7 Strategies Successful People Use to Remain Calm

How to Feel Calm

Want to know what strategies successful people use to remain calm. Even when things are going crazy for them? In this blog and video I break down 7 things that you too can do in order to bring a sense of calmness and tranquility back to your life. 

I believe this list came from Shawn Stephenson’s podcast The Model Health Show. I’ve searched his site but can’t seem to find the direct link to it, but if you can find it, it’s worth a listen. 

Anyway, in brief here are the strategies to look to use in your own life to remain calm.

#1 Breathe

Most people breath in a way that activates their fight or flight response. That is, breathing shallow into the chest, and often with their mouth. There’s a lot to breathing we could talk about, but it’s benefits include (living – obviously!), lowering blood pressure and pulse, clearer thinking, decreasing stress, boosting the immune system and more. Focus on breathing into the belly and in/out through the nose. That would be a great start. 

When feeling particularly stress, take 10 long deep diaphragmatic breaths. Exhale longer than you inhale. 

#2 Sleep

We sleep around 1.5 hours a night less than our 1950’s counterparts. Sleep affects every single system in the body. And not getting enough of it impairs so much of our day. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep (not just time in bed) in order to function optimally. When you are sleep deprived (ask any new parent) it’s going to be so much easier to snap or be stressed. Prioritise sleep. 

I’ve worked hard on my sleep improving it significantly over the last 8 years. From needing 45 minutes to fall asleep and getting up several times in the night and not being rested, to the complete opposite. Better, more restful sleep that comes to me easily every night. For more on sleep strategies, check out http://thethoughtgym.com/sleepsoundly 

#3 Appreciate What You Have

Live with an attitude of gratitude. It’s a cliche, but wherever there is a cliche, it’s worth paying attention to it. There’s usually good reason it’s a cliche. Since 2011 I’ve been writing a gratitude log, and it’s usually the first thing I recommend to clients I work with – regardless of the reason they have come to me. Within 30 days of doing some king of consistent gratitude practice people feel much better about life. This helps you feel calm as well and think about this too. If you can’t feel appreciation for what you currently have in your life – no matter how little you think you have – what makes you think you’ll be grateful in the future if you get more? 

#4 No What If’s

This is something I’m massively guilty of a lot of the time. Thinking about “what if”. Whether that be about past regrets or what could go wrong. Successful people don’t lament on the negative “what if’s”. If they are thinking about “what ifs” it’s more likely to be “what if this works” or similar. 

Thinking about what if you’d asked that particular person out when you were 15 years old, isn’t going to change things now. Don’t get caught up on ‘what ifs’ (advice for me, as much as anyone else). 

#5 Re-Framing

Re-framing is a powerful tool that I think I first came across when studying NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) back in 2006-2011. Essentially, it’s about deciding on a perspective you wish to take on a situation. Often we can’t change the events that have happened – well, we actually can’t. They have happened. But we can change how we view (or frame) them. 

When I bust my knee (again) at the end of 2018, just days before a month-long yoga trip to Goa, India, I had to use re-framing in a massive way. I needed to look at the injury as an opportunity to focus on other things while away. Trying out easier yoga, breathwork, healing modalities and writing my third book. By reframing things I was able to be happier about the experience. If I saw it as a massive barrier, I would have had a miserable time. As it was, it was a great experience and I tried out things I might never had done otherwise. 

#6 Share with Others

Sharing is Caring (is what one of my nieces always says!). Successful people share their successes, failures, concerns and celebrations with others. We are a species that has only survived on this planet because of our cooperation with one another – not our competition. We need others to fully experience all that it means to be human. Sharing thoughts, ideas, frustrations and everything else with people we trust and can depend on helps us to remain in check, and calm. 

#7 Disconnect from Technology

Technology is neither good nor bad. It just is. Or use of it can be good or bad, however. Most people in my experience as addictive to their devices. The last 10 years has been crazy for this. And it’s built into the experience of most apps to be addictive. 

My advice is to spend the first two and last two (if you can) hours away from technology, during the day. And again shut down for an hour or two during the day. Too many people can’t even go to the toilet without checking tech. I’m no luddite (against technology), but I do appreciate it’s more murky side. Use it, don’t abuse it. You use it, don’t let it use you. 

Have conversations with friends and leave the phone in your bag – and in airplane mode or off. Just pull it out at the end to call an Uber or figure out the way home. No need to constantly be checking social media, or showing photos, or Googling the answer to a minor brain-scratcher mid conversation. 

So, there you have seven strategies that you can employ to help you successfully remain calm. 

I do believe that if you use these, you will find the calm and tranquility in your life that you are seeking. 

What are your strategies? What do you think of this list? Can you do them all? Let me know below. 

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