Keep calm and…

Have you ever been with someone whose calmness and even-tempered nature makes you feel like you can cope with anything life can throw at you?  It’s very motivating and empowering.  Life can be frenetic, aggravating and stressful, so calmness is a good state to cultivate.  It’s a great way to be, if you can master it.

I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me to calm down,  I instantly feel less calm, and, possibly, even irritated.  (I hear Michael Winner’s voice: “Calm down, dear.”)  It’s much better to be shown how to be calm, than to be told to be calm.

Have you ever marvelled at the hustle and bustle of an A & E department in a documentary?  Hardly a calm atmosphere, is it, where life can hang in the balance? The nurses and doctors work fast and furiously, but there is evidence of great calm which seems to come from many people all concentrating hard simultaneously: collective calm, I guess you’d call  it.  The calm will originate from somewhere, probably from whoever is leading the procedure, but it’s a calm culture; it has to be.  Imagine being able to summon up “calm” when it is most needed; a great personal attribute.

I was recently in the company of a very calm person during a holiday.  Nothing fazed her, absolutely nothing, even where there was potential for and the reality of,  a whole variety of annoyances, inconveniences, unexpected problems and challenges.  She approached everything with good humour, curiosity and an even-tempered acceptance.  She was also extremely well-prepared and experienced.  Nothing life-threatening happened, but I’d have been confident that she could have dealt with a serious emergency with the same calmness too.

Fortunately, most of us are not required to be calm in order to save lives.  It’s life’s little challenges (or big challenges, sometimes) that tend to throw us off track.  It’s nonetheless a useful state to learn and practise.  There are many ways to help yourself: meditation, prayer, breathing exercises, taking yourself outside for a while every day, playing music which soothes you, taking a moment to be quiet, to be aware of yourself and your surroundings and shut out the hustle and bustle around you.  It’s those useful habits that we can practise for ourselves each day, which will genuinely help towards achieving that desired state which we can call upon when we need it.

To amend a quote from Zig Ziglar:

“People often say that calmness doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we
recommend it daily.”

Consider too the classic NLP technique, modelling, in which you actively seek out another person or people whose behaviour or demeanour you wish to emulate.  Watch what they do, how they react to other people, in specific situations.  Take a leaf from their book and try out their behaviour.  Often, you’ll see calmness in a person in charge of a situation.  But take a moment to look around.  Occasionally, that calm person will be someone you may not notice at first.

Wishing you peace of mind, serenity and all the health benefits that calmness brings!

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About Marianna Beckwith