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January 24, 2013

9 Ways to Be Calm & Collected When You're Not



How are you feeling on this lovely, chilly Thursday? I’m in solutions mode, trying to break one of my many self-made conundrums down into smaller pieces so I can tackle it bit by bit. My approach these days is to identify the problem and what caused it, then put my energy towards finding solutions and not towards anxiety.

It’s easy to be hard on yourself, but that doesn’t make it better. Not even a little bit. Which brings me to what I want to share with you today.

There’s always going to be something going on with you or with someone you love. If you’re not distracted by your own problems, maybe you feel heavy with all the dysfunction in the world around you. Maybe you didn’t wash clothes this weekend and you have to wear your ugly bra or your uncomfortable panties today. Maybe you’re cutting back on sugar and caffeine and you feel like slapping someone. We’re not talking about me, of course. We’re talking about you. Of course.

But if we were talking about me, I’d tell you that I always seem to be in some kind of pickle or impossible situation and you’d never know it by the way I carry myself. I firmly believe in “acting as if”. This just means that I know that everything always works out for the best, even if it’s not exactly what I want. So to avoid driving myself crazy in the meantime, I conduct myself as if everything is already sorted out. Because I believe that strongly that it will be, soon enough. This is my coping strategy. Every determined woman should have one. Do you?

If not, consider trying mine! And to top it off, here are a few tips for staying calm and collected through the ups and downs that you face this week:

[1} Say your affirmations. Start each day by reading something uplifting. It helps me to tune into a specific one and repeat it throughout the day. Like this one: “Problems are the price you pay for progress.”

{2} Be spiritual. When you are connected to a source bigger than yourself, your problems seem less dramatic. You can find peace in the belief that there's a greater force at work and that everything happens for a reason.

{3} Let go. Don’t spend all day fretting and complaining. Pray first thing in the morning and intermittently throughout the day. But don’t obsess.

{4} Do not engage. Don’t be sucked into silly arguments, debates or negative discussions. One of my favorite Ghandi quotes: “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their muddy feet.”

{5} Know your triggers and proactively avoid them. Stay away from people and things that vex you. Does social media bring you down sometimes? If so, by all means, disconnect.

{6} Pause before speaking/reacting. Don’t let the world make you feel rushed. Take your time to think before you speak. Sometimes our initial reaction is to feel defensive - especially when we have a lot going on under the surface – and this can lead to tension. Set your own pace and remember, “If you complain about the world moving too fast, then you can choose to slow down.”

{7} Take action. Do what you can, when you can. Procrastination will only make you feel more overwhelmed. Take whatever steps you can towards finding solutions. This will make you feel more peaceful.

{8} Dress well. Even if you feel a bit disheveled on the inside, you don’t need to look that way. Shannon Ables said it well, “How we dress communicates to others how we view ourselves and how we expect to be treated.” Looking good helps you feel good. So, I see it as just another way to attract positivity.

{9} Consider the worst case scenario. If you absolutely must go there, then go ahead and make peace with the worst that could happen. Then see #3.

Help me out. I know I have a bunch of poised, grace-under-fire readers. Share your tips in the comments below! You never know who might benefit from your advice.

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