How can you find calm when you need it? Being able to find inner peace and composure is a valuable tool that can help us all at moments of pressure or stress. Some people instinctively seem to be able to step back, breathe, and retain or regain their composure. Others find it more difficult. So how can you do it?
A recent trip to Lisbon got me thinking about being calm and how those of us who don’t find it easy can train ourselves to find moments of peace. While I was away, I visited a temporary exhibition by Japanese artist and “aquascaper” Takashi Amano at the Lisbon Aquarium. I ended up there as an after-thought as the guide said it was about tropical fish, so I thought it may be worth a visit. I was so glad to have visited. Amano has created a space where a simple concept, exquisite execution, lighting and music all come together to create a magical space of calm. It seemed that this sense of peace affected everyone who entered the room: some sitting and lying watching and absorbing the atmosphere, others walking round and looking at the underwater forest in the giant aquarium. Instinctively we all recognised that this was a space of calm.
In Takashi Amano’s own words:
Stop and listen.
Nature is a great teacher.
Being able to find a place (either physically or metaphorically) where you can be calm is a wonderful thing. It can stop you from saying something in the heat of the moment that will further inflame the current situation; it can help you to gain perspective and feel less overwhelmed; it can also recharge your batteries and give you a new lease of life, ready for whatever lies ahead. Like anything new, you will need to practice your inner calm to be able to summon it at will. Meditation sometimes asks you to go to a happy place, so try to remember how you felt when you were there in as much detail as possible – and with all your senses. Our bodies remember things as experiences, not just as thoughts and so there will be a muscle memory in there that you can access. I know I will not be able to go back to Lisbon whenever I need (although I would love to!), but I hold a memory of that place and the experience that I hope to be able to re-experience when I need it.
Where do you find inner calm: Is it out walking? While reading, writing, mentally stepping back during a social event and watching your loved ones? Sometimes it can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths that will help you refocus. I now know that I have a new tool to help me relax and will be listening to the soundtrack from Amano’s exhibition by Rodrigo Leao, Florestas Submersas. Practice whatever it is that helps you find calm. It will help to build your resilience and give you another tool to keep you in balance during challenging times.
I'm a Personal Coach who loves finding out about what makes people tick and helping them to make the changes necessary to get to where they want to go so they can thrive.