Have you ever taken the time to observe a naturally calm person?
They're a sight to behold — the way they glide through the day with ease, not rushed and exuding quiet confidence. I imagine you envy them as I do.
Truly calm people are a rare and exotic species that you can learn a lot from. Learn their common behaviors and attitudes, and you too can become an expert in responding to everyday stress and frustrations.
Here are 10 habits of naturally calm people:
1. They choose to walk.
To meetings across town, the shops up the road or to exercise their dog, calm people walk every day.
Get off the bus or train a stop early if you have to. This simple leg-stretching, head-clearing activity is mandatory for serenity.
2. They forgo rushing.
They leave plenty of time to get where they're going, and they don't cram too much in. If misadventure strikes, they drop something off their list, reschedule it, or they get there when they get there and apologize graciously.
Rushing disturbs the peace and has no value. Be determined to quit this noxious habit.
3. They prioritize self-care.
Sufficient sleep, good nutrition and physical activity are nonnegotiable for them. These essentials are not sacrificed for a deadline or anything else.
Make them the backbone of your day and you stand a good chance at the composure you crave.
4. They use routines.
Calm people minimize the strain on their working memory by doing some things the same way every day. Morning rituals, weekly wardrobe, meal plans or whatever, much of their day is predetermined.
Operating on autopilot will minimize decision-making and ease day-to-day pressure.
5. They practice being in the moment.
Most calm buffs meditate, do yoga, tai chi or other formal meditative practice. Others are able to pay attention and be fully present in their own chosen mindful activity.
Choose surfing, gardening or reading with your kids, but be diligent and practice regularly to get the stress reduction effect.
6. They use their phones judiciously.
Calm people are not at the mercy of their phones. They relegate them to their appropriate use as an intermittent tool for work and communication, maybe a source of music or news.
You will not achieve peace or poise in your life while your phone continues to dominate your day.
7. They self-regulate and exercise healthy boundaries.
They are self-aware and responsive to their mental, physical and emotional state. They take breaks, stretch and snack, or let off steam as required. Self-discipline and assertiveness enables them to say no, to ask for help and to stop work at a reasonable hour.
Practice tuning in and asserting your needs within yourself and with others, and enjoy feeling more in control.
8. They expect things to go awry.
Their unflappable nature comes from a deep knowing that life is unpredictable. They do not expect things to go to plan and they are ready to adjust to whatever the day throws their way.
By all means have a plan but be ready to change it at any moment.
9. They connect with the world authentically and meaningfully.
The calm person engages at some point each day in activity that is not about success, money or mere time-passing. An exchange with a stranger, a call with a parent, somewhere, there will be worthwhile connection. In cooking, gardening, any creative pursuit (including parenting and relationship development), somewhere there will be passion and care.
Remember what matters to you and honor it daily.
10. They embrace their small place in the world.
Their greater contentment is borne of their knowing their tiny place in the universe. They remain aware of the world beyond themselves — this prevents self-absorption.
They take their work and responsibilities seriously, but not themselves. They do not carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Along side meditation, service to others (through work, volunteering or caring for another) is a common way to gain this healthy perspective. It breeds self-compassion, gratitude and resilience.
Dedicate a good portion of your day to focusing on others and emulate their steady outlook.
All of these behaviors and attitudes are within your grasp, even though it may not be easy to make them a habit tomorrow — start small and start now and enjoy all the calm you deservedly achieve.