Changing jobs, dealing with conflict at home, discord amongst friends in your circle, moving, adjusting to the “new normal”… these are all things that can create the perception of overwhelm in your life. I say “perception” because as you know, your thoughts about anything create emotions which ultimately create your reality.
So what if you could shift your mindset and thus how you feel each day by creating more inner calm. It’s like an unshakeable and resilient inner promise to yourself to honor, respect, and care for your peace of mind, body, and spirit.
In today’s episode, I share why it’s actually quite easy to step into calm when the outside world appears spinning off the axis!
Highlights of this episode
Since the moment you were born, this one tool has been available to you for reducing stress and anxiety.
The two types of “control freaks” and why there is a difference.
How anticipation of something you look forward to can move your through stress with much more ease.
Purchase the book
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Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the podcast I am happy you’re here as always I’m really excited for today’s episode because it comes from a recent experience that I had so for those of you that.
Have leaned into this idea of not being out and about dispatch there were a lot of horrible things over the past year and a half obviously it goes without saying that happened and I remember at the beginning of the quarantine saying to someone and I actually almost started crying because I felt so guilty because of the hurt and the pain that was going on in the world and everything we were seeing and hearing about.
And I said to this person I’m feeling so incredibly guilty because I am secretly enjoying this break from the rat race of life and she said Meg you’re not alone and so it was interesting because I had some friends that we’re just going out of their mind crazy not being able to have that interaction and being out and about and staying busy.
And then there were other people that I spoke with that were more along the lines of what I experience where it was almost as though you could jump off of that that wheel that busy wheel and just breathe and re- center and actually.
When that all happened that’s when I created my 30 day reset program in the live more drink less community so I feel good that I know I think there’s also a lot of pressure during that time to get a lot done and do all the things you always wanted to do and write that book and there was just a lot of pressure to while while we were in quarantine.
It was almost like the busyness transferred to well you better be creative and you better learn learn new language and you have to do all the stuff and it was funny because it was like the busyness of the outward world that we were in pre- Covid it just got transferred over for some people thinking that they had to make the most of the time and then there were other people that did just breathe so.
I’m curious what your experience was if you want to leave a comment below I would I would love to to hear your experience during the quarantine and so for me it was a time to reset to create something that I love creating the community that I have with a live more drink less community for people who want to either moderate or just take a break from alcohol.
Recently I stepped back into traveling for work and oh my gosh it was quite the week and fortunately I had bought a magazine in the airport on the way out I’ve got it right here actually it’s called the yoga journal the power of meditation for 7 ways to find a calm and little did I know that was what it was they call it in box foreshadowing of the week ahead it was.
It was literally like I got thrown from isolation like into the chaos and I have to say looking back on it I’m proud of myself that I was able to remain grounded throughout the week and I won’t get into the specifics I’m sharing in my workshop later today in my live more drink less community the funny stories that happened but let me tell you I was sharing with a friend what happened yesterday and she said that it was like one of those Chevy Chase National Lampoon movies and it was really great it was a wonderful week we got a lot done my colleague and I really positive things happen so what we intended to create what we intended to get done our goals were definitely achieved I’m just talking you know I’m on the sideline on the periphery of being in New York City and oh my gosh so many people and the Thai massage that I had that I’m still recovering from in my hand and my arm is bruised from.
I am walking all over me I don’t know if you guys have ever had a tie massage I have not and I didn’t realize I was gonna have someone walking on my back so that’s a whole other story but anyway so today I thought what I would do is talk about when there’s outer chaos how do we maintain that inner contentment so I thought I would share 11 ways to embody the sense of calm.
You know chaos happens all the time in fact it’s happening right now it’s happening in other peoples lives it’s happening in traffic it’s happening at our work it’s happening at the grocery store we are always immersed in chaos it’s all it’s our choice if we want to participate in it and so.
My goal today is to share some ideas that can help you stay in your lane and not step in or dive into the chaos that is around you because it’s always going to be here so OK so speaking of diving in let’s dive in.
OK so the number one way I believe to when there’s outer overwhelm around you and you want to remain grounded is number one to breathe.
So simple and yet when you think about it our breath has been here from the moment we arrived on earth we took our first breath and it will stay with us until the moment we leave this world and pass over it is it sustains us it is an intimate part of us our breath is unique to us no one else can breathe our breath other people may dictate our schedule they can influence our life our mood or emotions all of it no one no one has control over a breath and.
I’ve been really curious about breath work I took a breath work class a few years ago oh my gosh you guys it was unbelievable it was a two hour breath class and I’ve left that class feeling high on life it was like oxygen was just filling my body and my brain and I was euphoric that’s the word euphoric it was unbelievable and I can’t believe that I haven’t taken another breath work class so I got a look into that but doing breath work at home is really super simple you can do.
The breath work that I do especially when I wake up at night in the middle of the night I promise I’ll my gosh try this actually I can’t promise that you’ll fall back asleep but it works for me and everyone I know that uses it it works for them so if you wake up in the middle of the night and you want to calm down and your ruminating etc. what you do with you empty your lungs and then you breathe in very deeply like fill up your diaphragm first and you know then it let it come up to your chest you breathe in on six hold it for seven and then you switch it out and eat and when you swish out your breath on it and your exhale you literally wake up push from your diaphragm towards the end of you know the 6 7 8 and you’re just like pushing the oxygen out when we push the oxygen out of our body we become sleepy we become relaxed and I do a couple of rounds of that before I know it it’s 6 AM and I’m like oh I don’t even remember falling asleep.
So that’s an example of breath work to help you fall back to sleep a nice breath work even during the day is simply just breathing on IV hold it for four breathe out on IV.
You can Google a lot of other ways there’s the nostril breathing which is really an amazing way to start your day it’s holding your ring finger and your thumb on either nostril and then opening one nostril breathing and closing in both nostrils and then opening the other finger allowed to be your thumb and then breathing out it’s like a circular like a U-shaped with the breath and again you can Google this I’m not a breath work expert.
However I am becoming more adept at accessing the power of my breath I am typically a shallow breather that’s what they told me in the breath work class I tend to breathe like in my chest and shorter breaths and that can promote anxiety can promote feeling nervous and overwhelmed and so I am learning to breathe deeply do that kind of yoga breathing and that’s why I love going to my yoga class because again I leave feeling euphoric and it’s definitely do in great part to the breath work
OK number two I remember going to my therapist a few years ago and on her wall was the simple phrase this too shall pass and I just sat there and of course I’d heard that term so many times in my life and it never resonated with me but as I stood there going through some stuff that I needed to work through looking at that phrase of this too shall pass it just.
It just kind of sprinkled this calm all over my mind and my body and that yes nothing is ever forever life is not forever emotions are not forever and what you’re going through it will pass it will pass and so that can just calm your nervous system down to stop trying to.
Make reality anything other than it is you guys know I love the book Loving What Is by Byron Katie again that’s loving what is my Byron Katie I love it because it’s this deep acceptance of what it is it’s not giving up on life it’s not rolling over and being a doormat know it’s saying.
I know that I can sit here and create contentment within myself and the way I can do that is not I can stop trying to manipulate the situation and manipulate other peoples expectations I’m sorry other peoples experiences and when we can love what it is and realize that this moment will pass this pain will pass this frustration will pass the shame will pass it will pass and to just sometimes all it takes for it to pass through is to stay in that moment and except the reality and not fight with the reality of things.
Ok my number three is one of my favorite and it came to me during a hot yoga class a few weeks ago and since then I have carried around my little journal you know him artist carry around little sketch pads while I’m carrying around my little journal from paper source because I’m having these a-ha moments ago I need to talk about this on the podcast or do I need to do a class on this and in the live more drink less community and I was laying in Shabbos and on which I don’t know about you but it’s my favorite part of yoga it’s the end when you just lay there I love it and all of a sudden I was like oh I saw the snow globe.
In front of me and it hit me that the chaos of life around us is always going on but what we can do is we can retreat into our little snow globe I Collett the snow globe affect we can go into the snow globe and we can immerse ourselves in the energy of what we really desire of those feelings that we want to feel it’s kind of like our little embodiment snow globe a little I don’t wanna call it a fantasy world because it’s a world that we are are creating for ourselves and it’s based upon the feelings that we wanna feel and so we step into that globe.
The globe around is not glass it’s more of a permeable kind of like an eggshell barrier that it’s not a complete block from the rest of the world but it’s something that is gently protecting you from the chaos and the overwhelm you can see you can hear you can touch you have all of your senses that can reach out of the snow club and yet it’s your superpower your magic where you can come back in and that really helped me.
And the reason in recent weeks when the outside world felt overwhelming and I was able to go into my snow globe and realize it’s just another way of articulating and visioning this idea of staying in your lane but what I love about this is it’s not here when you think about Elaine it’s like you’re driving you’re moving fast with the snow globe.
It’s calm maybe it’s got some snow coming down maybe the sun is out but it’s your it’s the reality that you are moving towards and it’s within your power to let whatever you want in from the outside world in through that permeable barrier around the snow globe so try that and you can just literally imagine OK I’m going into my snow globe and again this isn’t.
Burying your head in the sand from life were able to see clearly but we’re protected in a way that they were gently protected in a way that were able to see but also maintain a calmer nervous system and not get so activated that way
OK number four plan something rejuvenating I knew that this past week was going to be crazy busy with work and I thought I was gonna have an awesome weekend with my college roommate in New York City and we did I swear I think we walked the entire island of Manhattan and it was awesome and I knew that I had to get up at 3: 30 on Sunday to catch up really early morning flight home.
And so I knew I was going to be exhausted so you know what I did I booked a massage for Sunday afternoon and it was the best preplanning I’ve ever done because it helped with the Thai massage that I ended up getting my colleague is the one who who knew about this time massage place and so I did not anticipate getting a time massage and yeah I have a little bit of some back issues right now from someone walking all over my back but that’s a whole other story.
I planned this massage I had a time on Sunday and it was divine I was so exhausted and it was just just what the doctor ordered and I was able to take an Epson salt bath afterward it was just amazing it was actually was the next out of the bath I was so I was like I was such a noodle after the massage I think I just put my nightgown on and went to bed but planning some thing and it doesn’t have to be anything that you pay for like a massage I can be.
Planning if you know it’s kind of going to be a hectic day or a hectic week planning something for the evening like a gentle yoga class or a bubble bath or just carving out an hour of time just for yourself and letting your family know I’m gonna be going in the bedroom or the den or wherever it is and I’m gonna be reading or I’m gonna be watching my Netflix it’s it out.
Do you notice what I call in my community Tranquility treats just giving yourself a little treat maybe if you like to bake or if you’d like to.
Decorating around your house or if you like to go to consignment stores and just have fun there just put something on your calendar because sometimes when you’re immersed in overwhelming chaos you feel like oh my gosh this is never going to end but if you know you have something to look forward to that’s great my friend Margo is so wonderful if that Chevy says to me Meg you have to plan things whether it be a dinner party or a trip because.
It’s just fun that the fun is in the planning yes the trip is fun and yes the dinner party is fun and yet at least for me I have so much fun planning planning what I’m going to cook planning and I’m going to the store and getting some pretty flowers for the centerpiece or planning the trip with a friend so so put something on the calendar that you could look forward to
Number five listen to music. that goes without saying music has the power to calm you down in fact if you Google.
Music to alleviate anxiety theirs and I forgot the name of it but there’s a certain rhythm or sound residence that you can download free ones off the Internet that really work you can listen to classical music you can get the calm app that has beautiful relaxing music so the power of music is amazing in it segues well into number six… how could we not talk about a bath with beautiful candles with bath salts and music in the background you know Epsom salts just have the power to pull that negative energy from the day pour the toxins from your body and so I highly encourage you to invest in some.
I love Dr. I think it’s Dr. Bronner Dr. Bronner ‘s Epson salt I love the green tea oh my gosh good green tea smells like the Westin hotels I know the Westin hotels have something floating through the air vents and it’s just fantastic and of course lavender number seven I’m going to read to you from this magazine that I got at the airport the power of meditation which really saved me.
Past week and one of the ways there’s an article that is called conditions for calm create the proper environment for deep relaxation and experience ease of both body and mind I’m going to go through this entire article later today with my with my live more drink less community on our weekly workshop but I did wanna share one of them with you and it’s go upside down.
So when you lie down or invert yourself gravity pushes blood towards your upper body stimulating pressure sensors in your neck and upper chest this intern stimulates your solitary tract nucleus relaxation inducing center located in your brain signals from the center strongly inhibit several of the activating systems and stimulate your PNS the result being a slower heartbeat reduce muscle tension and a general shift of your body into a ” ” rest and restore mode so it’s kind of like the candlestick pose in yoga where you lay on your back and you push your hips up in the air with your hands on your hips and your legs straight up in the air or you can just shimmy yourself up against the wall and just lay flat on your back with your legs up against the wall in your tissue you know against the wall on your leg straight up.
And you know what they’re talking about in here in this article it shares that there are eight systems in our body that activate stress and there are three that activate relaxation and so this article is all about activating those three centers.
Number eight chamomile tea oh chamomile tea it does the trick it does the trick that if I drink chamomile tea at night and do my breath work I am out like a light and I don’t I don’t move so try some chamomile tea at night or any kind of decaffeinated soothing T lately I’ve been adding in a little honey and oats milk there is a oatmeal brand I believe it’s called barista blend and it is so frothy and creamy because I am a vet I don’t I don’t do dairy.
I’m leaning towards veganism I am right now emoji what would you call it a pescatarian where I eat fish but I’m leaning towards being more vegan and so I’ve been exploring different nut milks and this is amazing you guys oat milk oh it’s like this delicious little dessert treat so some milk chamomile tea and honey it’s so cozy and warm.
This is a good one so number nine is I love my weighted blanket do you guys know that you have a weighted blanket I bought one at Costco last year.
And wow you put it on your body my dog loves it too she just immediately goes to sleep but it does something to you or your system where it just calms you down and now you can have this effect as well with just a heavy I am but they call it like an eye mask over your eyes or you know just put a washcloth over your eyes to some heaviness in fact I’m going to reach you from this article as well it’s called feel the pressure pushing down on the bones around your eyes trigger a reflex it stimulates your PNS to slow your heartbeat I don’t know what the PNS is sorry guys this may be white why some yoga yogis wrap a towel around their head cover their eyes with a bandage or put a small sandbag on their forehead that’s what it’s called sandbag this promotes relaxation.
When applying this kind of pressure be careful that it’s not too intense the pressure should be barely noticeable. So this reminded me of my weighted blanket and I love it I love it anyone I know he has a weighted blanket they love it too it just comes right down you feel you feel so safe and secure.
All right number 10 get creative.
Get lost in time whether you like to bake or garden or net or needlepoint or move furniture around in your room and re- decorate your home like I do all the time I’m always moving furniture get lost in some thing where your monkey mind calms down.
I have OK little vulnerability here I have a scarf that I’ve been getting you guys for two years I have a needlepoint that I have not finished it’s like literally two years I started it and I always have the best intentions so what I’ve done now is I put my knitting bag out in the living room and because I tend to stay really busy and I’m going to use that as a reminder to sit down and just do yeah I’m not a really good knitter yet I’m not a good needle pointer yet.
But I don’t do it for the end product it really does calm me down so just get creative maybe you like to draw maybe you like to write maybe you like to like I said cook so just getting creative helps you get out of your head.
Number 11 the most important one of all and we were kind of touched on it with number two or number two is this too shall pass number 11 is release control oh my gosh release control.
If you find that you’re always trying to please other people manage their experience make everything right.
Maybe it’s time to release that control it’s interesting when people say I’m a control freak I I think there’s like two types of control people the people that are like this really wanna control out of selfishness and they want their way and then if they do it from a vantage point of kind of being greedy and selfish I think there’s another type of control which is like I just mention you’re trying to make sure everyone’s OK and you can just wear yourself out and what happens is self-care just gets thrown to the way wayside when you’re trying to control the situation.
It’s like trying to control the weather I remember a dear friend of mine they went on a trip and she was so sad and tearing up it was a horrible trip because it rained and I thought oh shoot I wish you know when we try to control stuff like the weather or control things that are out of our control it really does put a damper on what could be a really fun experience so if you’re trying to control things I’m sorry if you’re if you’re if you’re experiencing a lot of overwhelm if you’re experiencing a lot of emotional suffering I want you to ask yourself a question.
Am I trying to control someone or something other than myself because I bet 99 % of the time if you are emotionally suffering you’re probably not in your snow globe you’re probably not staying in your lane you’re probably looking outside of yourself trying to manage and control stuff most likely with good intentions and yet it’s wearing you down so the retreat come back come into your snow club and just remember you know.
Other people circuses are there circuses you have your own circus we all have our own chaos and it’s our job and our responsibility to cultivate the calm that we have the control over and that’s right here within us so there you go I hope you enjoyed these 11 ways to embody calm and if you.
Come across situations this week and next week and everything just seems all crazy just grab onto one of these maybe you’re in the grocery store line and it’s like taking forever and you’ve got to be somewhere in five minutes breathe maybe you are feeling just totally chaotic and trying to make everything right for everyone step back into your snow globe maybe you’re having difficulty sleeping , make some chamomile tea try my breath work.
If you just can’t get off the rumination we are about something that’s going on pull out a sketchpad start baking a beautiful dessert clean your house do whatever to get out of your mind out of your head and into Morcom because your true self knows how to stay calm your true self can always be activated and when you can maintain that sense of connection connection to yourself and maintain that contentment you can always come home to you.
So with that I wish you a lovely day and I will see you next week.