I learned the hard way that sourcing our calm and strength from the mind alone is an untenable proposition. It turns out that the body–if well-tended and supported through food, water, movement, connection, and rest–is a resilient ally.
The 7 Tips for Calm, which I will list here (click this link to access the full download with more descriptive information) are free, only take a few moments, and increase in impact when repeated over time:
- Drink water
- Practice gratitude (not the same thing as “toxic positivity”, “good vibes only”, or “emotional bypassing”)
- Spend 15 minutes with or in nature
- Name your emotions
- Disconnect from your devices
- Balance your inhale and exhale
- Connect to your five senses
These practices allow us to dip our toe(s) back into the present moment. To reduce certain stressors and to send calming signals to the nervous system (aka nervous system regulation). To allow the body a moment to “stand down” for a few moments from the perpetual assault of information and often conflicting demands on our time, energy and resources.
When we are able to send the body signals of safety, it’s like putting a gentle hand on the spinning hamster wheel that is propelling us forward from the inside. From a state of calm, we are more able to access our capacity for healing, empathy, creative problem solving, intuitive knowing (and a host of other internal resources).
Your ability to access and maintain calm is a function of your barometer for threat—which will be unique to you based on your lived experience–and your capacity to return yourself to a regulated state if and as you need to.
To be clear, the goal isn’t necessarily to “stay calm and soldier on”. Because the healthiest nervous system is a flexible nervous system.
There are times when we absolutely need to channel our response to threat into action; whether for our own safety or the safety of others.
There are times when we need to be able to bring ourselves back to a state of grounded calm in order to take back control of our own bus, and make sure that the part of us who is driving, is the part that hasn’t lost touch with our own internal compass, our own definitions of success, or the inputs that help us stay well.
And there are times when we are ready–because we know how to call ourselves back to a regulated state from which we can recover and integrate–to stretch outside our comfort zone and expand our capacity to take aligned, intentional action toward our goals.
Some of us may need support to heal and expand our nervous systems so that we can shift blocks and reestablish the pathways that connect us to our own inner state of calm.
No matter where you are on the spectrum–chronically stressed and burned out (or on the verge), (re)building your capacity to spend more time in a state of calm, or ready to spread your wings and learn to fly a little further or a little higher, know that you can always begin right now. The smallest actions, repeated over time, can have profound results.
I hope these resources will support you where you are. For more resources and programs to help you reclaim your wholeness and tap into your potential, subscribe to my newsletter.