The idea for this post came to me when I was listening to “The Ballad of Serenity”, one of my favorite songs and the intro soundtrack of Firefly, one of my favorite TV-shows. I think that serenity can have a very positive impact on feeling happy and satisfied with one’s own life. It also helps accepting other people, since you will remain calm about their mistakes. Stopping to rage about stupidly acting people can save a lot of energy, which can be used for something else. But of course controlling yourself isn’t as easy as it sounds, although I think it is trainable. I consider myself as a serene person. I don’t get mad very easily (there are some situations though, where I wish that I could just get really angry about something) and I want to share with you some aspects which often help me to keep calm.
First of all, when I feel a tiny bit of rage coming up inside me, I try to take a moment to consciously feel and acknowledging it. This helps me find the source of this feeling. I always want to know why exactly I am getting mad about something. Is someone really pissing me off or am I just very stressed about everything else? Whatever it is, if you know where it comes from, it will help you to let it go quickly as well.
Also I always ask myself what I gain from being mad. By becoming aware of the benefit of being mad (or its unnecessity), it often doesn’t seem worth it and the feeling automatically fades away. We are often just getting stressed by loosing time because other people don’t act as they should, for example in traffic or in the line at the supermarket, when the one in front of you is searching for every cent to pay the exact amount. But just take a breath and quickly guess, how much time you are loosing through that. Did you ever saw someone searching for the right money longer than 30 seconds? How much faster would you be home, if you could drive those 10 km/h faster? If you’re already late, a few seconds more or less won’t matter anyway, so it’s better to arrive relaxed.
For training to relax more in such situations, I found something quite simple in here. When you have time just get into the longest lane in the supermarket. This way you will get used to waiting and handle unexpected delays more serene. Search for ways to slow yourself down when you find the time. You are scrolling through social media? Try to find a spot in your house, where the wifi is weak and continue there, waiting for every picture and video to load for a bit first. For myself I think that this is a really good training for patience, and I want to try it out in the future. The good thing is, that you can slow down almost everything. It’s up to you to find opportunities to steadily train to remain calm when something takes longer than expected.
From James Clear I got another approach on doing so. Although he actually meant it as a training to feel more confident, I think it also works fine to be more calm. He suggests to just take two minutes every day to do nothing, not watching TV, playing with the phone or talking to anybody. I actually already tried this out a long time ago and I found it pretty helpful. Sadly I didn’t manage to stick to it, but I wanna try again. It gave me some time to think about myself and reflect on how I was doing with everything.
So why always stress about every second other people cost you? Take the time to think and to relax, so you can use your powers for something more important and fun.