More than ever, we are bombarded with distractions that pull us away from the present moment. For example, you are having breakfast and the phone rings—you answer, but also receive a text while you are trying to talk and then hear a ding as someone pops up on Facebook chat. Is that really a relaxing way to eat breakfast and start your day?
Yet finding some calm amidst the chaos is essential to our mental and physical well-being. So whether you are feeling distracted, overwhelmed or both, here are three steps to create inner calm in a chaotic world.
1. ASSESS YOUR STRESS
Ask yourself: What in my life makes me feel stressed out, overwhelmed, tired, drained and tense? Look at every aspect of your life: personal, professional, family, spiritual. Do you feel any of these are neglected or imbalanced? Are you doing less of the things that bring you joy, like spending time with family, or pursuing a hobby? Once you know the answers, it is much easier to create solutions and begin to live ON balance instead of OFF balance.
2. SIT WITH YOUR CHAOS
Awareness is the first step to changing any habit or aspect of your life. Find a comfortable position to rest for a few minutes and become aware of your bodily and mental sensations. If you feel pressed for time, incorporate awareness into your everyday life activities such as when you take a morning shower or eat a meal.
Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose. Then create a sigh of relief and exhale as you relax your muscles and surrender to the moment. Notice where you feel tightness or tension and where you feel lightness and softness in your muscles.
Open your mouth and notice how your jaw muscles feel. This is an area where we tend to hold tension if we are under chronic stress. Notice where you hold your stress and where you feel the opposite—calm, peace and softness.
The simple act of being aware of the sensations in your body helps you to relax and brings you to a state of calm. You can play uplifting pleasant music while you engage in this exercise, so that you feel more relaxed and energized at the same time.
Read Related: Clean the Clutter & Cut the Stress: Tips from Peter Walsh
3. PRIORITIZE YOUR LIFE
Too often we fall into the trap of filling up our schedules with activities that are not leading us towards accomplishing our life goals. Lack of priorities will slowly lead us to a dulled out and drained existence.
Ask yourself, every morning: What is my priority today? What is of utmost importance for me to accomplish? Set a goal to accomplish two or three tasks each day. Include time to be conscious of what triggers stress in you, notice how you feel throughout the day and take steps to bring more balance into your life by nurturing your body and mind.
Prioritizing self-care is key. For example, schedule time to exercise and eat healthy food and try to incorporate your baby or child into that activity. New mothers can sign up for a mom & baby fitness class, yoga or dance.
Remember that what we can control is our inner state, and that calm begins within. Feel great about every accomplishment; thank yourself daily for all your efforts and time devoted to bettering your life, your family and you.
Practice these techniques daily and see how they benefit you. Listen to my guided meditation I Am So Worth It. It will reinforce your efforts to cultivate calm amidst the chaos.