By Michelle Collins
One of the worst things you can say to a woman during a major or minor issue is “Calm down!” For the receiver, being told to quiet your voice and even your emotions can be infuriating, especially when you believe your reaction is valid. Not to mention, you're less likely to calm down when someone tells you to. However, as women, we should shift our focus from trying to calm down amid a heated argument to practicing self-control daily.
I'm sure you've seen the motivational meme that advises us to “Keep Calm and Carry On”. It was designed to remind you that keeping calm and being intentional about maintaining your cool could actually save your life. Chemically speaking, stress causes you to leave the calm zone and your body automatically moves into what’s called survival mode. Your body is ready to fight or flight and begins producing hormones that travel to the brain and interrupt the area known as the frontal cortex, which is where our ability to think critically resides.
Keeping your emotions in check will help prevent you from spiraling out of control. The stress that occurs from not controlling your emotions can impair your ability to learn or remember important information. Since we are not wired to calm naturally, we must become aware of ourselves and the driving emotion and adjust accordingly. Following these few tips will help to improve your overall well-being.
Your brain and your body will thank you as you:
C – Count to ten and take deep breaths. This will restore oxygen to your brain and decrease lactate in your bloodstream, which will inevitably cause you to relax and feel calmer.
A – Avoid stress foods. Chronic stress can have a negative effect on your body and can cause weight gain, indigestion, and fatigue. Stress also depletes your body of important nutrients. Ensuring that anti-stress foods are a part of your daily rotation can promote good health, regulate your mood and alleviate depression.
L – Let go of the things you cannot control. Certain realities aren’t going to change. The sooner you release the mentality that you need to micromanage all areas of your life, you will have less stress. Instead, you can reach out to your village for support, delegate and ask for help.
M – Meditate your way to calm. Meditation provides relief from stress, alters the way your body and your brain respond to stress, and can even reverse damage done to the brain due to chronic stress.
It’s important to remember that 10% of life is what happens and 90% is how you respond to it. It is your responsibility to manage your stress and stressors. Incorporating just one of the above tips can greatly improve the quality of your life today. Embrace your calm and make it your new norm.
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