How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. – Marcus Aurelius
How many destructive events have happened in our life due to our inability to stay calm? Anger, for example, causes far more destruction than that which usually makes us angry. Our reaction takes an upsetting situation and turns it into pure chaotic armageddon. If we would have just remained calm, then the original issue would have quickly resolved.
Not only do we make situations worse by not staying calm but we are often completely blinded. Our emotions cause us to see things that aren’t there. We make accusations and assumptions that are not based in reality. We become engulfed by paranoia, suspicion, and tunnel vision.
Although in life it’s not always possible to remain calm in every situation. All of us have a ‘breaking point,’ but we can increase the thresh-hold on that breaking point by changing our perspective and using specific exercises.
Change Your Perspective
When we are angry or upset, we often lose our sense of time. We are trapped in the moment and the emotion itself. However, emotions are all temporary – even the good ones. It’s important to remember that whatever you are feeling at the moment will eventually pass. Even though you feel anxiety or anger, it doesn’t mean you need to act on it. You can stop the impulse to act out by realizing that within a short period of time you will feel better. The body can only hold onto an emotion for so long before it gets exhausted. You just need to wait it out. Give yourself a period of time before you react to the issue.
Give yourself a period of time before you respond to the issue. Tell whoever you were having the issue with that you need a break to think about what’s going on. Give yourself 15 minutes or longer if you need, then come back and address the issue once you feel the emotions have lifted.
Be Objective About The Problem
After your emotions are under control, try to look at the issue as objectively as possible. Focus on solving the problem instead of arguing for the need to be right. The goal should also be to come out with a win/win situation for everyone. For example, if you and your roommate are arguing about who is supposed to do the dishes, look for compromise. Offer solutions in which you both win or come out equally as possible. If your roommate hates doing dishes, suggest that you do the dishes and they do a different chore. Once you start trying to create win/win situations, you will be shocked at how many opportunities there are to do so.
Being understanding is paramount to the art of staying calm. If you can’t understand other people, then you will be constantly irritable. You need to be able to accept the fact that everyone has problems and that no one is perfect. Most people don’t intentionally try to be wrong or make mistakes, but we all do.
Learning to connect with other people and address your personal issues together is what creates lasting life bonds. However, it doesn’t just create lasting life bonds but it helps solve problems. If you know your best friend struggles with social anxiety, then you can help them address these matters. By addressing these issues together, you prevent the likelihood of future arguments or problems between you.
Secondly, be sympathetic towards yourself. Often we lose calm because we turn those negative emotions inwards. We think that we are terrible or have made an unforgivable mistake which usually isn’t true. Realize you’re human also and you make mistakes, and that’s normal. By understanding that it’s ok to make mistakes, you will improve your ability to stay calm in stressful situations.
Three Steps On How To Remain Calm:
- Give Yourself Time (All Emotions Pass)
- Look At A Win/Win Resolution To Problems
- Be Understanding Of Yourself and Others