How do you keep yourself calm when things are going against you in life? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
I am not a spiritual coach, but I do practice mindfulness and I am a happy person. From my experiences in life, here is what I can recommend to stay calm in adverse situations.
1) Take it slow. The first and the most important thing to help you stay calm is to take it slow. Slow down. Practice patience. Give your brain some rest. Take a step away and slow down the speed of life.
2) Be mindful. Mindfulness has been proven to help with anxiety. Practice meditation or simply stay mindful by being aware of your inner feelings. Focus on yourself. Take your mind away from all the disturbing elements and slowly focus on you.
3) Believe in yourself. It is very important for you to believe in yourself, no matter how difficult the situation is. We tend to lose faith in our capabilities when we are faced with challenges, but this one difference in how we think of ourselves in crisis is what differentiates winners from quitters.
4) Connect with positive people. This has always worked for me. I love to stay connected with people who give positivity to me. Especially during trying times, I connect with my old friends and family and they always have a way of making me feel better. Call a dear friend or spend time with kids. Get in touch with positive, optimistic people. Their positivity will certainly reflect upon you, too.
5) Get good sleep. We simply cannot underestimate the stupendous power of good sleep. It is a great anesthetic agent that instantly relieves us of the stress. If you find it difficult to sleep, pick up a non-fiction book - preferably motivational in nature - and chances are you will be able to sleep.
6) Watch or read something funny. I understand that in adverse situations, it seems like we can do anything but laugh. However, to be able to laugh in difficult times only requires a shift in perspective. Watching or reading anything funny takes your mind away from the stressful agent and shifts it towards the lighter side. I highly recommend reading ‘Diary Of A Nobody’ by George and Weedon Grossmith.
7) Exercise. Exercising helps by releasing endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that help us feel good. Go out running. Do an hour of yoga. Hit the gym. Sweat it out and I am sure you will feel better. I go out for a walk when I feel my brain is overloaded.
8) Watch motivational TED talks. I am a huge fan of TED talks. In a short 15 minutes, they deliver the most power-packed talks that fill you with energy and motivation. I remember how I spent almost one full Sunday watching various TED talks because I was feeling sad for no reason. By the end of the day, after having watched about 10 talks, I felt pumped up.
9) Visit an orphanage or shelter home. Many times our problems are not big, but we make them big by over-thinking them. A visit to a shelter home will help you realize that there are millions who struggle for what we take for granted. I have made it a ritual to visit a shelter home every year on Diwali.
10) Talk less. Last but not least, it is very important to keep your tongue in check when everything seems to be going against you. To avoid any further stress or damage, talk less. The age-old wisdom "think before you speak" is extremely useful in such times.
Hope this helps.
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