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Finding Calm in Chaos

Mental Health > Finding Calm in Chaos

We feel our patience tested in a hundred different ways every day. From gridlocked traffic to long check out lines, it can be hard to keep your cool. Before you blow your top try one or a few of the following exercises to restore inner calm.

  1. Finding calm within can be as simple as following your breath. Slow, full, deep breaths from the abdomen can instantly restore calm in even the most chaotic situations.
  2. Visualize something beautiful. Some suggestions include: your child’s smile, your dog’s hearty greeting at the end of the day, sunrise/sunset, the ocean, the mountains…you get the idea.
  3. Make a mental list of all the things for which you are thankful.
  4. Hum your favorite song.
  5. Pay attention. Sometimes we get so caught up in our annoyance about the traffic, we fail to notice all the wonderful things happening in that very moment.
  6. Make a mental list of all the ways you make yourself proud.
  7. Plan a reward or something that you can look forward to doing.
  8. Use your imagination. Make up stories with happy endings about the strangers around you. Decide how you would spend a large windfall.
  9. Read or listen to a book.
  10. Carry a pocket- sized puzzle book.
  11. Plan your 100th birthday party. Who will be there? What will they say about you and the life you have lived?
  12. Pack a snack. Sometimes our irritation is related to hunger or thirst. Carry a water bottle and carrot sticks, raisins or other munchies to tide you over.
  13. Practice abdominal exercises.
  14. Decide if what is happening now will even matter ten minutes after it is over.
  15. Be honest. Sometimes our aggravation is not at all related to what is happening. Are you having residual feelings about something else that has happened, or something that you are worried about?

You may be able to think of other exercises that you can try. The important thing is to find something that works for you and do it whenever you begin to simmer. Don’t wait until you start to boil before you turn down the heat.

Mental Health > Finding Calm in Chaos