“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself and the storm will pass.” ~Timber Hawkeye
I have experienced stress on the job, at home, and with family and friends.
I have felt unhappy and frustrated.
I have felt anxious when I first got up in the morning, or soon thereafter as I contemplated the “To Do List” for the day.
I have felt like there are not enough hours in a day. I have found myself saying “I don’t have time."
I had committed my time and energy to activities and people that did not bring me joy and happiness.
I had found myself out of alignment with my life purpose.
In the beginning, it seemed impossible to stay calm amidst the chaos and the little things that could so easily upset me, but when I look at where I was and where I am now, I can assure you that it’s more than possible.
So how did I become equanimous and how did it change my life?
It was this six step guide that helped me overcome the most stressful situations in my life and come out of it peaceful and calm:
- Consistent self-care is critical:
I remember that as an airline stewardess, I used to instruct people to place their oxygen mask on first before helping a child. It is absolutely imperative that we take care of ourselves so that we have love and energy to give to others in our life.
Consistent self-care includes never speaking ill about yourself; never giving up on your dreams; being kind to yourself; letting go of what you can’t control; devoting time (me-time) to yourself every day; setting boundaries — if it is not an absolute yes, it is a NO; scheduling massages; spending an hour a day doing some form of movement; keeping away from negative media and influences; and loving yourself unconditionally.
Invest in yourself, and you will be amazed at the changes and new mindsets in your life. You will have more peace, harmony, and joy. You will be able to manage and handle stress like never before.
Your friends and family will notice how loving and joyful you have become. You will have more to give to your family and friends. You will love who you become!
- Mindfulness - Listening to the heart:
Mindfulness is a transformation in which we create more harmony, peace and joy for ourselves. It allows us to be fully present and alive in every moment. It is being fully aware of our experience in each moment. It is intent alertness. So, why is this so hard to do? We live in a fast paced society with a plethora of distractions. We don’t enjoy life because we tend to miss it along the way, only to have a midlife crisis and wonder what happened!
My road to peace began with daily meditation.
Meditate on a regular basis, if only for 5 – 15 minutes a day. Reflection is key; maintain a journal on your insights and what you learn from these experiences.
The secret is to develop a different mindset, without judgment but with patience, trust, love, acceptance and letting go. This is done by first focusing on breathing.
This offers you rest and renewal as you become more relaxed. Most importantly, it will quiet the mind. If your mind wanders, just notice it and ask “Where is my awareness at this given moment?” You can use this technique to manage stress, quiet the mind, transform difficult feelings, enhance productivity, deepen relationships, complete unfinished business or experience daily activities mindfully.
- Plug your energy drains:
Miscommunication, blame, judgments, complaining, and unclear boundaries are all energy drains. What energy loops can you close today? What is left undone or negative in your life? What actions can you take today to plug your energy drain?
Sit down and make a list of everything that is incomplete or negative in your life. What could you clean up today? As you succeed, you will be revitalised and have more energy. You will become clear on your passion in life as you begin to be present.
- Embrace your fear:
Every successful woman knows that it is her inner peace that determines where she is at all times. It takes courage to live your vision. When we embrace our fears, we realise that things are not as bad as they seem, and we find courage and strength we never knew existed. Courage is passionately pursuing what you believe in no matter how difficult it may appear.
By facing the unknown and acting on it, you build courage and confidence with each step. By taking small steps towards the unknown, you are conquering the challenge and discovering you can handle it. Besides gaining strength and courage in taking action, you will feel better about yourself and gain confidence as well.
- Believe in yourself first:
Believing in yourself, and practicing kindness, acceptance and love will transform the way you think and feel about yourself.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Don’t give away your power! Successful women visualise; they create a powerful vision of themselves and what they want to accomplish. They practice these positive exercises regularly. Believe in all that is possible!
You can change your attitude on what you are capable of. You can build confidence, creativity and self-belief. Be your own motivational coach! What would you say to a friend you really believed in if they began to show self-doubt?
- Stay in Gratitude:
For me, a tragedy evoked expressing gratitude daily. As Melody Beattie said in her book, The Language of Letting Go, “It makes things right…it turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity, a house into a home, a meal into feast, a stranger into a friend, problems into gifts and failures into successes.”
Most importantly, gratitude changes negative energy into positive energy. It is active appreciation. It is powerful. This one practice will lower your stress and pave the way for more abundance in your life. Gratitude that is expressed with love and authenticity brings us inner peace and joy.
Remember, our surroundings and circumstances are a reflection of our inner world. If we have faith and conviction that everything around us will be for our good, we will be calmer in chaos. You may not be able to control every situation and its outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.
Nothing in this world can bother you as much as your own mind, so control your thoughts, actions and emotions, and live a Peaceful and Calm life.
As Joan Borysenko said, “Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.”
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)