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How Can You Stay Calm in the Midst of Stress and Chaos?

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” Saint Francis de Sales

This past week could have been viewed as chaotic for me. My granddaughter was born on Saturday, I was wrapping up an audit at work and my next project was right there waiting in the wings and on top of that, I needed to finish my final projects to complete my practicum to become a Certified Forest Therapy Guide. It was all a bit stressful and it seemed like there wasn’t enough time in the day to get everything done none the less spend time with family. I finally finished the project I was working on last night and went to bed in exhaustion at 9 pm like a little child. I survived a week of working late hours, working on my days off and in the hospital waiting for little Autumn-Rose to be born. Knowing how to stay calm with a balanced mindset during this time was a very important skill.

For many including myself, the skill or should I say art of staying calm and emotionally balanced can deteriorate under stressful or distracting conditions. Staying emotionally balanced under extreme pressure is much more challenging than staying balanced under moderate conditions.

For example, hitting a golf balls with your friends might be relatively easy. But add 5,000 spectators and some TV cameras and some people will crumble..

Imagine being calm and peaceful at all times. How would your life change? A greater ability to manage your emotions is invaluable!

Here are some tips to help keep calm under pressure:

1. Start your day being calm and make every effort to stay that way. A calming morning ritual, performed religiously, will get your mind and body in the proper state. Then the only real task is staying that way throughout the day.

  • A perceived good morning often results in a perceived good day, just like a perceived good Monday often results in a perceived good week.Mine consists of getting up at the same time, eating a healthy breakfast, 10-20 minutes of meditation followed by self-care and getting ready for work.

2. Be aware of your emotions. Continuously monitor your reactions to stressful events. How do you feel physically? What thoughts do you have? Do you use self-talk? Notice everything that has changed.

3. Bring yourself back to your calm state. If your self-talk has become what some can perceive as negative, take control and stop it. Why are you feeling this way? How is this impacting you? How is it impacting others?

  • Focus on gratitude. Remember to stay “In The Now” or “In The Moment”. The past is past and cannot be changed. The future hasn’t arrived yet so no point worrying. You CAN handle what is right in front of you at this given moment.

4. Remember that it’s not all about you. Avoid assuming that a perceived negative event says anything about you. If someone gets snippy with you, it might just be a symptom of their trouble at home. People do things for lots of reasons that don’t involve you. It’s common to take things personally, but it’s often inaccurate and not based on the here and now.

5. Find some healthy coping habits. Many of us shop, drink, or eat when we’re stressed. That’s a good way to end up poor, drunk, and overweight, all of which can add their own stress. Develop some new habits that are actually good for you. Yoga, meditation, and exercise are just a few suggestions.

6. Eliminate clutter from your environment. This includes all types of clutter, including excessive noise and other distractions.

  • Turn off your social media and email notifications. Keep your work areas clear of clutter. You’ll feel calmer and less stressed.

7. Get enough sleep. It’s much easier to remain calm when you’ve had 7 hours of sleep rather than only 4. Sleep helps to reduce the stress in your mind and body. Being well-rested also allows you to handle stressful situations better.

  • Even if you’re super busy, you’ll usually get more done if you maintain your normal sleep schedule.

  • I know – easier said than done. I’m even guilty of this one getting only 5-6 hours sometimes. When this happens try to sneak in a nap on a lunch break to make up the time. It really does wonders for how you feel and how you deal.

8. Ask yourself questions. Questions can determine our focus and influence our actions.

· Is this really going to make a difference? Does it matter? Is the other person overreacting? Are you over reacting? Are you stressed about the past, present, or future? Like I mentioned earlier: The past is over, and the future hasn’t arrived yet, so focus on the present. What can you do to turn this situation around? Is there an outcome that will bring joy and contentment to everyone?

9. Take a break. If you’re unable to remain calm, give yourself a few minutes to regroup and equilibrate your emotions. Some time alone can have rejuvenating results. Take a 10 minute walk outside and surround yourself with nature or if your at work and can't get out, even a 5 minute stretch to the the bathroom and back for some quite time will help. Just focusing on your breathing away from the phones and any distractions can to wonders for regrouping and getting yourself back on track.

Staying calm in challenging situations can be difficult, but it’s a learn-able skill. Start with less stressful situations and test your ability to stay cool, calm, and collected. In time, equilibrating your emotions will be second nature.

Love & Light! Dawn-Marie

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