“Keep calm and carry on”. “Keep calm and love yourself “.”Keep calm and be yourself “– the keep calm merchandise and memorabilia whether it is coffee mugs or posters or badges or T-shirts or keychains are hugely popular and not without reason.
Apparently, people need to remind themselves to do that every now and then and auto suggest the magical two words- keep calm.
Granted we are all only human not sages and saints with infinitesimal amounts of patience. There are times when we fly off the handle and lose it.
While that is bound to happen now and then - sometimes due to reasons beyond our control or because we have at that point reached the end of our tether due to what happened before this outburst - what is entirely within our control is how we handle these provocations.
How do we usually handle anger? We scream till our voice is hoarse, vent until a coughing fit takes over or we slam doors, bang or throw things around, hand out icy stares or glare for all we are worth, grit our teeth, pump fists, or just go off into a sulk and wage a cold war.
On rare occasions it could get physical and end in blows. It could be a loved one, a colleague, a fellow commuter or a guy sitting behind a counter or a random stranger who raised our hackles.
Isn’t there is a better way of dealing with this emotion? Launching into a verbal tirade is not one sided. If the other person has decided to give as good as he/she gets this is going to escalate into a full-fledged war.
So how does one keep calm? Cultivate the habit of counting up to ten before you react. Quickly think about whether it is worth a flare up or better to just let it pass.
Take a deep breath or do box breathing. Breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out to a count of four and hold for a count of four.
Focus on your purpose.
Speak firmly and quietly if you must. Not matching the person decibel for decibel isn’t a sign of weakness. It is actually a clever strategy because you force the person to run out of steam or quieten down
Sometimes the annoyance could well be with oneself for foolish choices made, for not speaking up when one should have or when one is misled, cheated or betrayed. We just need to communicate with ourselves to see things more clearly
Map the problem in whatever way you want on paper and figure things out. Or get yourself a change of scene to obtain perspective and clarity. Is there something you can change or do about the issue or learn from the episode?
The best thing about being calm is that it will give you better insights and solutions
–The writer is a motivational coach