What is calm?
Calm is a noun, a verb, and an adjective. As a noun, calm is freedom from motion or disturbance, stillness. As an adjective, calm is still or tranquil. And, as a verb, it’s to make calm.
Synonyms for calm are peaceful, steady, quiet, serene, and equanimity.
How often, in the history of telling another to calm down, has that really worked? Truly, in my opinion, only we can calm ourselves. What are some ways we can calm ourselves? Healthline.com offers several techniques to achieve a calm state. For one, breathe. Take a deep breath! That’s on the top of many lists or recommendations for calming. Closely related is meditation. Breathe deeply and/or meditate to clear your mind and calm your thoughts. Another method is to change your focus or change your environment. Walk away from the situation, even if it’s temporary. There’s a popular exercise called 5-4-3-2-1 to help you deal with anxiety. The exercise invites you to find calm or grounding by observing five things you see, four things you physically feel, three things you hear, two things you smell, and one that you taste. Listening to the right kind of music may calm you. Challenge your thoughts or think it through. Try to reframe the situation to find a different perspective. Refuel yourself, you may need to eat or drink something. These are just a handful of the many ways we can try to calm ourselves.
What are some of the benefits of being in a calm state? Being calm can help you to focus on what you need to do and possibly get it done more quickly or efficiently. In an article from Greater Good Magazine from Berkeley University, “calmness can also impact your creativity. Research suggests that our most creative ideas come in moments when we’re not actively focused or stressed.” Equally, there are many benefits of meditation. From calm.com, “Meditation teaches us to calm the mind, develop concentration, and increase awareness.”
I invite you to take a deep breath and begin to relax as you contemplate what the word ‘calm’ means to you.
“To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.”
“You practice mindfulness, on the one hand, to be calm and peaceful. On the other hand, as you practice mindfulness and live a life of peace, you inspire hope for a future of peace.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
“Make your heart like a lake, with a calm, still surface, and great depths of kindness.”
“The mind is like water. When it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.”
“The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”