Are we forgetting what it feels like to be calm? Mania seems to have replaced tranquility and kids are particularly affected by this growing problem, because they are born into a manic world. Can we once again “find” calmness?
If you think about it, between the demands of family, work and social commitments competing for our attention, remembering what it feels like to be relaxed is a distant memory. That doesn’t have to be the case however, and there are ways that we can return our lives to a properly balanced normal.
Here are some suggested ways that you can use to help calm your mind and let you forget about the stresses of daily life for a while:
1. Commit to making serenity a part of your daily life. The conscious acknowledgement that things are off-balance and the pledge to bring tranquility back into your life is a vital first step.
2. Make a list. You’re pulled in a lot of different directions and organizing your life is a sure way to help reduce stress — write a to-do list with pen and paper and keep it with you, crossing off things you’ve accomplished and striking out things you really don’t need to do.
3. Take 10 deep and mindful breaths. When you feel stress rising, try closing your eyes and breathing deeply, making sure to mindfully release the stress.
4. Listen to soft music. As the saying goes, music calms the savage beast. Forget about the stresses of daily life for a while, by listening to soothing music — if you can do this in a quiet room by yourself, even better.
5. Rearrange a closet, bookshelf or kitchen cabinets. Those might seem like chores and that’s because they are. But, having a purpose can help take your mind off the things zapping your calmness and return you to a state of tranquility. Plus, once you’re done, you’ll be pleased with the results.
6. Exercise. This can be going to the gym, or just going for a long walk. Physical activity is a great way to release stress and as the stress drains away, it’s replaced with a feeling of calm.
7. Focus on your feelings. Often, we don’t feel relaxed because our mind is racing and we’re not focused. Find a quiet place to reflect on what you’re feeling and why. Related to mindfulness, this can help to put you back in control of your emotions.
8. Stretch. If you can’t exercise, try some stretching exercises to help loosen you up and relieve stress and tension.
When I do some of these stress relievers, I find that I’m calmer and I mentally prep myself to allow that calmness to expand — by “allow,” I mean that I consciously acknowledge that I’m entitled to some peace and tranquility and I embrace that right.
We’re all unique, so calming practices best for you might be completely different than these suggestions. The point is to first acknowledge that calmness is missing, and then to find practices that will help bring it back into your life. Once it’s back, even if only for short periods at a time, never let it go.