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In our nonstop world, finding inner peace can feel as elusive as a butterfly in a storm , yet within each one of us lies an oasis of calm waiting to be discovered. So let’s talk about what you can do to cultivate that calmness, even when you feel like you’re surrounded by chaos.

calculating chaos

On a scale of 1 to 5 with number 1- I have no idea that I’m amidst the chaos until I’m elbows deep in it, and 5 – Yes, I see the storm on the horizon and I adjust my sails.

  • How adept are you at recognising the impending storm?
  • Are you taken by surprise only to become aware of the chaos once you’re tossing and turning through the night?
  • Do you find yourself reacting disproportionately at work because we’re sucked into that low level of agitation.
  • Do you notice you’re carrying an extra load right now?

You increase your self care by taking a warm bath with lavender oil and getting an early night. Do you dial in the nutrient rich foods that you know your body especially likes or up the ante on your adaptogen herbs. Your nervous system is designed to weather the storm that lands and then leaves.

support your nervous system

It’s not this fragile thing, needing to be wrapped up in cotton wool and protected from the elements, but you can make it easier on yourself by supporting your nervous system through making more resilience building blocks available. Here’s what you’re not being told by the experts.

The goal isn’t to run away from the storm. Your goal is to notice it on the horizon, step up, lean into the discomfort, and weather that storm. Then when the storm is past, survey your ship and undertake any maintenance that is needed.

So acknowledge the stress, but choose to steer your own course rather than letting stress steer your ship. You’re not the chaos. You’re merely the observer of the chaos.

your mind is like the sky

Think of your mind as a sky. Clouds may appear, some dark and heavy with rain. The wind may howl, but behind those clouds, you’ll find clear blue sky. Your job is to focus on that constant calm blue sky rather than the fleeting turbulence of the clouds. So we mentioned a few self care options for you when you’re bracing yourself in anticipation of the chaos, but there’s one particular somatic or body based practice that will make all the difference. And that’s mastering your calm using the power of your breath.

mastering your breathing

When you’re anxious or upset, you tend to take short quick breaths. We use our intercostal muscles, which live between our ribs and our chest wall. Now you’ll notice that you’re using them because when you take a deep breath in, your shoulders will lift up and move towards your ears. Do it often enough, and it becomes a habit. The challenge with shallow breathing is that it can make you feel anxious. It’s just physiology. So we need to retrain our breathing process.

So first of all, slow that breath down rather than short, sharp and takes a breath, bring long and breathe slow, and make the out breath longer than the in breath. Start with that, breathing long and slow.

Your mind loves a predictable pattern, so let’s overlay breathing long and slow with your diaphragm with a 4 count. Breathe in for 4 counts. Hold it for 4 counts. Breathe out for 4 counts.
Hold it for 4 counts, and repeat this until you notice a calmness within you. Use this box breath as an anchor during turbulent times. Research on patients with high blood pressure shows that slow breathing can reduce your heart rate and lower blood pressure when it’s compared to hypertensive patients who breathe a bit faster. Breathing techniques like the box breath and cyclic sighing can help you to feel calm and more focused, quieting the howling winds within. So it’s great to have these self care options on hand for when you need them.

However, the magic happens when you’re proactive with your self care and body awareness practices, Create a daily ritual that’s dedicated to stillness and self reflection. The more consistently you do it, the more you’ll crave this oasis of calm. And it’s not enough to do this in the morning and again at night, and then be tossed about like a boat on the stormy sea throughout the day.

make the decision

Decide now. When will you do those things that will help you to remain vigilant and notice the storm on the horizon? Not sure? Well, here’s a suggestion. What if you checked in with your body at least 3 times a day, or if you can manage it? Ask yourself, how am I feeling within myself right now? Then compare it with the feeling you would most like to be guiding your day. For example, ask yourself if I was to be full of peace within myself right now, what would that feel like And how does it compare to what I was feeling a moment ago? If you need to adjust your sails for deciding what you can do right now to be aligned with your inner calm.