May 2, 2012

5 Ways to Stay Calm in a Crazy World

5 Ways to Stay Calm in a Crazy World

We live in a crazy, busy world.  We are constantly working, rushing, racking our brains, inventing, and living with our dials turned to high-speed.  The only time that most of us get to sit down and relax is when we get into bed to sleep, but even that can come with the tiring rush of questions and to-do lists that never seem to leave our brains.

So how do we stop rushing around like we're mad?  How do we stay calm in a world that is so crazy?

• Breathe

No, I am not talking about those quick breaths you habitually take when you are running to your next appointment.  I am talking about some serious, sit down and shut up breathing.  Try it right now.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, take a moment to stop.  First inhale through your nose, letting the air seep down into your lungs.  Hold it for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth.  Try this a few times and I promise you will feel a little bit more relaxed.

This is especially helpful during tests.  Whenever I come across a question that is giving me strife, I take a moment to breathe in and out, the return to the question with a clear, level head.

• Everything Must Go

The environment that you live in is directly connected to how crazy your life is.  Seriously, the next time you are crazy busy, look at your bedroom.  When I have everything under control, my room is usually spotless.  But right now, during finals week?  Well, you can guess what my room looks like!

It is really easy to think that you don't have time to clean up, but it will make you feel so much better.  In a way, you are tricking your brain.  I think of it like this - If my room is dirty, in the back of my mind that is just one more thing to take care of.  It is one more thing for me to get annoyed about or dwell on.  However, when I take the time to pick up my clothes and clear out the trash, I feel like my mind and body has a fresh start to do what I need to do.

Another way you can practice this 'everything must go' mentality is to do exactly what it says!  Take the time to grab 5 or 10 things from your room that you don't use anymore and put it in an 'Everything Must Go' box.  Take it to Goodwill or another donation site.  Not only does it eliminate clutter that you don't need, but it makes you feel good about making a difference.

• Find a Friend

One of the best ways to calm down is to let all of your feelings out.  Most of the time when you are feeling overwhelmed, all you need is a listening ear to get your stress to fall a few notches.  Go find that friend, the one that you know will sit and listen to you without judgement, and let it all out.  It may help to give the friend a disclaimer, such as: "Right now I am about to complain and stress out to you about everything that is going on in my life, so get ready!!"

Once you let it all out, let your friend give it right back to you!  They probably have some things they need to de-stress about too!

Let out all of your emotions!  Once your done talking out what's going on in your life, take a moment to breathe, and don't forget to thank your listening buddy!  Sometimes you just need to sit with a friend and hash out your life and problems so that you can get right back up and keep on trucking!

• Shake it Out

There are countless ways for you to practice this.  Turn on some music in your room and dance.  Get a workout video and do it in your living room.  One of my favorite things to do is to search dance videos on YouTube and see if I can follow along.  Next time you are out with friends you can bust out some grade-A dance moves!  Speaking of, go out dancing with friends!  If you're not a dancer, take time to go for a walk down the street or around the block.  It's amazing what you can find when you're exploring outside!

Whatever you do, just go out and get moving.  It will help to clear your mind and it might even tire you out!  Not only that, but shaking it out releases endorphins, and who doesn't love those little suckers??

• Stay Positive

I am a huge advocate of keeping a positive attitude.  It can be so easy to look at the world around us and see how crazy and difficult everything is.  Seeing the light through the trees can be a hard thing to do, but it is so important to your well-being.  Sitting in your negative emotions not only makes your life more difficult, but it can also rub off on those around you, which is never a good thing.

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to appreciate how incredible life is.  Pay attention the beat of your heart and to the intricate way your body works.  Inhale and exhale, and observe your surroundings.  People watch.  This may seem like a way to get back into negative feelings, but think about this: People are interesting.  People are so incredibly interesting and amazing to watch.  I promise that you can find one thing about someone that you find incredibly beautiful, whether it be the way their eyes take in their surroundings, their loud laugh, or the way they seem to fearlessly take on the world.

Life is beautiful, and once you realize that you can (seriously!) bend your own emotions, thoughts and feelings in a way that makes you view the world as an incredible, exhilarating place, your life will be a million times better because of it.

What about you?  What are some ways you stay positive in the midst of craziness?

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