This is a post by Floh member Dhruvi Shah sharing her journey on learning to keep calm.
Noise. A barrage of sounds. Anxiety. Stress. Suffocation.
Simply reading the above words rattles me and worries me on the inside.
It’s like being in direct earshot of a heavy metal band and not being able to breathe.
It was the beginning of the year. I was literally drowning in a shallow pool. I had to struggle to come up for air. There was so much blocking my calm. There was so much digital noise. I was grappling with so much information. I was being bombarded with profiles of boys I didn’t want to meet. I was spending 14 hours working in a closed office. I had no time for rest and recreation. I was constantly wired to technology, switching from my cellphone to laptop to iPad to bluetooth handsfree. I was staring at screens in all shapes and sizes for so long, I would forget to blink. Imagine not getting shuteye!
Until one day, I was deafened by the noise and the sound of silence took over. In one moment, everything else fades and you stand still. You hear your own heart beat. And you want to be quiet.
One of the biggest learning lessons in 2016 has been to keep calm and breathe.
Yes, as simple as remembering to breathe.
No matter how big or small a crisis, how crazy or ridiculous a situation, how anxiety laden or depressing a night, how loud a yelling match, taking a moment to breathe always makes it better.
The air around us is free to take in (and hopefully will remain so). Yet, we forget this most fundamental human action.
Alright, do it now. Pause whatever it is you’re doing. Even reading this.
Close your eyes. Inhale. Take a deep breath. Concentrate only on that. Now let go. Exhale. Repeat two more times.
Done? How did that feel?
I bet you’re feeling calmer and lighter. Like oxygen has finally reached your brain. And you feel alive.
Ever since I’ve been mindful of my breathing, I have noticed a shift in my attitude and approach towards life. I’m not easily restless to begin with. I have clarity of thought in most situations. I can cope better with curveballs. And I am positive.
On days or nights that everything seems a little bleak, I simply light a candle, enjoy the fragrance and watch my breathing. It’s how I meditate. I listen to calming sounds reflective of natural activities and organically feel better and energised.
And what started as crisis management has now become a daily habit.
Even if I have only 5-10 minutes to spare, I practise breathing exercises. And my day is just different.
So, keep calm. I know you can.
If you’re interested, there are a bunch of activities you could do for mindfulness.
1. Calm – the app – https://www.calm.com/
I just listen to the sounds of nature on the app or do a meditation. It’s pretty neat.
2. Colouring for mindfulness
There are a lot of adult colouring books available in stores and online that promise to ease your stress. Just pick up a pencil or crayon and watch how you relax.
Literally, every person I know has benefited from this traditional practice or discipline. Since India is the land of its origin, finding a teacher, instructor, class or even online course should not be a problem.
4. Chanting affirming thoughts
Buddhists chant as a way of discipline. A lot of other faiths advocate chanting. Repeating positive affirmations too is encouraged. The idea is that repeating a single idea silently or out loud creates vibrations that awaken chakras in our body and internalise the thought. It’s a really good way to focus and concentrate instead of being distracted.
I would urge you to adopt a calming practice because it will only have long term benefits. You will see the effect it has on you and be thankful for your awareness.