Ever get so frustrated by people and situations you want to scream… or maybe cry? If you’re in a situation where you need to verbally defend yourself, you’re being made to feel anxious or someone has done something awful towards you, keeping calm is the last thing on your mind! But staying calm is the one thing you do need to be, and mainly for your mental well-being. Let’s start by highlighting, we all want to be good people, unless you obviously set your life goal to be bad, then we all strive to be good in some way. Things is, we are human, we make mistakes and sometimes we do things without really thinking. Heck, I’ve made loads of mistakes and I feel like I’m on a constant journey to better myself, but becoming calmer is something I’m beginning to get the hang of.

One thing I will say about being in my thirties is that I’ve seriously had some major lessons in life! Growing up is ridiculously hard, and I can’t even get my head around how I got through school – it is a true test! But we’re constantly tested and it is just about dealing with the situations, so what easy things can we do? I’ve listed my suggestions below on trying to become calmer in your day-to-day life, in some of the common areas where those tricky situations present themselves to us. 

What stresses you out?

In order to become calmer versions of ourselves, we need to establish what is making us the opposite. When we aren’t calm, it’s normally because we are stressed about something, so what stresses you out? What sort of situations make you get angry? which ones make your upset? which make your become anxious? Make a list. Look at them. Number them in order of which happens the most. Which do you think you have the ability to change? Quite possibly all of them…

Think before you speak

Easier said than done – I know! I’ve come to learn that in most situations thinking before you speak/react can make the world of difference. If we don’t say something but our face tells the story, we may as well have said what we shouldn’t. When something infuriates us, upsets us or pushes our buttons, holding back can be one of the hardest parts of life. Perhaps your boss has told you off for something that had nothing to do with you, the temptation to snap back and defend your corner is easy, but waiting and calming explaining will always make the world of difference. Just because others might go off on the deep end, doesn’t mean we have to. Not only is being calm the best for our health, in a work scenario particularly, it looks professional. 

Distract yourself

Taking a walk when we get mad is a good way to take any tension out of a situation. Obviously storming off from a colleague, family member, friend or your boss isn’t exactly professional or nice, but sometimes a walk can clear the air. Just like in the suggestion above, by removing yourself you are least likely to say something you’ll regret. Yoga and meditation are good hobbies to pick up for calming the mind, the better state of our mind we’re in, the easier it is to deal with tricky issues like this.

Not just anger… there is anxiety too

Sometimes, it can just be peoples personalities that encourage certain behaviours. Being calm isn’t just about the situations when we get angry or aggressive, it is also about times when we get nervous and anxious. I used to get upset if someone didn’t like me, I’d go out of my way to be nice and the rejection would keep coming. It made me nervous, anxious and far from calm. Eventually made me quite poorly, which I know seems absolutely ridiculous, but it made a huge impact on me, had I been in a calmer frame of mind I may have been able to rationalise the situation. 

It’s not you, it’s me…or is it?

Often, it isn’t actually a reflection on you, it’s just people. Just keep the relationship professional, don’t put yourself out there emotionally, and carry on. If it’s friendships that get you hyped up and anxious, address the problem. I’ve had severe anxiety attacks over friends before, people who perhaps without realising, put you on edge. Will they interpret my text wrong? Have I offended them? What does that text actually mean? FYI, no friend should make you even question yourself, and if for any reason they did, you should be in a place to talk about it calmly. If you can’t… is that a friend or a person you should have in your life? Probably not.

Surrounding yourself with like-minded and positive people makes life good. I’ve had people come and go in my life, as have many, but for me, it’s about finding the few which make you the best version of yourself. This right here is quite a big factor in being calm because it makes us happy and thus, makes us calm. The same applies for jobs, as again, we spend most of our lives in these places! 

Toxic work

A toxic work environment can make you far from calm, it can even lead to depression if you’re not careful – I speak from experience on that one unfortunately. If you work in a toxic working environment, give yourself a limit of how long to stay there for, and start looking for a new place to work. Knowing you will be leaving for something better soon, kind of gives you the light at the end of the tunnel feeling. Some people might argue that it is a bit of a brash decision to up and leave, but if you change in a negative way from the work environment, just ask yourself if it is worth it? Always leave a job in the correct manner, don’t get to a point where you storm out, no work experience is bad, it just allows us to understand what we do want out of our working environment. This can feel so frustrating when it isn’t good, because it impacts moods and we can become snappy and horrible towards others because of it. Not good is it?

Just seek out something you love and remember nothing is ever set in stone.

Calming activities

If we can be calm in other parts of our lives, we tend to cope better when the bad bits occur. One thing I started doing was having ‘me’ time. For example, doing yoga, meditating, reading a book and so forth. When I allowed myself to unwind I discovered I handled those testing life scenarios far better. So what makes you calm? I’d try to avoid technology or stimulating activities, opt for something relatively still like playing the piano. This for me is a bit like when your want to sleep well, you turn off your phone, you read a good book and you dab lavender oil on your pillow and so forth. 

Solutions not problems

If you are finding yourself constantly in a loop of bad situations, try to find the culprit. What is making you react negatively? I keep using work as an example, but because we spend the majority of our lives at work, and mix with so many walks of life, it’s an easy case to look at. For example, perhaps you and your colleague lock horns. Why don’t you see eye to eye? Has it always been like this? If not, when did it start, were you working on a particular project then? Start getting your investigation on to fathom out when it all began. Often those small changes can make a huge difference, but if we can become calmer when we are in our own company, soon it’ll reflect across other parts of our lives.