Calm Down! - Grasshopper
One of the biggest directives without direction is “Calm down,” followed closely by “Relax.”
What’s a person to do when given those instructions?
We expect a result without highlighting a pathway to peace.
There are many palliatives people use to achieve the goal: alcohol, drugs and the like, but they are numbing agents that only mask the symptoms of being “stirred up.”
The question to ask is: “What’s not calm?” The answer is always our mind.
Our non-stop internal dialog keeps stirring the pot and keeps unrest alive.
What has to calm down or relax is our inner chitchat. There is a way to do that that works. The answer is “get into your body.”
It’s a deceptively simple process. All you need to do is to take your attention into your body. That’s easily accomplished by noticing what’s going on in certain body parts, like your hands or feet. Just take a moment to notice the sensations in a certain body part. This attention takes the focus off the mind and into the body.
Once you notice what’s going on in a certain body part, just gently shift your attention to another and sense what’s going on there. After a few minutes of this attention to bodily sensations, you notice that your conversations have significantly calmed down without you having to take a “calming agent.”
For centuries, it has been recommended to pay attention to your breathing. Don’t try and control it; just notice it. Just by paying attention to your breathing, you have removed your focus from the mind and into the body.
Practice these techniques when the house is not on fire. That way when a four alarm comes along you’ll be practiced in what to do.
“Relax” and “Calm Down” result from specific actions, not empty commands.
The next time you hear yourself or someone else offer cotton candy directives like “Relax” or “Calm Down,” let it serve as a trigger to pay attention to what’s going on in your own body. It’s your ticket to peace of mind.
All the best,
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