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10 Powerful Steps To A Calmer, More Peaceful You.

By Anne Garner

It is very difficult to keep calm in today's world where success is no longer measured by who we are, but how much we've achieved.  It has become acceptable to be as nasty and as cunning as possible as long as it can help us to achieve material success and world-wide fame.  

We have allowed the small percentage of people in the world, who have fame and fortune to be the measuring stick against which we rate our lives.  We forget that unlike them we live normal lives, we have to manage our own finances, battle our own health and weight issues, raise our own children and travel without a posse to carry our physical and emotional baggage.  

In order to do all of these things effectively, we need to forget the rat race to fame and fortune and maintain a measure of calmness in our lives.  In this article, we will learn how to do this.

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1. Write down your most pressing problems on a piece of paper.  

Under these lay out the worst possible, and the best possible outcomes for each problem.  At the end of the page, record what you think would actually happen (which would fall somewhere in-between)

Have a look at the piece of paper when you feel that this problem has reached a point of resolution.  You will find that the worst possible outcome hardly ever happens.  Doing this often, for all of your problems will soon show you that the worst seldom happens.  When problems arise in the future you will have documented proof that the outcome is rarely as bad as you think.  

2. Have a garden.  

Even if you live in a flat, find time to pot up plants and look after them.  No one worries while gardening.  One only has to try it to see the psychological benefits growing something from scratch brings.  Even if you aren't one of the green fingered bunch, maybe a good start for you would be to volunteer at a local garden centre for a few hours a week, you'll find that the further your hands sink into the dirt the deeper your problems get buried.

Even vegetables can be grown in pots with a measure of care.

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3. Get yourself a breathing place.  

A lot of times we're breathing shallowly without even being aware of it.  Having a special breathing place will enable you to go there to relax.  A certain room, chair, bench, mat etc.  Soon just the act of taking time off and going to this designated spot will relax you.  Breathe deeply and let go of everything even if it's for 10 minutes a day.

Like other young siblings, my daughters argue with each other, so I've devised a way to make them take responsibility of talking through their differences with each other. Whenever their arguments escalate, I put them on the 'talk mat' which is a special mat used exclusively for this purpose.  I get the mat out, spread it on the floor and make them sit on it until they've come to a compromise which will suit them both.  I hardly ever get involved, I just let them sort it out. It used to take them ages to work things out.  Nowadays, even if they're screaming at each other, the sight of the mat induces calm.  In no time they work things out and come to find me to tell me of the solution.

Similarly, a calming place, will at first seem odd, but soon, it will start to work for you almost in an instant.

4. Don't always hold in your tears.  

This is why we were given the privilege – yes privilege, to cry.  There is nothing better to release hurt, anguish or stress like a good cry, especially if it's on someone else's shoulder.  Grab a friend and have a good cry.  If someone else is in need of a shoulder, lend one and let them cry.  Then have a deep long breath and feel the brunt of the hurt wash away.

5. Watch what you eat.  

Try to eat natural foods like fruit, nuts, grains, and drink lots of water.  A good, clean diet makes you look good, keeps you young and feeling great.  When external troubles hit a healthy happy individual, he/she is more able to cope than someone who's overweight, underweight, unhealthy and dehydrated.  

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6. Music.  

When you feel stress coming on, or you know that you'll have a problematic day ahead.  Take out your past 'happy occasion' music.  This could be the songs you partied to when you were younger or the tunes you played for your children when they were little etc. Listen to these and try singing along. I've worked out that if you wait for when you're happy and relaxed to sing along to your favourite music, it wouldn't happen often enough.  Instead, sing in order to become happy.  Not only would the music remind you of good times, but singing along, helps you to participate in these occasions all over again.

7. Something for your face.

In the evenings, get a damp, wet towel and place it on your face.  Not only would it soothe dry achy skin, but the warm moisture also absorbs stress and tension from your face.  Stress causes us to unintentionally frown.  Frowning often creates permanent frown lines which make you look miserable and angry even when you're not. Our faces somehow manages to remember each frown we've ever made, and makes us pay back in creases when we hit 40.  We can't have that.

8. Have a bath.

This is almost cliché, but having a long, warm aromatic soak in the bath is a simple, cheap readily available relaxing technique which shouldn't be scoffed at because it works so effectively.

9. Uncompleted tasks are not a sign of failure.

Give yourself permission to leave tasks uncompleted when family and friends need you.  You can't concentrate fully on both. Remember if you were to die today, you wouldn't regret not having completed the filing.  Rather, you would feel terrible about neglecting that loved one who needed you. While striving to be a dependable worker, don't fight too hard and stress over things which can be done later.

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10. Lastly, learn to appreciate life and all that you have.  

bq. Overburdening yourself to strive crazily for what you don't need will only raise your stress levels.  You work, you enjoy life and have your family and friends.  Never mind what they have, you personally have more today than you did this time last year.  Next year you will have still more. Your life is improving, maybe not at the same pace as the person's next door, but they may have started way before you or may have had a boosting head start.

 

Be thankful for what you now have and start doing the things on your to-do list.  Don't wait for something else to fall into place before you begin.  Start now, slowly at first, then pick up speed and keep moving.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a contributing writer for Fabulously40 Youth Project Worker, Writer, Television Support Actress & Occasional model.

Visit Anne's blogspot for more of her work.


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