Thoughts From The Road: Calm Down

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We’ve all had a moment (or possibly a few moments) in our lives when we felt like we weren’t in control. Work tasks, social calls, personal projects, and everything else mount and before we know it, we feel overwhelmed and a little helpless. If we are not careful, these negative feelings can really begin to run their course and become our new norm. 

To avoid this, we have to really make the effort to remain positive and channel our energy in a positive direction. Whenever I feel like I’ve lost control, it’s really easy for me to see things through a negative lens. That’s why I try my best to always vocalize the positive in every situation. For instance, if we are late for an eLife Reflection: Calm Down, Gay Travel, My Normal Gay Lifevent or traffic is at a standstill, I try to keep in mind that perhaps we are where we are because in any other situation at that moment something bad might happen to us. There is always a positive side to everything and it takes time and effort to really be able to see it. But once you’ve developed this habit, it becomes much easier. Things don’t seem so out of control and you learn to be grateful for what’s thrown your way.

That doesn’t mean we have to accept everything indiscriminately. It simply means we learn to deal with a lack of control sometimes. Understanding this will help lower anxiety in our lives and when that happens we actually gain a bit more control. 

If we begin to feel anxious, we shouldn’t try to control that situation. We have to allow ourselves to feel whatever it is we feel. We can’t beat anxiety down. That’s not an effective way of dealing with it. Instead, we need to slow down and take a deep breath. Maybe take a calm walk outside or take a short nap. Whatever it is we need to do in order to calm down, we should do it. Remember, our own personal well-being should be a priority. 

When we’ve accomplished some semblance of calm, we’ll begin to see more clearly. Suddenly, things won’t seem so bad and we might even see the benefits of the situation. Overtime, and with practice, our current projects and even our lives become more clear and meaningful if we do not allow anxiety to rule us.

Calm is the key to a better existence despite our lack of control. Do you know what happens, when our approach to set backs envelops an air of calm? We feel happier. Isn’t that the ultimate goal in life?

J Harvey

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