I consider myself to be a pretty calm person, especially in a crisis situation or when my best thought-out plans turn to complete and utter sh#t.
And the reason for my calmness is definitely a nurture over a nature thing. In other words, my ability to stay calm, centred and grounded in a challenging situation is not a genetic trait I inherited from my parents, but a result of habits I have learned (some from my parents) and a number of daily practices I am committed to.
Essentially you can enhance your ability to remain calm, grounded, centred and unflappable by replicating these two practices.
I won’t go in-depth about the physical health practices I do (aka: exercise and nutrition), because I am going to assume you have a good enough idea about that and if not, then read The Guidebook to Optimum Health. The thing to note is our physical practices contribute to the amount of energy we have available to get stuff done plus the quality of our mental health. So my health practices are essential, but not the primary focus of this conversation.
Calm Enhancing Practice #1: Breathe
It sounds SO simple, that you might feel it is too simple.
Step 1 in maintaining a sense of calm is to be aware of and actively practice a calm breathing pattern. Step 1 isn’t to start doing stuff to fix the apparent situation in front of you. Step 1 is to just stay still and breathe.
Picture a very wise man or woman. Sage-like. When faced with a problem, the first thing they do is (seemingly) nothing. They just breathe calmly.
Relaxed breathing helps regulate the autonomic nervous system, enhances the immune system, and ensures we don’t activate the fight, flight or freeze response (aka: the stress response). It also means your physical vision does not become hyper-fixated, thus allowing you to see the bigger picture.
Don’t think. Just stand still, breathe deeply and calmly and take it all in without any judgement.
A calm breath = A calm mind
Calm Enhancing Practice #2: What is the reality?
You know this is one of my FAVOURITE Power Questions. And it is ESSENTIAL to ask it when faced with a crisis situation or a major challenge.
What is the reality?
Not what is the ‘story’.
Not what are the ‘assumptions’.
Not what is the worst-case scenario.
Not what happened to some other person or organisation in a similar situation.
Not what an emotive news anchor is telling you to believe.
Not what your cousins friend reckons.
What is real in this situation for you, right now?
What can you see? What can you hear? What can you smell? What can you taste? What can you tangibly feel? (Your senses are your best tools in the present moment)
What are the FACTS (as best as you can determine)?
In a time of crisis, pay more attention to the person who is most qualified to provide information (not the person talking loudest or creating the most sensationalist drama story or with a personal financial or power agenda), and pay attention to real-time data. You can turn many assumptions into FACTS by doing the research or asking specific questions.
ALWAYS CHOOSE APPROPRIATE FACTS OVER (EMOTIONALLY DELIVERED) STORIES – IN A CRISIS SITUATION.
Then what do I do next?
I get CREATIVE.
I stay CURIOUS.
I take ACTION.
I remain FLEXIBLE.
I actively manage my EMOTIONAL STATE.
I ask for HELP when I need it.
I remind myself to BREATHE deeply.
I TRUST life is for me.
I practice GRATITUDE often.
My final words
Breathing is the most important thing we can do, and we do do.
It is not only our gateway to life, but it is one of the things that most enhances the health of our entire body. It is what the yogis were committed to understanding over a few thousand years – the science of breathe.
Be discerning about what information you let in, and what information you buy into. In a crisis, primary facts are much more effective and useful then emotive second-hand stories.
Listen to my Life Masterclass Podcast on Discernment to gain a better understanding of how to be more discerning.
If are are struggling or need some help, reach out. The longer you leave dealing with something, the harder it might be to resolve. We are all in this (life) together.
And in general, watch less ‘news’. Get active. Move your body. Meditate. Or watch inspiring humanity shows like Queer Eye (Netflix) for example.
Want help with getting clear about you path, priorities and a sustainable plan? Then get in contact. Just reply to this email or head to my website or connect with me on Facebook. Also check out Process Your Limiting Beliefs (online) workshop if you want help with overcoming obstacles and getting clear of the stories and beliefs that are holding you back (and then processing them).