Calm people: Sometimes they can seem like unicorns amongst a sea high-stress individuals. They must just have a calm personality, you think to yourself when you see that one person who looks serene at the airport while everyone else freaks out over a flight delay. But trust us: You have a lot more control over becoming a calmer person than you think.
The truth is, staying calm takes work—especially when life is constantly throwing stressful situations our way, from taking care of our families to working long hours with no breaks. If you want to change the way you react in tough moments and become calmer overall, start with these tips.
How to Become a Calmer Person
1. Find a mantra that works for you
When stressful situations come up, it can be hard not to lose your temper. Even if you're someone who doesn't have the habit of yelling, you may be screaming inside and still stewing over whatever happened hours later.
Here are some examples of calming mantras you can try when a stressful situation pops up, with someone cuts you off in traffic or you have a tense moment with your significant other:
- I am okay
- Breathe in and breathe out
- I can control my stress response
- Stress is not my friend
- I surrender
- Let it be
2. Cleanse your social feeds
Your social media feed could be impacting your mental health more than you realize. For example, if you're constantly feeling jealous of the amazing things all of your friends (or people you don't even know) are up to—even knowing that social media is not the full picture!—this can lead to trapped stress and not-so-great energy the body.
So, feel free to mute, unfollow, or unfriend that inspires feelings of jealous, stress, or generally makes you feel like you aren't good enough. Trust us, you'll be happier for it.
3. Try progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a two-step process, which can be done twice a day (if that's not manageable for you, try once!)
In progressive muscle relaxation, the point is to slowly tense and then relax each muscle group. This will help you notice when you're tense, and when you're relaxed—and you'll start to become more aware of physical sensations in everyday life. For example, if you find yourself tensing up all your muscles when you're stressed out, you're more likely to notice it and then relax them. When we relax our bodies, it's easier to relax our minds.
4. Enforce healthy boundaries
It can be hard to stay calm when your boundaries are always being crossed, whether you're in a work situation or a personal situation. You can sit down and have a conversation with someone you want to set better boundaries with, or simply put them into effect—you don't owe anyone an explanation. If you need more advice for how to set boundaries, you can read our blog post on it here.
5. Try yoga, meditation, or any other calming lifestyle tweak that works for you
If meditation isn't for you, don't worry—you don't have to meditate to become a calmer person. Maybe you need your calming exercise with a side of movement. In that case, great: Give yoga a try. If neither of those work for you, try running or another kind of demanding cardio workout. That rush of endorphins and runner's high can work wonders when you're stressed out.
Long story short: Becoming a calmer person is far from impossible. But if you still find yourself struggling to calm down even with these tips, it may be worth it to talk to a mental health expert who can work with you on a more personalized plan.
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