It’s hard enough to be a calm person in a world that has always been pretty much hectic. But when you now throw in a pandemic, economic depression, and civic unrest, it’s easy for even the calmest mind to descend into a whirlpool of fears, anxiety, turmoil, and panic.
Against a sea of troubles, we struggle valiantly not to lose our head. In times like this, like a cold beer on a hot day, our soul craves calm.
But you must be calm. An agitated mind will lead you to act irrationally and possibly worsen your situation. It could force you into decisions that won’t serve your interest. Stressors put you in a flight or fight mode, which often makes you act without thinking things through – much to your regret later.
Why It’s Important To Be a Calm Person At All Times
To be calm is to have a deep sense of peace, even when life surprises you with lemons. It is handling the worst of a situation with acceptance, grace, and dignity.
Knowing how to be a calm person enables you to see things clearly and navigate your way out of the stormiest weather. You will be able to think logically, considerate and a better decision-maker. It will also give you that sense of being in control of your emotions, especially when you are facing life’s setbacks and challenges.
16 Proven Techniques to Control Your Emotions and Be a Calm Person
It may seem too simple to be useful, but breathing is your body’s natural way to bust stress. There are a variety of focused breathing techniques to help you become calm. But they all have one underlying principle – promoting a sense of calmness by flooding your brain with oxygen and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
Deep breathing techniques and takes awareness from the worries in your head to your body, quieting your mind.
Learn and practice a breathing technique daily and always remember to apply it when a stressful situation arises. It’s free, easy to learn, and super effective.
Give yourself space
When you are faced with an unpleasant surprise that throws you off balance, mentally remove yourself from the situation. We always feel the need to react correctly to something instantly, which can be overwhelming and more stressful.
Take a few minutes or even hours off. Go for a walk, meditate, or watch silly cat videos on youtube. When you finally come back to whatever it is that stressed you, your mind will be much calmer, and you’ll think clearer.
With clarity comes solutions that often help resolve the issues.
Watch your thoughts
The ancient Stoics rightly believed that what really matters is not what happens to us, instead, how we react to them.
Avoid reacting or acting to every and any thought floating around in your head. It’s an arduous task to stop your mind from whirling endlessly in your waking hours, but you can choose to watch the thoughts with some non-judgemental detachment.
That is what meditation helps you to achieve.
Meditation shows you how to allow thoughts to come and go without feeling any pressure to react to them immediately. That way, your feelings of despair will be replaced by a sense of calm.
Try a grounding exercise
When anxiety strikes, rather than fly into a panic, ground yourself by bringing awareness to your surrounding.
An excellent technique you could try is the 54321 grounding method. Here is how it works.
Simply shift your attention to:
- things you can see.
- things you can touch.
- things you can hear.
- things you can smell.
- things you can taste.
The idea is to identify aspects of the world around you and in the current moment. As your attention is engaged by these elements, it will focus less on your fearful thoughts. This will slow your heart rate, your breathing, and help you feel better calm in no time.
Go for a walk outside
Physical exercise is proven to improve your mental health. But you know what is even better? Exercising amidst nature.
No matter your schedule, try to harness the restorative powers of nature at least twice a week and watch yourself become a much calmer person.
Visualize a calming imagery
Escaping into nature is a beautiful way to restore tranquility in your mind. But you may not always have the opportunity and time to do so. The next best thing is to place yourself mentally in a peaceful place.
Use the power of your imagination and mentally transport yourself to relaxing, soothing, and calming scenes. Play a mental HD movie complete with 3D Sound – a noisy waterfall, the quiet gurgle of a small stream, lush vegetation, or the sight and sounds of sea waves crashing.
This will give you relief and escape – albeit temporarily, from the stressful situation or physical environment.
You will have time to calm down and take stock of the situation with clarity.
Practice (and write) gratitude
Just before you retire for the night each day, take a few minutes to write in your gratitude journal. Jot down all the things that you are grateful for in your life. If you’re financially stressed or no matter your circumstance, think of all you have to be thankful for (they are countless, believe me), rather than linger on all that has gone wrong.
This practice not only lowers your stress, but it also clears your mind and improves your overall well-being.
Take a break from the news
The media houses thrive on bad news – and there is no shortage of that right now. But you might want to cut down on how much you consume.
Research shows that feeding your mind with a steady diet of negative news can weigh you down. If you feel overwhelmed, you can restore your sense of calm by unplugging from all media for a period. Don’t worry, you won’t be missing anything worthwhile.
Create a playlist of relaxing music
It’s established that listening to music may have a substantial relaxing effect. Make a playlist of tunes to help you relax when stressed. Slow classical music has been shown to slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress hormone levels.
Again, a piece of music captures our attention and keeps the mind from wandering. Which is why it’s used as a meditation aid.
Get more sleep
Getting enough sleep – 7 to 8 hours for adults – has numerous physical health benefits. But do you know that it could also help you become calm? Always have a quality, lengthy shut-eye to combat stress. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can negatively affect your mood and make you cranky.
To sleep longer and better, try going to bed the same time each night, avoid excess caffeine, get some exercise, and relax just before hitting the sack.
Expect the unexpected
Life as we know it is unpredictable. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect things to always go as planned. Of course, you should always plan, but be ready to tweak and adjust your plans as you go along.
This is the secret to the unflappable nature of a calm person. They take anything unforeseen in stride, having already kept an open mind.
Cut down on alcohol
Many people turn to the bottle to cope with the stress and hassles of everyday living. I find that a glass of wine at the end of the day may be relaxing, but too much of it could harm you psychologically.
Excessive drinking can spike anxiety levels as well as cause a host of health problems. Drink within acceptable limits or avoid alcohol altogether if you tend to find it difficult to drink in moderation.
It may sound like some new-age mumbo-jumbo, but it’s useful. Our minds are hardwired to flit between the past and future, and hardly ever being where it matters most- the now. But with practice, you can stop the endless and unproductive chatter of your mind and dwell in the present moment.
I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear. – Steve Maraboli
Rather than being worked up needlessly over some future occurrence, you are better equipped to handle anything that arises in the present. As well as calming your mind, this allows you to enjoy the moment as it is and fully live.
Give way to sadness
It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes, the best thing to do would be to simply retire to your bed and cry without holding back. Give yourself leave to ride every wave of grief and frustration till there’s none left.
All our emotions deserve attention, and locking them in will only make us feel worse. According to studies, wallowing in your sorrows can be cathartic. It will help you get a better grip on the troubling situation and ultimately calm you.
Take a break
Cut yourself some slack. You can’t possibly be all and do all. Putting pressure on yourself to uphold an imagined image of the perfect person you are supposed to be can lead to burnout. Accept yourself and your present condition as they are complete. It won’t be long before you become a more alive, peaceful, and calm person.
Don’t be ashamed to seek professional mental health support when it gets too dark. Talking with a therapist will help you sort through and deal with any negative emotions that weigh you down.
Just the mere act of opening up to your fears, anxiety, and guilt, often brings a sense of immense relief.
We often know a calm person when we see one. We are in awe of their seemingly unflappable disposition – how they manage to maintain tranquility no matter what is going on around them.
With our little guide, You, too, can develop a calm personality. It’s a virtue that will help you handle life’s more stressful situations and live better and healthier lives.