Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Five easy steps to peace and calmness

Is it just me, or do we all know at least one person who stands out as utterly, amazingly, wonderfully, almost inhumanly, calm and peaceful, at all times?

You know the one? The one person who is never fazed by life's petty ordeals- the person who is able to deal with larger problems with maturity, grace, and venerable wisdom?

They have an aura of calm and peace about them, regardless of whatever shit is going down?

What is it that they know, that everyone else seems to be missing out on?

Is it a learned skill, or a hardwired character trait?

(I badly want to be that person,  by the way.)

As some of you will know, I have three small children, close in age.

And as much as I adore them, I do lose my rag, my marbles and my temper with them, a lot.

So I am aspiring to be calmer, to have peace in my heart.

I have this little quote, in the form of a fridge magnet, in my face, every day:


1. Find a peaceful place, free of any distraction. Easier said than done, I know. Lock yourself in the toilet. Peg washing out? Breath. Deep breaths.

2. Stop, breathe, and acknowlege that you are in the thick of stress, and that you can change this. Breathe.

3. Have a huge glass of water. Breathe

4. What do you actually need? Pinpoint what could make you feel calm. Right now. I'll bet it is a cuddle. Get one. Breathe.

5. Fake it till you make it. If someone was watching you right now, and scoring you on your calmness, how would you be behaving? What would you be doing? Do that. Now.

And breathe.

Tell me, what do you do to instill calmness in your heart and home?


  1. I like your list of calming techniques :). I remove myself until I'm calm enough to deal with it. Another thing I've done is chant, "this will pass" or count in my head with my eyes closed. When faced with a volatile situation I try to keep my voice calm and flat and my words simple and to the point. I become the rationale one and don't respond to emotion statements and only the instructions or rationale statements because answering emotional ones only engages in argument. Eg, I might say, "please pick your toys up". Kids response, "but A isn't picking up their toys! Why do you always pick on me to do it". My response, "I'm talking to you right now and asking you to please pick up your toys". If I acknowledge the "you don't love me bit" then that's where the focus and argument goes.

    We certainly don't have a incredibly calm house but it is ten times better than it was a year ago ;) I think it's because I constantly have my meltdown radar up to intervene before eruption ;). I have one friend who has the same amount of children as I but alot closer in age and she makes parenting look so darn easy. She's calm, her kids are calm...I'm in awe of her and a smudge jealous! :)

  2. Great list. Here - it's going for a walk. And hoping like hell that the toddler doesn't decide to throw a tantrum on said walk! But there's nothing better to clear the mind, turning it into a run if there's extreme anger or frustration to get out.

  3. Firstly, I don't know anybody like that! Everyone I know is just as crazy as I am. Maybe that helps?

    Secondly, I love your techniques. For me, I find the counting to 3 (no time for 10!) and then reminding myself that "this, too, shall pass" really helps a lot.


  4. For me, it's taking a deep breath before I lose my rag. And another one after that. Like Dr McDreamy said: "waiting for it to pass."

  5. I am a reactor...meaning I tend not to process, think and then choose how I respond. Stress really kicks this in high gear! I'm working really hard to change this about myself...breathing is soooo important. Just breathe! Count to ten or maybe 100 depending on the day and then respond!

    3 kids? I have a hard time managing my one on some days!!!

  6. I know you already have it, but I wanted to give it to you anyway because you make me happy. I am giving out blog awards and you are gettin one! Veiw it on my blog.

    <3 Katie

  7. I really like your list - very helpful and positive. I do know someone who stays calm - and she's got 5 kids.

    When I'm about to blow a gasket, I try and remember an episode of Dr Phil I once saw where they put cameras in a mum's home (with her knowledge and permission) and I was truly shocked at the way she bawled her kids out. They looked so scared and her face looked so ugly doing it. I try to remember that.

  8. Wonderful suggestions, Lucy. I know a few Mummies that are incredible under pressure and often find myself "stealing" some of their techniques! When things get heated up here I try to diffuse/distract with humour(read me being embarrassingly goofy). That doesn't mean I'll let bad behaviour slide, but there is no point in letting things escalate. I feel I deal with the issues better when we are all back to our normal, happy selves and the kids are much more recipient to addressing and solving issues then too.

  9. This is an area that I am constantly working on too Lucy. I dream about being a calm person.

    I have attended some meditation courses. They talk a lot about being 'mindful'. I try to do that. Stay in the moment and not project beyond it.

    For me, once I start yelling I am on the downward slide, so I try to keep my voice low, quiet and calm that the kids tend to take it down a notch too.

  10. Thank you lovely ladies. Having written this and posted it, I now realise I have lived it a little more than usual today.

    Which for me and my smalls is a good thing.

  11. I just remind myself that none of it is real.

    Our lives are entirely created by us. We are the source of our lives. And it is all a creation, a perception and interpretation or an idea. And so, nothing is real. And how can something not real make me upset? It can't.

    And if that doesn't work, your usually confused thinking about it and forget what was going on anyways. lol.

  12. aaaahhhh. I so need this list right now!
    I used to hide in the bathroom and take 3 deep and slow breaths and that would work - I might have to try that again. Because I want to be that calm person you speak of. I think I used to be her.

  13. I have to remove myself - even if it is for a minute. Or pack up and get everyone out of the house. Or take the kids with their bikes out on the street and watch them ride around (with a wine)

  14. I'm crap at calm. I'm with Mrs Woog though - two minutes to myself or, if that fails, getting everyone out of the house is what works for me.

  15. Great post! I usually take myself away from the situation and calm down. The counting technique seeems to work too. If I'm just not having a good day - a nice walk is always good.

  16. I'm guessing "Have a cigarette" is not an acceptable answer here...? ;) xo

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