We’ve all got our own form of chaos. It may be internal, external, of our own design, or created by those around us. The key to keeping calm is not necessarily stopping or controlling the chaos, but learning to live effectively with it.
We must learn we can’t control what other people do. This is common knowledge, but often forgotten.
I wish she wouldn’t say that.
You need to be home on time everyday!
We can wish, ask, and frustrate ourselves into a state of stress and chaos or we can choose to work with what we’ve got.
Get comfortable with you. Many of us are surprisingly unable to sit quietly with our own thoughts and feelings. We reach out to others by phone, email, or in person. We search for a distraction – music, a snack, a scroll through Instagram. The next time you feel the urge, give this a try: take a deep breath, put down the cell phone, and look around. Can you find anything in your environment to appreciate? A blue sky? A playful dog being walked down the street? Take it in! Continue taking deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth) until you feel a sense of calm come over you. This is a great strategy to teach our children as well.
Truly accept that you can only control your actions and reactions. Release your sense of responsibility for other people’s behavior. If your coworker consistently undermines you, you can choose to be miserable or you can choose to look past it and continue to do your best. We must not take on the negativity others may be putting out – visualize a window between you and them and shut it if you start to feel overwhelmed. Work on developing an ability to consider the big picture and your role in it. Carry your own happiness within you and you won’t need to worry about the actions of others.
Find joy in (seemingly) small things. If you follow me on Instagram, you know the peace I find at the beach. I can walk the boardwalk and “absorb” the beauty of the sun and water. It recharges and relaxes me. Find your “happy place.” It may be curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a good book or it may be a hiking trail in your neighborhood. Become familiar with how you feel in certain environments and set aside time to spend in your “feel good” settings.
We all experience stress, but we don’t need to let it rule our lives and feelings. If you bring your own contentment, there’s no need to worry about anyone else.
What’s your “feel good” place? How did you find it? Leave a comment below!