The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. – William James
High stress, constant anxiety and never-ending quest to keep more things in balance became somewhat an undetachable part of this day and age. I think that most of us just don’t experience tranquility and composure throughout the day.
I’m not going to hide that I am like that sometimes. The whirlpool of anxiety, stress and panic attacks… yes, I’m still quite familiar with those. But I’ve learned certain ways to create the place of calmness and serenity that claims more space than the storms of stress. One step at a time. And now I feel more serene than I felt before.
The more I learn about staying calm, the more control I gain when a stressful situation strikes and the more tools for dealing with those situations I have in my library of LIFE EXPERIENCE.
I’m talking about a chain of habits that are still in the process of development. Of course, I’m not ideal, but I practise them all the time and I found them extremely useful.
How to Stay Calm: Essential Habits.
1. Morning Glory
What is your morning ritual normally? Most of the people I know rush through juggling things, starting their day from a stressful note and chaos that turns into excessive noise later on.
I noticed that I’m the happiest, when I wake up early, do my 5-minute meditation then a handstand and few more yoga asanas. Then I make myself some coffee or tea and off I go to write.
You absolutely don’t have to do the same to find your sense of serenity in the morning and, you know, make the most of it. Try to be mindful about the things you do at the beginning of your day. Notice your response.
2. What’s Your Kickback?
How do you normally react when something stressful knocks on your door?
I used to get supercharged with anger that eventually would overwhelm me. I used to jump straight into the action without thinking through first and without realising that some actions are extremely reckless and silly if you don’t think. And, of course, I used to feel sorry for myself all the time wishing for things to be better, to be different and according to my “picture perfect” setting. “Uh, if only people and things were exactly as I want them to be”…
But now I tend to sit back and observe more than wasting my time thinking about a million of different images of the world and how things should work… Watch your kickback. It’s very important.
3. It’s Not Personal
If someone behaves in a fashion we don’t like, we tend to take it as a personal provocation. I knew people that were seriously thinking that the whole universe was a big conspiracy against them!
When people don’t act the way WE see fit, it’s not personal. They do the best they can at that moment to deal with their own problems. And it’s hardly ever their malicious plan to do something on purpose to hurt us. It’s all about interpretation. We can choose not to respond to every single thing as a provocation against us.
4. Coping Mechanisms
When something stressful happens, or is about to happen, usually we have those unhealthy urges to numb it down. We turn to time-wasting websites, we eat junk-food, we go and buy loads of stuff we don’t need, we procrastinate, we watch TV obliviously, we… are escaping from reality that waits for us to deal with a difficult task and we do something simple instead. We withdraw ourselves. We sleep a lot waking up with the hope that all that mess that is going on in life is just a bad dream that got solved by itself without your interference.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. And we need to come up with healthy stress coping mechanisms. When I’m stressed I go for a walk, I drink soul warming tea, I meditate, I call and talk to someone I care about.
When the next stressful situation appears, define your coping habits and if they are not to your satisfaction follow other healthier ones.
5. Noise Detox
Our lives are filled with excessive noise. Endless notifications, news that aren’t really news which you still feel compelled to read, listen to and watch… Media games, Facebook updates etc. To be honest, none of that really matters. By reducing these things, you create more space for serenity and peace in your life…
Concentrate on creating a calm centre in the eye of the storm. Focus on staying calm, mindful and grounded. Don’t give in to harsh reactions and stress outbursts. Stay calm.