Updated: Apr 1
How to stay calm and keep your cool
As I shared in my previous blogs, we get amygdala hijacks from time to time and it is helpful to review the underlying trigger. And, if you are like me, such feelings of losing control and acting in that moment of fit often make us regret afterwards. So, how can we stay calm and keep cool?
Thankfully, there are ways to retrain our amygdala as a means to rewire the neural connections in our brain that the situation does not need to be seen as a danger.
So, this week, I am sharing my daily routine that has helped me to stay calm. And, they really work! I have seen a transformative change in how much calmer and at peace I am. As a result, I see myself making better choices and decisions, which lead to better outcomes and a better me.
And, I would love to learn how you cope too, so drop me an email or comment below with your ideas.
3 Strategies to Stay Calm and Keep Cool
Stay Calm . Keep Cool
#1 – 10 to 20 Minutes of Daily Quiet Moment (or Meditation)
For those of you who do not meditate, telling you to meditate would be an overwhelming and unachievable task. Let alone, stay calm and keep cool!
But, how often have you gone by the entire day without a minute of quiet time? You are either rushing from one meeting to the next, from work to family, or squeezing in time to order your grocery or run that errand? This is often the reality of our lives, isn’t it?
So, I am going to challenge you to set aside 10 to 20 minutes each day of what I call your quiet moment. And whatever time it works for you, or if you wish to split it to 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening. That’s perfectly fine!
During this time, all you need to do is the following 2 things (and if you can add on the meditation, it’s a bonus!):
Set your Intention
Reflect on your intentions and what you want to choose to show up to the external world? Do you want to exude yourself as calm and confident? Or perhaps kind and positive? Regardless what your intention is, this intention you set will last you through the day.
I personally set aside the first 15-20 minutes of the morning after I brushed my teeth to do my meditation followed by intention setting for the day. My objective is to have this time undisturbed by emails, messages, or my son asking for my attention. So, I actually intentionally wake up earlier than the family so I can have this personal time for myself. My intention typically comprises my mantra of loving and kindness, and additional ones like confidence or calmness depending on what my day looks like. Once I set my intentions for the day, I try my best to stick with them. And, what does that mean? Go to tip #2!
Reflect on the day (or the prior day) and ask yourself how the day has gone. What do you like and what do you dislike about your actions? What can you do more of what you like and change what you dislike? This is not about judging yourself and bashing yourself up for actions you wished you hadn’t taken. Rather, treat this as a learning experience to remain curious, explore and learn how you can be a better person. Today is a brand new day. A new opportunity. And, the day you can make a change.
And, for those of you who wish to try out meditation, I highly recommend the free app Insight Timer. It has tons of free guided meditations for beginners.
#2 – Practise pausing before acting
How often have you spoken or acted before you pause to think about the intention of your response? Ever since I started to practice taking that one pause, and remind myself of my intention for the day, I have often been able to surprise myself with my response. When an unpleasant or perhaps even annoying situation happens, I would ask myself how my intentions of loving and kindness would want me to respond? Trust me, when I have to answer this question, most often than not, I would have calm down and able to keep my cool.
The key is to practice this as much as you can in your daily communications, so much so that it re-wire your brain to accept this as the new habit. And when the stressful moment triggers, you will be able to control and naturally take the pause that you need.
#3 – Reframing my perspective
I am sure you have heard from others asking you to change your perspectives. Perhaps, you even tell others to do that. And, how often have you told yourselves to change your perspective?
Yes, perhaps it is time to retrain your brain to reframe your perspective of situations. I personally like to use the blame versus outcome frame, as described below, for any negative or unpleasant events. Keep practicing and practicing, to the point that when a situation arises, your brain would automatically pick the helpful frame to use!
Blame versus Outcome Frame
Unfortunately, our default mind is a fault-finding mind. How often do you find yourself trying to find the “root cause” or “culprit”? When we do so, we are directly telling our brain to find the negative, which means we will also get a negative meaning back from our brain to respond negatively!
On the other hand, the outcome frame focuses on achieving the desired result. When you focus on this, your brain will be curious and find ways to solve the puzzle for you. And, when you are in a curious state, it is unlikely you will react in a fit of anger.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Remember, these strategies will work if you practice them consistently! If you can commit yourself to new and healthier habits for 21 days, I am certain you will notice the difference. You will do what’s good for you, won’t you?
With love & empowerment,