In life, one of the greatest gifts God gave men is the ability and power to choose. That power makes us responsible for our actions and causes us to face the consequences of our actions.
Whether you know it or not you’re always choosing; between the bad and the good, between yes and no or maybe, whether to be anxious or not. And even at those times, you were indecisive, that’s a decision you made.
Now, bringing that power into our very own life concerning what affects our inner peace, we have the power to choose how we respond.
We have curated 10 ways you can remain calm in the face of crisis, and this too requires you to choose it versus not choosing it.
“A quiet mind allows for openness to another, the capacity to reflect and to see the world in a different way. A quiet mind is an effective mind.”
—Michel Mennesson, MD, psychiatrist at Newport Academy
10 Ways To Remain Calm In The Face Of Crisis
The Calming Power of the Breath
Conscious, controlled breathing is one of the easiest and most immediate ways to calm the nervous system. When we slow and regulate the breath, we move out of the fight-or-flight response governed by the sympathetic nervous system. Consequently, we move into the relaxation response governed by the parasympathetic nervous system. Therefore, we shift into a calmer state of mind in which we are better able to handle our emotions or circumstances.
Research has validated the impact of breathing practices on our mental state. In fact, research shows that breath awareness is among the most effective and accessible tools for self-regulation and calming the nervous system.
Relax the Body to Calm the Mind
Because the mind and body are so closely intertwined, relaxing the body will also relax the mind and emotions. Here are two relaxation techniques that can help teens become calmer. Moreover, practising them every day—not just during a difficult moment—will increase teen stress resilience.
Labelling Your Emotions
Putting your emotions into words has been proven to have an immediate calming effect. Specifically, labelling our feelings with words shifts brain activity from the emotional areas of the brain toward the thinking areas of the brain. As a result, we can observe our emotions with less turmoil.
Riding the Wave
“Riding the wave” is a practice for handling intense emotions when they arise. Rather than pushing the emotion away, we go deeper into it, with compassion and relaxation. While this practice is similar to labelling the emotions, it involves the body more.
In order to do a mantra meditation, you don’t need to use a specific mantra. Instead, you can choose a poem, prayer, saying, or motto that is meaningful and calming for you. In fact, you can even think of something a loved one or friend said to you that lifts your heart and makes you feel peaceful.
Simply recite this calming phrase to yourself as you sit comfortably and breathe slowly and deeply. As a result, you’ll begin to feel calmer and your entire body will relax.
Research by Barbara Fredrickson, Robert Emmons, and others has uncovered a powerful link between gratitude and well-being. Therefore, bringing gratitude into our experience of daily life has beneficial effects.
To calm your mind and relax your body, try this gratitude meditation: Simply take 30 seconds to focus on a few things that you are grateful for. Breathe deeply and slowly as you bring your attention to people or circumstances in your life that inspire you to feel thankful and appreciative.
We don’t always know what’s going to walk through our door, but we probably have a pretty good idea of the general types of pressure we may face on a daily basis. Decide in advance on a few possibilities that could occur and how you will handle them. A simple formula such as, “If X happens, I’ll do Y,” can make all the difference.
For me–and most people–multi-tasking typically leads to chaos. I try to choose one task, see it through, and head on to the next task that needs to be done.
Whenever we are anxious, we tend to take quick, shallow breaths. This is called hyperventilating, and it can make us feel dizzy, light-headed, and panicky. It can also interfere with our judgment. If you catch yourself hyperventilating, try inhaling a deep breath through your nose, holding it a second, and releasing it from your mouth. Repeat this exercise until you feel calmer. This is a form of meditation.
There are sometimes good reasons to change our plans, such as a new set of circumstances arising or receiving new information about a situation. In the absence of a compelling reason, however, stick to the plans we have outlined for ourselves. Random changes will only confuse us and put us behind schedule.
No one succeeds in a silo! This is especially true when the pressure is on. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help when needed, and offer to assist them in return. There is comfort in not being alone in times of stress.