This article gives you five strategies to create a reservoir of inner calm, which you can draw from when stressful situations arise.
Since we can’t control when stress spikes, we can plan what to do when it does, so when your patience is in short supply, you know just what to do.
How many situations that test your level of patience in a day? If you are like most people, you have likely lost count, but this article will teach you how to ride out the calm in the eye of the storm.
The secret to staying calm when you are in a state of stress is to hold your immediate reaction, even if it’s for a brief moment to regroup. The secret here is to rehearse. Your brain will do what it can to protect you by fleeing, fighting, or freezing as if the threat is mortal. But that’s not what we’re talking about right now.
Everyday stress like traffic, work deadlines, your child can’t find the charger to his Chromebook and you needed to leave for school – ten minutes ago – we all have countless examples! Times of everyday stress are when you can safely hold your immediate reaction so you can thoughtfully choose your response.
Reservoir of inner calm
All you need to do is build a calm reservoir and use it as needed. It doesn’t need to be filled before you start. It would never happen if that were the case because the everyday stressors do not stop for anyone.
There isn’t a finite supply of inner calm. You’ll keep adding to your reserves as you grow in your ability to create space between you and the effects of stress.
Here are five ways you can increase your reservoir of inner calm.
1. Increase your emotional mastery
Emotional mastery is the ability to identify what you’re feeling, what happens when you feel it and then take action so the emotion moves through you instead of getting stuck.
The practice of emotional mastery is what builds resilience. It’s your guide for what you need to feel better. It takes the work of thinking about it and strategizing your plan. You already know what helps you and can do it immediately. The byproduct is inner calm.
2. Begin a daily mindful practice
Being present with the world around you is grounding. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of life and lose yourself. For many of my clients, this prevents them from moving forward and reaching their goals.
When feeling alone and out of control, you must take time out of your day to meditate, be quiet and disconnect from “doing.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), has often said that we are more like human beings than human beings.
A daily mindfulness practice can be as individual as you are. It might be sitting quietly for five minutes, an hour, or something in between. Or it might be walking and practicing your awareness of the birds, the sunlight on the tree leaves, or the breeze on your cheek. It could also be doing something where you lose yourself, like in creative practice – drawing, painting, quilting, knitting, etc. The point is to disconnect from information coming into your being and connect with your internal sense of yourself.
3. Challenge negative thinking
Everyone has negative thoughts that creep into their head throughout the day, but how you deal with them matters. When you feel yourself moving down the road of negativity, it is time to step back and identify the emotion that sparked those thoughts.
By challenging negative thinking, you will begin to use the thoughts to help you shift your perspective. You can regain your inner calm and peace even if you’ve felt this way for a long time.
4. Limit negative influences
“You are a product of your environment” is a common saying for a reason! Surrounding yourself with people and environments that encourage growth and positive thinking is essential.
When you cut out the negative influences from your life, you will feel a sense of freedom and weight lifted. Eliminating those who drag you down can open new avenues for personal growth.
One crucial aspect is ensuring that your environment is as calming as possible. A home is a place of respite, but not always. Clearing your space (home, car, purse, office, garage, etc.) of clutter is very important. A fancy car is nice, but a clean car you feel good in is excellent. It’s the same idea with your house; it’s lovely if you have the resources to live in a picture-perfect space, but most of us don’t. Living in a house free from clutter and disorganization helps keep your inner calm reservoir full!
5. Remove yourself from the situation
Getting caught up in stressful situations that seem impossible to escape can be easy. Not getting caught up means establishing a boundary between yourself and the situation.
It can be frustrating when you are removed from a situation you are trying to change. But sometimes, taking a break or realizing that you’ve done all you can and may need to make a different choice is more beneficial.
This article aims to provide five helpful strategies to fill your reservoir of inner calm. You can experience less stress and more time and energy for your desired things! Isn’t that a big part of clearing stress to live a mindful and fulfilling life?