When I think of ‘Calm’ I think of a gently flowing stream, with the sounds of singing birds in the background and the sweet scents of summer flowers…
A peaceful setting.
Presence, in the moment. Acceptance, of being.
What do you think of?
And, what does ‘being calm’ actually mean?
It’s interesting because as an adjective it means:
not showing or feeling nervousness, anger, or other strong emotions.
Yet, as a noun it means:
the absence of strong emotions; calm feelings.
So, which one is it?
When you are feeling calm, are you absent of strong emotions or are you not showing them?
Also, when does an emotion become ‘strong’?
With calm often being considered as a relaxing state… what about when it is achieved in a heightened state?
Sports performance, perhaps… when athletes find a state of ‘flow’, I would classify that as calm too.
I have struggled with anxiety, and panic, especially whilst fighting.
But it was the ability to create a calmer state, combined with the confidence in myself and my ability, that allowed me to become a champion.
When I was in a state of panic, my heart and mind racing, in the earlier fights, the losses, I could not think or react properly, I wasn’t breathing deeply, I was incapable of drinking, and my muscles were constantly tense… it was exhausting! And certainly not enjoyable. I began to enjoy fighting much more when I learned how to master my mindset and create calm. I also began winning too.
I live my life in a high-energy state – I love doing lots, I am passionate about many things…people often ask how I do it all… My response is
I eat well, and I sleep well
I have also created a balance, with moments of ‘calm’, throughout my day, too.
As excitement is reframed anxiety, it is still a state which needs recovery from.
So, I have been thinking of the best ways to easily create moments of calm (without the luxury of meditating by a river, or a full hypnosis session) and thought I would share these with you…
1. Focus on your breathing
Even if it’s only for one, slow and deep, breath.
Ideally, take several or set aside a few minutes, in between stressful tasks, especially.
If you feel yourself becoming more anxious, focusing on your breathing also helps to regulate your nervous system.
There are many different breathing techniques but here are 3 of my favorites;
– The physiological sigh – Take 2 deep breaths in through your nose (imagine when someone is crying, ad the ‘sniffs’ they do) then release a ‘sigh’. This can have an immediate calming effect but can be repeated up to 3 times, for best effect.
– 7/11 – Breathing in for the count of 7 and out for 11
-Box breathing – breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 4, hold for 4.
2. Focus on clearing your mind of the ‘Monkey chatter’
Begin focusing on your breathing, then you can pay attention to your thoughts. Don’t try to think of nothingness, but perhaps focus on an object in front of you.
Light a candle perhaps and watch the flame flicker. I like to look at the flowers in front of me.
You can close your eyes and choose to imagine something too… or use a guided meditation!
This can also be achieved whilst doing another activity too. If you have concentrated your attention toward the task at hand. For example, lifting a weight, or continuing to run whilst out of breath, your mind won’t be thinking of the million and one things on your ‘to do’ list!
3. Focus on your body language/posture
If you carry stress in your body, your shoulders perhaps, you can draw your attention towards where you want to relax – tense it up as you breathe in, then on the exhale, release all of that tension.
You can also do this as a short exercise to create focus/relaxation, working through different body parts with each breath.
This is my favorite thing to recommend – combining all 3 of these tips, as you are using the breath, focusing on something specific and releasing physical tension too!
If you can find the time to fit these in throughout your day, to begin forming the habits, you will notice significant improvements over time.
I would recommend that you use the principle of ‘habit stacking’ (Atomic Habits – James Clear) and pick a habit you already do automatically i.e. end a Zoom call, boil the kettle, or go to the toilet… Ad eventually it will become subconscious and you will do it without having to remember!
If this is something that you struggle with, hypnosis helps!
I have experienced the benefits of hypnotherapy myself, allowing me to release the underlying traumas and change my behavior, around my own anxiety.
I can teach you powerful self-hypnosis tools, too.
If you would like to discuss this further, feel free to book a chat with me: