doesn’t go your way, take a breath and try to respond consciously rather than emotionally. Decide to react later, not on the spot. Tell yourself that the situation isn’t worth getting all upset about. Realize that being calm is conserving your energy, keeping your heart open and your wiser-self awake. Being calm supports your body, brain and highest-self functioning at its best.
Stress causes digestive issues, the heart rate increases, the breathing shallows, adrenal glands are stimulated and the sympathetic nervous system is activated. Your body and mind are preparing to protect you. Fear, negativity, a sense powerlessness and worry drive’s an unproductive reaction. When you stand back later and look at your response it can almost feel embarrassing. Was the situation really worth all that fuss? Could you have responded in a different way? Did your words and actions help?
We all know what it feels like to get upset or over react to some pretty silly things. This is the place to start practicing calm. Find the gap between the situation that is frustrating and your best self. Don’t get pulled in. Stand back with your awareness and let a few things slip through to the goal post. You can’t control the game all the time. Some times the best way to win is to breathe, smile and walk away until you are calm again.
Feel that place within you that is always present, always at peace and always strong. We all have this inner power although it isn’t always something we are totally aware of. It is where our love, kindness and most compassionate self wait. When the layer of protective emotion settles and the thoughts of limitations or frustrations clear, something truly beautiful happens. The calm rises within us.
So lets look 5 Quick Calming Techniques.
1/ Breathe – When the breath is calm and smooth, the emotions and thoughts tend to follow. When you feel yourself getting stressed, watch the breath.
2/ Watch Yourself – Say to yourself, ‘How am I going to react to this?’ ‘Do I have the self control to not say anything right now?’ ‘What would be the most productive and encouraging this to say and do right now?’
3/ Be In The Moment – We can often handle what is going on in this moment, it can be the perception of what is to come that creates so much extra stress. Learn to see the detail in this moment. The benefits are surprising.
4/Set the intention to have a peaceful day – picture what this looks like. Imagine a situation that is normally upsetting and what you might look and sound like responding in a calm way.
5/ Notice the calm around you – We often focus on the problems in our life or the challenges, when the blessings and wonderful parts sit quietly in the background. See and connect with the peace, the calm people, the calm places, the things going well and the spaces in between the busyness.
Breathe, stretch, relax the shoulders, look around and be mindful of the detail in the present moment. All these things inspire a balanced heart rate, good energy levels, clear thinking, good oxygen levels, a calmer nervous system and balanced hormones. This is what you need to be productive and effective when life feels hard.
Value a calm approach as strength. Build up the muscles of your calm inner self until responding in a relaxed way is the natural and effective solution for you. Drop the fuss about the little things that normally trigger an upset feeling and know you can handle life’s issues with poise, compassion, wisdom and peace.
Someone needs to be calm. It may as well be you!