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14 Steps to Calm

Before we accept anxiety as a companion, there are tools that can bring us closer to our always-calm center.

A friend called yesterday and shared how she was suffering from daily anxiety and panic attacks. She was the third person to relay a similar story in past weeks. This can’t be good. Embodying calm seems like an elusive dream, but have faith. It’s not out of reach. In fact, it’s right here within.

Before we accept anxiety as a companion, there are tools that can bring us closer to our always-calm center.

Read over this list and choose the practices that resonate with you. It is not comprehensive by any means. Add to it what you know works for you. Then put them into the toolbox of your daily spiritual practice and open your heart to the possibility of newfound peace. Inhale peace. Exhale stress. Ahh.

1. Make exhalations longer.

Start by counting 4 on the inhale and 6 on the exhale, with a goal of 4 in and 8 out. Do this for a few minutes and you will feel the difference immediately. The hallmark of “fight or flight” breathing during a panic attack is rapid breathing and heart rate. By increasing the length of the exhalations, you remind your body that there is nothing to fear and that all is well. When you breathe in a way that signals relaxation, your body follows suit.

2. Use positive affirmations.

There’s an extensive body of research that supports the theory that what we think, we create. The body will default to pathways it already knows, so it takes a little retraining to create new thought habits. Here is a starter list of affirmations, and you can add your own. Your journal, phone notes or index cards placed strategically around the house are good places to keep these. Word everything in the positive and smile with your whole body as you think them – lifting yourself to the higher emotions of gratitude and joy. Use them as mantras during the day:

I am in perfect health. I am calm and serene. Everything is in divine order. I am safe and all is well. I am joyful and peaceful. Today will be an amazing day. I am in the flow of love. I am relaxed and focused. I am in the flow of grace. I love my life.


3. Ask for help on a soul level.

There’s unlimited help available in spirit realms for the asking. A request might go something like this: “Thank you for putting a perfect plan in motion to relax my mind, body and soul. Assist me in using my inner tools to find deep peace. I trust that a beautiful plan is unfolding in my life today and that I have nothing to fear. Thank you for helping me return to my natural state of calm.” Divine grace is benevolent and conspires to help us out. But we must ask clearly and positively. After asking, know you have been heard and assistance is on the way.

4. Stay connected.

Stay connected with your family and closest friends, and share your journey with them. Stress can be isolating, and it’s important to keep an open heart. If you had a physical issue, your beloveds would want to help you out. Same goes for stressful times.

5. Be kind to yourself.

Anxiety is exhausting so skip the self-criticism. Think only loving thoughts of yourself. You are doing the very best you can. You are not alone in this.

6. Exercise.

Yoga, walking, kayaking, dancing, Tai Chi—pick something relaxing that you can do outside or facing a window. Calm your body and soak up the beauties of nature while you release endorphins.

7. Drink lots of water and less caffeine.

Flush toxins and hydrate your cells with plenty of fresh water throughout the day. Cut out soda and limit caffeine to two cups a day, max. Eat whole foods, lots of veggies and avoid processed foods. Your mind, body and soul will thank you.

8. Visualize your wellness.

You don’t have to figure out how to get to where you want to go. Jump right to the result and visualize the joyful, healthy, calm, vibrant you. Just a few minutes of visualization a day is incredibly powerful. Feel the gratitude and joy of being the new you. 


9. Treat yourself.

Now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a massage. With the right practitioner you may find that a monthly massage is not a luxury, but a necessity. Another relaxing treat is an Epsom salt bath. Get a box of Epsom salt at the pharmacy, put a handful in a bathtub and detox away. It has a calming effect and draws toxins out of the body.

10. Use good posture.

If you have taken a yoga class, you know about Mountain Pose and the importance of good posture for optimum health and spiritual connection. Sitting and standing with a straight spine is especially important for stress relief because it allows the lungs to inflate fully. When your lungs are inflating fully, you can take calming breaths.

11. Spend less time on screens, more time in nature.

Computers can short circuit our energy and leave us mentally and physically tense. Spend as much time in nature as possible. Implement a daily walk while leaving the phone at home. Notice your surroundings and be present.

12. Practice Yoga Nidra and play music.

There are many beautiful recordings of Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep that gently guide the body into a deep and healing relaxation. They range in time from about five minutes to one hour. Experiment with a few until you find one that you love. Relaxing music also has proven to have anti-anxiety effects. Stream a calming playlist of music that soothes the soul.

13. Get more sleep.

You may find that you need extra sleep. Adjust your schedule to make sleep a priority. Yoga Nidra at bedtime is the perfect setup for a peaceful night’s sleep.

14. Meditate.

This is the single most important practice for overall mental and spiritual health, and it is suitable for nearly everyone. Learn more about it. Take a class, get a book or read a few articles. Keep it simple. Start where you are. Start today.

So — what are your steps to calm?

If you have some favorite practices, share them so we can all benefit from what works for you. May we enhance our sense of peace so we are clear, calm and healthy as we share our gifts with the world.

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Mary Davis

Mary Davis is a wisdom seeker, spiritual teacher, graphic artist, app designer and author of Every Day Spirit: A Daybook of Wisdom, Joy and Peace.

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Gail Liming
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Gail Liming

Remaining calm has many benefits, such as sleeping better and thinking clearer. I journal a lot which I find helpful, listen to music all day, and take several walks during the day. Your article was well written, thanks for sharing.

Marva clunis
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Marva clunis

Great advice Gail Limping !!

Robina fazal
Member

Thanks!💖💐Mary Davis for Sharing with us an increaďable article on how to be calm….and avoid any anxiety to be a companion ..worthful advices and tips.. Yeah I do believe in self consciousness..and unconsciousness awaŕing to gain soul peace..vigour..vitality..health of mind ,Soul and body.through yoga…Meditations ,Solitude spiritual sessions..divine helps..at times..I use to do all this by myself through out my life…specialy from approximately 18 years up til now..Theses moments in solitude …in meditatins.. in affirmations can make us really a healthy,Supple soft and confident Soul…and we can work out fully in life…we can enjoy life..We can do creative works.. we can enjoy our moments..we can relaxxx…in our loneliness.. we can be happy and in patience when dealing with others..we can enjoy and gain whether doing our routine works and responsibilities..or whether doing any work outs we meant to do..we can take the best advantages from the myth of nature.. in nature we our Soul…can gain the best potential and energies..as myself used to spend time in my house..in parks..where trees..fountains .flowers of various types..early morning walks they have no subtitue ..night walk on roof Moon lit nights ..with stars..sky colours changing..various seasons changes can be enjoy whole having time in nature…All time spent in nature nourishes your Soul mind and body to be more active.. relax.energatic..and full of vigour and stamina.. Regular positive activities..routines..reading..writing..painting..music . dance ..exercises..fresh fruits..fresh juices.. stable diets ..solid and healthy foods.. spiritual sessions with God. Own peace of mind..Will power..resistance ..passions instincts..guts..to be use in best possible manner..in such manner we can lead a healthy happy life with peace..calm.. and stamina.. and make all others sound..and happy..we can acheive our best if we love ourselves faith in ourselves.. and care and respect our Soul.. mind and body.Do best for Own selves to lead a happy healthy life..and to do good for all with love and care..Life is a gift to us from God Almighty…we are here to discover our potentials.. and utilize them for our own selves and for all….Life will become a paradise…❤💐💐💐Amen

PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU
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PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU

AMEN

Sherryramlogan9
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Sherryramlogan9

Hi Ms Davis…I totally agree with everything you said…my way is sitting in my puja (pray) room and talking to God about everything… their I will get all my peace and quietness…even if tears have to flow, it will….

Jeyashree suresh
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Jeyashree suresh

Beautiful 👍
Just learn to let go of things you can’t control… sometimes it’s better to leave a lot of things unanswered for the present… it’s ok if you don’t have the answers…. things will eventually fall in place at the right time…. don’t let situations and people control your emotions …

Kara
Member

Great Article! A lot of good points to look at within ourselves.

PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU
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PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU

YES AMEN

Betty Mathis Rodriguez
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Betty Mathis Rodriguez

I think we all have a certain amount of stress and anxiety, love the breathing excersices !!!!I will certainly give these a try !!!! ☺😃

Melissa Rose Rothschild
Member

Great suggestions! Thank you ❤️

Tiffany Newsome
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Tiffany Newsome

I enjoyed reading the article above. Very helpful

jane cervantes
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jane cervantes

one thing that my mommy taught me is never let anger rule over you…it is wise to correct people of their mistakes or wrong doing but never allow the situation be managed by rage…it is tiring, breath “taking” and worst of all it ruins our body and soul. being calm is really hard to do, but if instead of prolonging the agony of hurting ourselves and other people, maybe we can practice a shrug, turn our back around and press a smile on our face😜 that way we are winner.

Suzan Muhialdeen
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Suzan Muhialdeen

Awesome article because the mentioned steps it help us to get inner peace and serenity, i remembered also steps which helps to calm ,like using coloring pencils to color the grafhics in the coloring book can help to relax ,also make new look could help to be calm like new haircut or hairdo ,….

Kathy Leber
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Kathy Leber

I really needed these positive, thing,s ..that i need to get back, to putting the focus on myself more, and stop stressing so much on trying to help everybody else,s problem,s…especially, family. Love helping ppl, it,lift,s my spirit,s to see that I can lift ppl up….but have alway,s had a bad habit, of forgetting….that I as well need to be lifted, and have some me time. I know I can,t change ppl, but if I can give something to reduce their stress…it does life my spirit,s. I really need to stop taking on so much, and remember…that I too need to , need to be good to myself more often, and music has alway,s been a great stress reliever for me. I seem to better focus, on thing,s that I need to be doing for myself, and it really relax,s my brain. I typically, like listening to Pandora radio…the Elton John station, and sometime,s the Christian rock station….anywho ,thank,s again for sharing these 14 step,s…they were a great reminder, that , I need to put the brake,s on more often, and take care of Kathy more!😊

Margo
Member

Thank you for all the tips on how to be calm. Strangely enough, I work hard to be calm, find inner peace and serenity. I do quite a few of the suggestions on the list, but I’m not great with food. I try to eat properly, but I don’t like real food. Too much fruit & veg actually causes pains in my tummy. Im Vegetarian, therefore I like healthy stuff when I do eat. I’m taking note of the affirmations. Those are good, and I do Yoga Nidra, but it’s only once a week. I can’t do much in private where I live. I could try it indoors, but I find that I need instructor guidance. Anyway, it’s an interesting subject. I wish I was always calm. I used to be. It’s hard to be.

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

I journal a lot, I also read positive books.
Not much but it does help.

carpetmonster74
Member

To also have calm in your life would to go back to nature and connecting with nature’s way

Mikel
Guest
Mikel

When in a traffic jump, using the lift, wating the bus or quing…get your inner, quite ,silence space…feel relaxing your body from the top to the soil .

Dno Nibley
Guest
Dno Nibley

I think for me to have peace of mind is to never mind those bad people ( Sorry for my words ) just make yourself a good person and enjoy a good lifestyle

Lawney
Member

These are all such great steps. I must remember to exhale longer.

Wren Williams
Guest
Wren Williams

Good and helpful article. Thank you. Blessings and Peace

Angeliki Anastasia
Member

Lovely Mary All 14 steps of calmness are extraordinary!!! Just like you aforementioned I love to bike, walk, take many pictures!! While I am walking I get lost in the sky, moon, sun, stars!!! Sometimes I am sooo lost in Absolute calmness, I forget the dangers around me, for example cars, motorcycles, bikes! I also love to connect with lovely people I don’t know and most of all to animals! Birds fly me away to magical places in my imagination!! Of course McGill Media always inspires me and makes me feel very peaceful!! You Mary with your very wise article made me very happy and calm!!!
🙏🙏🙏

Arlenemayran
Guest
Arlenemayran

Thanks for sharing❤️