One of the best lessons you can learn in life is how to stay calm!
When you wake up to an alarm, rush to meet deadlines at work, juggle family life and otherwise cope with the busyness and overwhelm of modern life, you may be wondering how you can possibly be stay calm under pressure.
You really don’t have to go through life worried, frazzled, exhausted or irritable, despite what the realists of the world might tell you.
And then one day I decided that hurry and stress were no longer going to be part of my life. Stress is self-created; I decided to stop manufacturing it. We can choose an internal calm and joy even amid the chaos. – Brendan Burchard
I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful trio of calming practices, that won’t interfere with your lifestyle…
I know… I know! We, along with so many others recommend meditation but sooner or later, if you don’t already ‘get it’, you will. And the thing is, you will only get it when the timing is perfect for you.
We just love Hugh Jackmans perspective on meditation:
Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It’s like the ultimate rest. It’s better than the best sleep you’ve ever had. It’s a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh.
You’ll discover that when we say ‘meditation’, it’s not necessarily sitting with a perfectly straight back, with your hands in any particular pose and surrounded by wonderful scented candles (It can be if this works for you) but it can be as simple as you choose it to be.
Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard University has been studying the incredible effects of the “relaxation response” brought on by meditation.
Meditation as you’ll have heard many times, teaches us to ‘just be’ in the present moment.
When you really think about it, you only get upset when you think about the past (what we can’t undo) and the future (what might go wrong). When the mind is constantly running back and forth between yesterday, today and tomorrow, it leaves you incredibly stressed out.
As your stress levels decrease as a result of meditating, you are less reactive to potential “threats” (emotional threats). In fact, any stressful situation can be “softened” by meditation.
So how to squeeze meditation into your schedule: You could simply try getting up 10-30 minutes earlier each day to meditate. You can meditate right there in bed, or move to the couch if you prefer.
Did you know that modern society is chronically sleep-deprived?
Lack of sleep is much more serious than needing to nap during the day. It’s the leading cause of automobile accidents (100,000 accidents and 1,500 deaths per year in the USA alone). It affects your mood, memory, physical and mental health, love life, appearance, performance and enjoyment of life.
It’s during deep sleep — what we call slow-wave sleep — that growth hormone is released
Says sleep expert Phil Gehrman, PhD.
It seems to be part of normal tissue repair — patching the wear and tear of the day. Studies show that over time, people who are getting six hours of sleep, instead of seven or eight, begin to feel that they’ve adapted to that sleep deprivation — they’ve gotten used to it
But if you look at how they actually do on tests of mental alertness and performance, they continue to go downhill. So there’s a point in sleep deprivation when we lose touch with how impaired we are.
So if you are not sleeping, you are not thriving. To get more sleep, try this:
- Exercise every day, but not within 3 hours of bedtime (your metabolism will be going too fast!).
- Stretch before you go to bed to help release tension.
- Stop watching TV at least 1 hour before bedtime (it’s too tempting to stay caught up in a show…).
- Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before bed to help flush out toxins, and help wind the body down for rest.
- Listen to the Sleep Easy Solution, read more by clicking here
There’s so much to do and only 24 hours in which to do it. So how can you squeeze relaxation into your day without becoming agitated about “doing nothing”?
Try “chunking” your relaxation.
- Take a walk. Whether fast or slow, walk for 10 or 15 minutes, once or twice a day.
- Listen to your favorite music, whilst giving it your undivided attention. If you play an instrument, you know how relaxing it is. Make the time to play a couple of tunes 🙂
- At work, get up and get away from your workspace, move your body and stretch a bit. A few minutes will do wonders to restore circulation and clear your mind.
- Be in nature as often as you can. Find an excuse to get in the garden! If you don’t have one, use the same excuse to go find a local park, woodland, lake you can visit.
- A couple of times a day, stop what you’re doing and listen. Just listen. Try to identify as many sounds in the environment as you can. Try it for just 2 or 3 minutes. It’s the simple things that are the most powerful daily habits.
So for the next 7 days, discover how to stay calm at will, by trying this and watch your stress levels plummet:
- Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual and meditate (If you feel overwhelmed by the various meditation techniques available and what would suit you best, check out this invaluable post);
- Throughout the day, squeeze in some mini-moments of relaxation.
- Gift yourself at least 30 minutes of exercise every day preferably before dinner, and then wind down slowly in the evening, shutting down the electronics one by one… ending the day with a few moments of gratitude… and getting to sleep at a reasonable hour.
We look forward to hearing how much calmer you feel!
If you already have your own chosen methods for living a calmer life, do share your thoughts and ideas with us all in the comments below we’d love to hear from you.
We have an infinite amount to learn both from nature and from each other. – John Glenn