We live in a world where everything is moving so fast, things are constantly changing, and many of us are in “high gear” from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we literally pass out from sheer exhaustion at night.
How can you adapt and deal with things around you, which in many cases are totally out of your control? How do you keep things in perspective when it feels like everything around you is moving at the speed of light? How do you maintain a sense of calm during chaos?
We’ve all been faced with this question whether it is in our personal lives, in our professional careers, or environmentally. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “magic pill” to make it all go away, but I’ve found that by following 5 basic principles, you can achieve a sense of calmness and steadiness during chaotic times.
- Stop Worrying – Worrying doesn’t do anything but give you grey hair! Worrying doesn’t change anything. It causes anxiety, fear, and ulcers and can sometimes make problems worse than what they really are. Realize that YOU are the only person who can control your emotions and how you react to situations. Life is too short. Stop worrying and start living!
- Take Responsibility – Don’t allow yourself to live in a constant state of paranoia and fear. If something is bothering you or making you uncomfortable, it’s your responsibility to take action and do something about it. The most impactful and empowering thing you can do is take control of your own destiny. No one else can do this for you.
- Breathe, Think, then Act – Telling someone to take a deep breath might sound very elementary, but trust me, it helps. Taking a few deep breaths allows you to calm your nerves, gives you a little time to process the millions of thoughts running through your mind, and allows you to regain control of your emotions—quickly. Once you are composed, you can now begin to thoughtfully and strategically think about what’s happening in your life, and what you need to do to get to where you want to be. Now you can create a definitive plan and timeline, and identify the actionable items needed to achieve the things you set out to do.
- Take a Break from Technology – I find it ironic that I’m talking about taking a break from technology while writing a blog! Please don’t let that dilute the importance of this principle. We are all constantly checking and responding to emails and voicemails, talking on cell phones, posting to Facebook, sending tweets, or surfing the net, and we are doing all of this while watching television! Set boundaries for yourself and allot a specified time each day to “unplug”, by the way, this time cannot be while you’re sleeping! I guarantee that if you do this every single day, you will be amazed by the sense of calm that it brings into your life.
Think About Worse Case Scenarios – I attended a conference a few months ago and the keynote speaker, Tim Sanders, talked about the importance of facing and dealing with worst case scenarios in your life. It is a very difficult thing to do, but if you know what the worst case scenario is in whatever situation you’re dealing with, you will either be better prepared to deal with that situation if it occurs, or you will proactively take the steps now to prevent those things from occurring. Either way you’ve conquered your fear, because you already know what you’re dealing with, and are making the necessary preparations along the way.