Calm, Clear, and Centred, When Everything Around You Is Crazy!
by Abe Brown
Confused… Cluttered… Exhausted…
Worn Out… On Edge…
These words described me, at a point in my life when nothing was working, efforts were failing, and time was accelerating. There was too much on my plate, not enough in my tank, and my daily calendar had absolutely no margin. A coach of mine suggested that I take some time for a personal retreat; to get away and rest, renew, and re-focus. My response was to suggest that I just did not have the time. As soon as I said it, I knew it was not so much that I didn’t have the time, but I was not taking the time. So, I did.
When I felt confused, cluttered, exhausted, and worn out, I was not alone. 75% of the general population experiences at least some stress every two weeks. Stress is so prevalent that the U.S. Public Health Service has made reducing stress one of its major health promotion goals. According to the American Institute of Stress, workplace stress costs more than $300 billion each year in health care, missed work, stress-reduction, and lost productivity (www.stress.org/workplace-stress). Stress contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, cancer, and many other illnesses. Stress also affects the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases. Stress contributes to the development of alcoholism, obesity, suicide, drug addiction, cigarette addiction, and other harmful behaviours.
The truth is that often we are stressed because we do not take time for ourselves. Ovid said that, “What is without periods of rest will not endure.” I agree, and also, who is without rest will also not endure.
For many of us, summer is a strategic opportunity to take a little extra time to ensure we are calm, clear, and centred. So how can we stay calm, clear and centred, when everything around us is going crazy?
1. Find a Process to Unload Your Anxiety
This can be journalling, prayer, or meditation, or even venting over a coffee with a close friend. We are what we think, and we become the product of the thoughts we consistently believe and embrace. Healthy self-care involves teaching ourselves how to think healthy thoughts consistently which will empower and inspire us. Developing a positive mindset is one of the most powerful life strategies there is! Finding a process to dump our anxiety allows us to express it, rather than suppress it, and this leads to significantly healthier outcomes.
2. See What Really Matters in Life
Way back around 30 AD, Jesus said this: “…do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” He was telling us to see the things in life that are really important, what really matters in life. See, most of us have anxiety over that which really has no significance or value. We worry about what we will eat, what we will wear, and if all our carefully crafted plans will come to pass. Though those things are important, we need to see what’s really important in life. Life is way more important than material things.
3. Realize Your Incredible Value and Worth
When we realize how valuable we are, our anxiety fades. Anxiety basically flows out of an insecurity within us that says we won’t be looked after or taken care of because we are unloved. Well, when you see that you are loved, that you are valuable and important, it takes away the need to worry and be anxious. Because you are valuable and precious, there is no need for anxiety. Simply trust.
4. Remember the Result of Anxiety (Both Positive and Negative)
What is the result of anxiety? Absolutely nothing! Nobody ever gets anything done by worrying about it! When you see that all the energy we spend being anxious really accomplishes nothing, you’ll be motivated to quit. Thomas Jefferson said this: “How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened!” Who of us by worrying ever achieved anything?
5. Live Day-By-Day
Most of us worry about things so far into the future, or things that aren’t settled yet. Why worry and have anxiety today over something that is beyond our control and something that won’t be settled for a while yet anyways? We need to learn to live day by day. When we do, we’ll probably find that much of what we get anxious over fades anyways.
6. Take Time for You
There are two primary ways to do this:
Exercise – There’s not much that impacts our lives that exercise won’t help fix. Literally, by moving our body and exercising, we are breaking the pattern of circular fear-based thoughts, and releasing endorphins (the “feel-good” hormones). So many times, when I have been in a place of anxiety or stress, just going for a hard run or a solid workout breaks the fear. Scientists say physical activity improves mental health by helping the brain cope better with fear and stress. It also has preventive value. People who get regular vigourous exercise are far less likely to develop an anxiety disorder over the next five years than those who do not. Exercise also boosts your energy and changes your moods.
Laughter – Laughter is strong medicine for the mind and for the body. Check out some of the amazing benefits of laughter:
- Laughter relaxes the whole body.
- Laughter boosts the immune system.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones.
- Laughter lowers stress hormones.
- Laughter enhances our attractiveness and relationships.
- Laughter eases anxiety and fear.
Take these simple, yet practical tips and ensure that at the end of THIS year, you will be calm, clear and centred, even if everything around you is crazy!
Abe Brown is the Coach’s Coach, the Founder and President of Momentum Coaching (www.momentumcoaching.ca), and the President of the Certified Coaches Federation (www.certifiedcoachesfederation.com). Momentum Coaching has experienced triple-digit growth for several years running, and the Certified Coaches Federation has trained and certified over 12,500 Life and Executive Coaches in the last six years. Abe is the author of the transformational book, Getting Where You Need to Go, which is selling worldwide. He has developed life and business coaching tools which have been put into use all over North America and the world. For more information, see the colour display ad on page 27 of the 23.2 July/August issue of the WHOLifE Journal.