Art of staying calm

Art of staying calm

It started off as a trivial argument but soon escalated into a huge fight. Tirades of bitter words were exchanged. Accusations, counter arguments, ranting and yelling, together made for an unpleasant experience, for the hard-working spouses. Though they were doing their best, they felt edgy and constantly stressed.
Back in the office, the couple's work scenario is no different. Both in the middle management level reported to a higher authority and had others reporting to them. Work pressure, deadlines, differences of opinions and sundry other responsibilities in no way helped keep their stress levels under check. Frazzled and frenetic, their daily grind is exhausting and induces anger in their interactions. This in turn leads to conflicts and saps energy, enthusiasm and wellness.
Just like this couple, what many of us need is to learn the art of staying calm, which can be practiced and mastered for lasting wellness and happiness. Here's how you can grasp this skill:

Gaining perspective

We view every situation and perceive every truth not as it is, but as we think it is. This can cause undue anxiety and distort the reality, causing us to lose our cool. But when we learn to see things as they are without preconceived notions and personal bias, we gain a better perspective of every event or outcome. When we view the world pragmatically the maturity to let go of events, which are beyond our control, comes naturally. Reflective questions such as "Can I do anything to change this situation?" come to mind at ease. And when the situation cannot be changed the thought process easily shifts to "Can I accept this situation?" This results in less conflict and leads to a calmer state of mind.
Paying attention to the present with the right perspective also buys us some time when nothing seems to be working. Statistics prove that over time things change, usually for the better. Relaxing, staying calm and going with the flow has a way of resolving things when the time is right.

Improve your mood

Staying calm is all about staying in the right mood and avoiding extreme mood swings. Experts in the field suggest myriad ways to improve moods during the day to stay calm and composed all day.
We can start with our immediate environment for getting into a better mood whenever fatigue sets in. Feeding our senses with beautiful sights and sounds has a soothing effect on our mood. The rhythm of the rustling of leaves, the canopy of a Gulmohar tree, the blue sky above, the beauty of magnificent monuments, the laughter of children playing in the streets are powerful calming influences for the mind.
"We become that which we behold," wrote poet William Blake. Taking in the beauty of the world around and the message of peace that the vast silences of nature speak can both calm and balm the mind from stress and worry.
Mood also lightens when we find ourselves amidst a happy setting. Flowers, candles, calming incense and mild lighting triggers happy sensation in our mind. When an issue overwhelms us, taking the mind off it by listening to music or watching a funny movie or reading inspiring books will restore composure to the troubled mind.
Taking care of our physical well-being is yet another excellent mood enhancer. Outdoor activities such as taking a ride on the bike or a brisk walk around the park will boost the production of serotonin, a happy hormone that can calm the mind.
Eating right and getting adequate sleep are definite ways to combat stress and to be on the path to calmness. A balanced natural diet, low in saturated fats and sugar and high in protein and nutrients will help in a steady supply of happy hormones into the system pushing us to a state of being calm.

Matter of choice

Eventually, the want to lead a stress-free life and the need to pump in composure into our lives should be consciously welcomed and practiced. We live in a world where the "hurry sickness" has invaded our lives. Locked in a constant battle to achieve more in less time, stress is our constant companion. Even so, positive affirmations, such as "I choose to stay calm," repeated deliberately during the day, can get absorbed by the mind and the mind begins to accept it as a way of life.
Another simple route to calmness advocated by experts is the use of the anchoring technique. Recalling the moments when complete control was achieved and to focus on such times, reinforces the composure one has gained in the past. Finally, developing empathy and taking a compassionate view of others around promotes tolerance and helps in keeping our moods composed. This also strengthens our well being and the happy state of mind helps the body produce oxytocin that is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone often called 'the love hormone.' Researchers have linked the release of oxytocin to life satisfaction levels and stress is said to block the release of this hormone.
So the next time, an argument is brewing or a confrontation is escalating, chose to take control of yourself. Hum your favourite tune or go out for a brisk walk; listen to music or pick up a comic book; visit a friend or simply get some rest and sleep. These may seem irrelevant and far-fetched to get you into a clam mood. However, there is enough proof from research that these are some simple, yet powerful techniques to master the art of staying calm.

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