The writer Alain De Botton once said: “Calm is one of the most distinctive longings of the modern age.“
I think today, few would argue with such a brutal truth.
Brutal? Because of how much we all need calm right now to help us survive and cope during this period of isolation, separation and heightened anxiety; versus how challenging finding and maintaining any degree of calm is, for so many people.
Outside of our homes division, uncertainty and turmoil continue to be the dominant narrative.
Whilst inside, the profound changes forced upon us – and our children – in terms of how we live, work, learn, exercise etc. understandably give rise to increased domestic tension, mental and emotional exhaustionon, loneliness and the more imperceptible, yet none less damaging effects of being cut off from the nourishment of physical, social interaction.
Indeed, not only is a calm distinctive longing, but one could also say an imperative need for us all right now.
Why? Well, here are just a few of the key benefits of calm:
Add all those up, and you could say that calm is a modern super-power! So we’d like to share some tips and ideas on how to begin developing it!
impassably An Important Distinction To Start
When most people think about calm, they naturally reflect upon a state of being; relaxed, peace of mind, settled, peaceful. An emotional and physiological state accessed things like:
Meditation and mindfulness
Walking in nature
Catching up with good and trusted friends
Listening to calming music
A good massage
It is all those things, of course, however, the distinction I’d invite you to think about is calm as a way of being. A deeper, more intentional commitment to cultivating the inherent sense of balance, control and security that comes with Being calm.
The purpose of sharing this distinction is to help us begin to transform our relationship with calm. From that state, that we need to access in times of personal turbulence, to an always present and perceptible layer of resilience and strength, that makes needing to access the state, less frequent.
http://roryflynnwebdesign.co.uk/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=https://roryflynnwebdesign.co.uk/ Exercises & Tips To Help You Bring & Keep Calm Into Your Life
So with this in mind, the following are 6 ideas and tips to help you both find and maintain calm in your life. In a way that will help you to begin cultivating that deeper, stronger and more permanent way of calm.
Spending 15 – 20 mins at the end of each day – ideally just before bed- to ‘unpack’ the mind and settle the body, is a very effective way to both improve your quality of sleep, and improve the way you feel when you wake up the next day.
A simple journal, for example, to jot down any mental clutter, ideas, tasks, grievances etc. declutters a heavy mind and usually, the emotions that go with them. Follow this up with some simple breath or mindfulness work to further settle the mind and body, and you’ll be setting yourself up for a good nights sleep, and a brighter, clearer, calmer morning.
When we first wake up, our brains are in an alpha state. In simple terms, this is a state of consciousness during which we are typically very calm, and our brains are very susceptible to absorbing information. Information from our own thoughts, as well as what we feed it externally.
This is why the first hour or our day can often set the tone for the remainder. If we wake up anxious and stressed, and our thoughts begin to unravel and support that agitation, it can be very challenging to undo that energy, and our day follows suit.
If, however, we use that first period of waking to really nourish our minds, we can set the tone and energy on our terms. Giving ourselves a much better chance of establishing and maintaining calm as our dominant energy throughout the day.
Try some of the following:
I developed this exercise several years ago, during a particularly challenging period of my life, and use it today with almost everyone I know.
The irony of how simple and immediately available both the information and the upside of this exercise never fails to surprise me.
Here’s how it works:
And there you have it. That’s your Calm Legacy. 9 tasks that almost always trigger the way you want to feel. (If you can, pin this up on a wall or the fridge so it’s visible.)
What’s this got to do with feeling calm? Control.
So much of our turmoil and personal turbulence is down to a perceived lack of control in a given situation. Your Calm Legacy is a poignant and permanent reminder that at any given point in time, you have the power and choice to engage in things that will carry back to how you want to be feeling.
This one is simple, yet surprisingly overlooked. Use your phones alarm or reminder functionality to strategically schedule small periods of relaxation across the day.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Granted some have more complexity to manage than others, however even finding just two opportunities a day for a scheduled moment of relaxation and calm can make a big difference to your day.
And remember, as well the direct benefits you’ll get from slowing everything down and relaxing, this is another way if signalling ‘control’ to yourself, and strengthening that inner-commitment to making calm a way of being.
Finally, you may like to try running a Turbulence Audit. This is a powerful exercise that reveals all the areas across your life that trigger inner-turbulence: stress, anxiety, overwhelm, anger etc. And encourages you to examine each one in a way that will help you either release it, resolve it or begin to regulate it in a more positive, and calm way.
The implications of this exercise can be startling if you’re willing to be really honest and committed.
Remember that distinction between a state and a way of calm? Well, both running and acting on the results of a Turbulence Audit is a very effective way of triggering that transformation.
Here how it works:
Take your time with this. It’s a deep self-awareness journey that can unlock so much freedom, calm and control across all areas of your life.
Given the unprecedented scale and pace of change right now, it’s understandable that even against the most committed calm practice we’re all susceptible to the occasional wobble now and then. After all, we are in unchartered territory!
So in closing, here are 3 pieces of calming wisdom that we can all turn too when things get bumpy:
To Brighter Days
Ever so gently and perhaps a little poetically in sync with the arrival of spring, there is an emergence of fresh hope for a more realistic ending to the pandemic. As this gathers pace, we all need to remember and be very proud of the fact that by simply coping through this period of turbulence, we will all come out into the world stronger, more resilient and with a renewed sense of respect and reverence for the things that have we were cut off from: each other, the world, travel and the innate human spirit of adventure.