In this hustle and hurried world we live in today, there are so many things that threaten our potentially calm and peaceful existence. I’m not even going to start listing them because the list will stress all of us!
Just like the mortar that is found between the bricks of a home, there are things you can do and choices that you can consciously make that will help you hold it together in the midst of turmoil and strife.
do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.
Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever,
even if your whole world seems upset.”
In no particular order, I’m going to list some things that we can do to help us hold it together during unpleasant situations.
Breathe, Baby, Breathe
During an extremely stressful situation, we have the tendency to hold our breath. It is really important to keep the oxygen flowing through the brain. To ensure you are breathing correctly, lay your hand on your tummy and breathe. If you feel your tummy going up and down, then it is the right kind of breathing. This type of breathing comes from your diaphragm. Take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds and then breathe out very slowly. You will be amazed at the calming effect that breathing has on the mind and body.
It Is An Inside Job
Don’t get confused – remaining calm and peaceful is based on the inside, not by outward circumstances. Regardless of the the drama or crisis situation going on outside, you have control of the emotions going on inside. Just keep telling yourself that you are still in control of everything that is going on inside. That recognition will help you feel more powerful and inside power is a good thing.
Patience Is A Virtue For A Reason
If stress begets turmoil then patience begets calm peacefulness. Do you remember the blueberry girl in the original “Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory” movie? She kept saying one thing that drove me up the wall. I can hear her now…”I want it now Daddy! I want it now!”
We live in a “me” and “now” generation, so the sooner you can learn to remain patient, the easier it will be to stay calm. Sometimes you JUST. HAVE. TO. WAIT.
Create A Peaceful Ritual
After a long, hard day at work, I look forward to opening the door to the peaceful haven I find at home. My first goal is the same every day – flip my hair into a barette, take off my makeup, shower, put on clean pajamas and eat a nutritious meal. That whole scenario is a very peaceful ritual. As my body relaxes under the constant stream of water in the shower, my mind is freed from the stresses of the day.
Creating simple rituals that put your mind and body in harmony with one another is essential to regaining peace and calm. It can be a ritual as simple as singing a beautiful song in your head or doodling on paper. Choose something that makes you calm and repeat it often.
Know Your Emotional Limits
I used to believe that I was invincible – I could handle anything just like Wonder Woman or SuperMan. Ummmm…I was wrong. I am a woman, not a comic strip character.
On that horrible day when I held Alyssa’s limp body in my arms, I knew it was too much for my mind. I heard myself screaming, but was unable to control it. My brain felt like it was shaking inside my head and the room was spinning out of control. I had reached my emotional limit.
The after effects of that explosive moment left me in an emotional upheaval. It was simply too much pain for me to handle. I thought about wearing a shirt with “PTSD” plastered across the front like the letter “A” was in the 1850 romantic book written by Nathaniel Hawthorne called The Scarlet Letter. In many ways, it already feels that obvious to me. I now know my limits and I don’t push them. That knowledge and treaty with myself has brought about a calmness that no one else could give me.
Avoid The Hot Buttons
There are things that lead to your feeling more agitated or angry and we often call them “hot buttons.” Some hot buttons might include things such as the temperature (too hot or too cold), physical hunger (too hungry or too full), blood sugar levels (too high or too low), the time of day (early morning, right after work, late night), noise level (too loud or too quiet), or number of people (large crowd or all alone). Be kind to yourself and avoid the hot buttons whenever possible.
Ease up on the gas pedal of life. You don’t always have to be going 120 miles per hour! Keeping a pace that is very fast all the time can and will lead to burnout. Not only will you suffer physical exhaustion, but your mind will be so overwhelmed that you will be unable to think clearly.
As much as I hate to admit it, exercising is not only great for the body, but it calms the mind. All that endorphin activity in the brain caused by the physical exertion during exercise is fantastic for the emotions and mental well being. Taking a nice walk each day may not feel like exercise, but it is exercise and will give you many positive results. You don’t have to exercise like Mr. Olympiad in order to reap the calming rewards of exercising.
Are you feeling very rough on the edges? Sit quietly and clear your mind by placing yourself into a natural setting such as a grassy hill, the top of a mountain, a private beach or by a babbling brook. The point is to remove all distractions in your mind so that you can have a deep, meditative inner reflection. This is the time that you allow your mind to float freely without any demands or stress. The goal is to release the anxiety in order to obtain peace and calm….ohmmmmmmm.
Reduce, Remove And Clean Out The Over Abundance
Have you seen the television show called, “Hoarders” or do you know someone who just buys, buys, buys and buys more stuff all the time? Stuff does not and never has equaled happiness. Too much is not a good thing. For instance, if you eat five gallons of ice cream at one time instead of a two cup bowl, I dare say that was too much. Not only is it too much, but you are going to be very sick from overeating. Simplify your life by reducing your things. Not only will it be easier to keep everything clean and in good repair, but you won’t feel overburdened by stuff all around you all the time.
Limit The Information
You do not have to know everything. Actually, it is impossible for one person to know everything, so don’t overload your life with too much information. Limit the media input – books, television, radio, iPod, computer, movies, concerts, conferences, plays, etc.
Be Kind To Yourself
Many times I have said that it is important to like the person that is looking back at you in the mirror. Stop putting yourself down with negative self-talk. Respect yourself – talents, appearance, strengths and weaknesses. Being kind to yourself allows positive feelings to flow through your mind and that will produce peace in your life.
It is important that you learn to relinquish control at times. If you suffer from controlfreakitis, it is time to get cured. By letting go and letting be, the anxiety level will be greatly diminished. Let other people lead and take control especially when you are already anxious about a situation.
Blab, Blab, Blab
Loose lips sinks ships. That means to beware of unguarded talk. Let your mind mull over the circumstances and situations at hand before telling other people the details of your mind. By keeping things to yourself and working through the situation in a more mentally organized manner, you don’t create expectations for yourself that are unattainable. Without other people knowing all the things that are flying through your mind, they don’t set unrealistic goals for you either. All that means less anxiety and more peace.
Eat Nutritious Food
Although you might argue with me, I’m going to say it anyway…Eliminate soda pop, excessive caffeine, excessive sugar, too much meat and unhealthily prepared meals. Start drinking water and eat vitamin, mineral and fiber rich foods! By having this type of diet, you will have less chemically induced agitation. Healthy foods and drinks will definitely improve your the way you feel. An optimistic attitude will be the result of all that new found peace and calm.
Catch More Zzzzzzzzz’s
The mortar between day and night is called sleep. This is really hard for me to tell you because I know that I don’t sleep enough, but we all should make a concerted effort to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Okay, I said it. You can quote me back any time now that it is written in black and white on my blog. By getting enough sleep, your mind and body will rest, throw out stressful thoughts and repair your physical body.
When the world around you is falling apart, solutions will be more obvious if you are not filled with panic. Confusion and chaos is the breeding grounds for panic. That’s where I believe having a “Plan A” and “Plan B” come in handy. Having a backup plan or two is always a stress reliever.
Forgive Others And Yourself
Forgiveness is not just a word. It is not just an instruction. Forgiveness is a feeling that must start from within before you can exhibit it in your behavior. Forgiveness is freeing. It releases your from guilt, shame and anger.
When you forgive, it isn’t a sign of weakness and you aren’t condoning the action. Forgiveness allows you to put the situation behind you and turn off the constantly spinning wheels in your head. When you are wronged by another person or you wrong someone, you can’t ever take the words or actions back. Forgiveness is the only way of letting it all go.
Forgiveness brings about a peaceful calm within your soul. That is priceless.
Oooooh, Aaaaaaah, Relax
It is very important that you take the time to relax and there are many ways that a relaxed mind and body can be acquired. Find the relaxation methods that work for you and incorporate them into your life often. Relaxing improves your health, attitude and thought processes. All of that leads to a more calm existence.
Step Back To See The Whole Situation
It is important that when you start feeling all worked up about something, that you make the effort to step back and see the big picture. Right this second might have you feeling totally insane, but by looking into the future a bit, you will see that “this too shall pass” and you will survive! The anxiety always weighs us down when we are caught up in the minutia of the moment. Those little things are anxiety producing in and of themselves. I’m not saying that it is easy to see the big picture AND act accordingly, but I know that it will bring peace if you follow through with it.
Little Things Versus Big Things
When it is freezing cold, the wind is blowing, it is raining, the sun is going down, and you are standing on the side of the highway with a flat tire, it may be hard to admit that you are suffering from a little thing. Changing a flat tire is a little thing if you keep it in perspective. For instance, a flat tire is a little thing versus having a shark bite your leg off. Do you see my point? Don’t let the little things steal your peace.
Don’t Be A Drama Mama
If I’m about to offend you, I’m sorry…kinda.
I do not like the television shows where people yell and scream at each other and get into fights over who is the baby’s daddy or the mama who slept with the husband’s brother and father. Those shows are absolutely ridiculous! Do you REALLY want that low life drama in your life? Maybe it is time to get some morals and ethics. Maybe it is time to set goals. Maybe it is time to value yourself and other human beings. Drama Mamas do not have much peace.
You can really think about something too much. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Don’t beat a dead horse.” I’m all for talking and thinking through a situation especially if it can be in a non-combative way, however, you can take this to extremes. Thinking about a problem day in and day out without a rest isn’t going to accomplish anything except to create anxiety. Give yourself a brain vacation. Let your subconscious work on the problem without you messing things up. Do something that is relaxing and meditate so that your mind can find restful peace.
Quit! I’m Not Coming In! Leave Me Alone!
Take the day off of work and all chores, grab a movie or book and a big blanket, curl up in the bed and relax all day long. Sometimes it is imperative to take the day off and allow yourself time to recenter your soul, mind and body.
Let Your Inner Moses Emerge
There’s a movie starring Charleton Heston as Moses called, “The Ten Commandments”. It is a portrayal of a story in the Bible. I’m sure you all remember the scene where Moses parts the Red Sea. Do you remember how he raised his arms and then the people walked through the open place between two big walls of water? Moses was very calm about the whole thing as the chariots continued to move closer and closer threatening to kill everyone. So regardless of the situation, find the calm within in and let it take over. You need to lead the situation. Don’t let the situation lead you.
Weep Holes Were Made For A Reason
While constructing a building with a brick veneer, the bricklayers leave weep holes to let moisture escape. Much like the weep holes in the brick wall, our eyes have weep holes which are also known as tear ducts. The tear ducts are for releasing moisture so that the eyes won’t dry out and to release tears when you are feeling sad. It doesn’t matter to me whether you are a male or female – use your weep holes! Crying is not all that fun to do, but after a huge release of emotion through the tear ducts, there is a great sense of peace and calm that settles all around you.
What’s The Worst That Can Happen
Whenever I feel that I am going to drown in a situation, I have to stop and ask myself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Every single situation imaginable leads to, “I would die.” Oh, you don’t believe me? Ha! I’m totally correct! I’ll give you one example and then you can try it yourself with anything you can conjure in your mind.
You lose your job.
You can’t pay your bills.
You have to file bankruptcy.
You lose your house.
You have to live in your car.
You can’t afford gas for the car.
You park it in a parking lot.
You can’t afford the car payment.
The car is repossessed.
You live in the forest.
You can’t afford to buy food.
You starve and die.
No matter what scenario you dream up in your head, it will always end with your death. This whole scenario thing will help you keep life situations in perspective. Just because you can’t have children, your father disowns you, the hail beats big dents in your new car or the neighbors dog keeps peeing on your rose bush, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a peaceful life. Don’t build things up to be worse than they really are because that will just create extra anxiety. I don’t really want to die, but there is even a peace knowing that THERE IS AN END to every situation even if it is death. An agonizing experience can’t last forever!
You Have Many Reasons To Be Thankful
Look in the mirror.
You have many reasons to be thankful. I can name several and I don’t even know you.
- You are either listening to this post being read to you or you are reading it yourself. That means you can either hear, see or both hear and see.
- If you are reading this post on the computer, then you have access to a computer.
- If you are reading this post, you know how to read.
- You also must be alive if you are reading this post.
- More than likely, you are reading this post clothed, so you have clothes to wear. If you aren’t wearing clothes because you like running around naked in your house – Well, don’t tell me. 😉
Obviously, I’m pretty good at listing reasons to be thankful. Try it. The anxiety will be greatly diminished when you really think about all that you have going for you.
So now you’ve decided that you will avoid all the negatives and incorporate all the positives in your life so that you can live a peacefully calm existence. That’s great, however, you are not guaranteed peace just because you do all the right things.
Let’s think about those bricks again. Have you ever accidentally rubbed your elbow against a brick wall? Do you remember what happened? I bet you got scratched. Bricks are rough and the mortar between the bricks is also rough even though the bricklayers smooth it out. Life is not always going to run smoothly. Actually, you are going to hit rough patches many times in your journey through life. Knowing that ahead of time allows you to get it all straight in your head so that you can prepare and incorporate good calm-inducing habits into your actions.
You CAN hold it all together in the midst of turmoil.
Remember, the wall was built one brick at a time and you can find that wonderful feeling of peace and calm one minute at a time.
So what are you thinking now? Do you already incorporate some of these things in your life? Did I help you think of a few things you know you need to change in your life? Go ahead, tell me something good. 😉 Yeah, that’s a song and I love that song!