"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no trouble, no noise, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all these things and still be calm in your heart."
In our fast-paced, multitasking, day-to-day lives, we often find ourselves adrift in chaos. I have a lot on my plate (plates, really), and I know full well that I'm certainly not the only one!
Within this chaos, finding our inner calm is just as important--actually more so--than completing our next task. It allows us to recharge and breathe just a bit easier. It's incredible what just five minutes of serenity can do for your energy level and mental state.
Begin this week by using a special power--the ability to find serenity amidst chaos--and watch as the beauty of the week unfolds around you. The following is a brief menu of serenity options from which you can choose. By all means, indulge yourself this week!
1. Breathe. Those seven letters can instantly trigger a calming response. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, count to three, and release. Repeat as necessary.
2. Rock Out. Take a quick four-minute break from your work to listen to your favorite song. You'll probably find that it will calm you down, pump you up, or bring back great memories. Regardless of the genre, give yourself a moment to enjoy the music that will transport you to a place of pure happiness.
3. Uni-task. Yes, you read that right. Instead of believing in the mantra of more is better, allow yourself to focus on each task at hand, one at a time. This will allow you to de-clutter the other tasks that are taunting you from the periphery of your mind.
4. Step away. Let me guess, you're staring at a screen just now, right? The television screen, the computer screen, and even the smartphone screen have become the interfaces with which we interact most often. When you're piling on the work and begin to feel overwhelmed, take a step away, or simply turn your chair around for a minute or two. When you do, you'll instantly regain the clarity you need to continue.
5. Stop! Think about...things. Placing yourself on autopilot does little more than cloud your mind. Instead, take a minute to organize your thoughts and tasks. This way, as you embark on that checklist, you'll have a clearer vision of your day. After all, improved clarity brings about greater focus--so watch as you execute all of your tasks.
6. Take a Fresh Air Break. When you feel that you're being pulled in every direction or that you're stuck in a certain project, take a minute to walk outside and breathe in the fresh air. This will help you reconnect briefly with nature (even if you're in the middle of a hot city). More importantly, it can help you get back to work with a revitalized attitude.
7. Read. If you're in the middle of working, prompt your brain to switch gears by reading something new and interesting. This is a great way to continue the learning process with a broader scope. If you're at home and everyday stresses are getting to you, reading can be a great way to relax. The images and emotions your brain conjures up simply by reading words will certainly be a welcome method of restoring yourself.
8. Reconnect. When life's chaotic journey begins to get too far under your skin, it's important to take a step back and reconnect with someone you've met along the way. We are greater than the sum of our experiences, and these include the relationships and interactions that have propelled us to where we are today. Simply pick up the phone to learn how someone else is doing and what they are up to in their own lives. A reminder of the memories will be an added bonus.
9. Stretch. Flexing those muscles and moving your body around is a great way to relieve some of the tension being built up in your muscles. Stretching helps you to continue marching on and allows you to reject the manifestation of any stress--literally and figuratively.
10. Laugh. It's the most important of all medicines, and taking a minute to laugh with others or even at yourself will definitely reinvigorate your mind and soul. Adopting a lighthearted approach to the chaos that surrounds you will help you return to a tranquil place.
11. Create a Serenity Trigger. No matter how you deal with those chaotic moments in your life, create a serenity trigger that will help you find a peaceful place whenever the need arises. My serenity trigger is an image of a beautiful flower blooming within a simple mason jar. When I visualize it, it reminds me to take a few minutes away from what I'm doing to find serenity amidst the chaos.
All of these actions represent different ways of approaching the same problem. We feel stressed because of the palpable chaos around us. When we do, then it's time for us to find our place of serenity and return to it over and over again.
What is your serenity trigger? How do you find serenity amidst chaos?