Top 5 Smart Ways to Remain Calm

The key to remaining calm is to slow down! How do you possibly slow down in today’s fast paced world? Here are 5 smart ways to slow down so you can remain more calm:

1. Think More Slowly

Our minds are programmed to handle huge amounts of data and information. Most of the action happens unconsciously so we don’t even realise the full extent of what our brain is interpreting. Become aware of what you are attending to…and remember the conscious mind can only pay attention to no more than 5-9 things at any one time. So focus your attention on one thing at a time. If you’re doing a task, give it your full attention. If your mind wanders to something you must do tomorrow for example, bring your attention back to the present. Lists may be useful for some.

2. Engage more slowly

When involved in a conversation with someone give them your full attention. Focus on what they are saying, listen to the words they use, try to understand the meaning behind the message spoken and ask great questions to show you’re fully engaged. The same rules apply whether it’s your boss, employee, partner, child, or the person serving you at the supermarket….when you do this your interactions will have more meaning and your brain will feel more relaxed.

3. Breathe more slowly

If we want to be calm and relaxed our breathing needs to be carried out more purposefully. Quick rapid breathing, which is shallow and higher in the chest, alerts the brain that there’s some kind of danger ahead, real or imagined. So it’s good practice to do some deep breathing whenever you have a spare moment, to keep you in a calm state. Breathe in to the count of seven and out to the count of eleven.

4. Eat more slowly

How often do you gulp down your food? Are you eating on the run or standing up at the bench grabbing a quick bite? Are you starting your meal only to leave it half-finished because your attention is needed elsewhere? Food was meant to be chewed and savoured, to be smelt and looked forward to…the teeth do all the chewing, saliva provides the enzymes to start breaking down the food and these two processes alert the stomach to produce the acid needed for the digestive system to work efficiently. If food is ‘inhaled’ it’s a signal to the brain that there’s stress ahead.

5. Get ready for bed more slowly

After a busy day, often bedtime comes along and you’re exhausted! Worn out from too much to do and not enough time to do it in! And so you finish up everything that needs to be done, remembering all those last minute things too, and crawl into bed expecting to fall right to sleep. Sometimes you might go to sleep the moment your head hits the pillow, only to wake up at 2 am with your brain totally ‘wired’ and you can’t turn it off, or you get into bed and struggle to turn the brain off as you go over all the stuff you did do, didn’t do and more! The brain needs to be turned off slowly for restful sleep to take place. Go about things more calmly, turn of the computer/smartphone an hour before bed, read a book or a magazine, relax for 20 minutes to signal that you’re preparing for sleep.

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