Now you might be asking yourself, "Eliza, why on earth would I choose calmness as my New Year's resolution?" Well, my dear reader, let me tell you, and bear with me here because this might take a bit of explaining. We all have those momentous resolutions at the start of each year - lose weight, quit smoking, learn a new language - usually things that seem large, daunting, and quite stressful.
Now imagine, instead of getting lost in this maelstrom of hectic promises you'll probably forget by February (let's be honest here), you choose something simple and achievable: calmness. It's underestimated but incredibly valuable. So here I present my five key sections to explore this idea, "The Art of Calmness", "Calmness and The Impact on Health", "Achieving Calmness: Baby Steps", "Embracing Calm in Chaos" and "Maintaining Calmness Throughout the Year".
So, let's dive right in! What exactly is "Calmness"? The thesaurus brings up words like tranquillity, peace, serenity and even placidity. And looking out the window at my golden retriever, Milo, snoozing peacefully in the sun (as one does on a fine Adelaide afternoon), I couldn't agree more. Calmness is a state of tranquillity, where there is no tumult or disorder. It's a mental and emotional state that is free from agitation, excitement or disturbance.
Calmness can also be described as a state of serenity, where your mind is at peace, providing the chance to explore thoughts and feelings at a leisurely pace. It doesn't necessarily mean the absence of negatives like stress, worry, or fear. It's more about managing these emotions and not letting them control you. And wouldn't that be lovely?
Have you ever caught yourself on a stressful day, holding your breath, feeling your heart racing, and muscles tensed? Those are physical manifestations of stress and anxiety. And ladies and gentlemen, here comes the fun fact, chronic stress can lead to health problems like heart disease, depression and a weak immune system! Now, wouldn't it be nice to kick all that to the curb and wave it a cheery goodbye?
That's where calmness comes in as a superhero, cape and all. Achieving a calm state of mind impacts your health positively by reducing the risk of stress-related diseases. It helps to lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, decrease stress hormones in the body and improve sleep quality. Now, who doesn't love a good night's sleep, right?
At this point, you might be thinking, "Eliza, I'm sold, but how do I achieve this calmness you're talking about?" Well, my dear reader, it's a journey. I, too, have been there, in the throes of chaos, with my kiddo, Dalton, making me run around on most days like a flower flustered by a strong gust of wind. But remember, like any resolution, it's crucial to start with baby steps.
Begin by setting small daily goals. It can be as simple as taking three deep breaths when you feel your stress level rising. Or taking five minutes out of your day to sit quietly and enjoy a cup of tea, giving yourself permission to simply 'be'. Or even just spending a few quiet moments with a loved one (pets included) and appreciating the simple joys in life.
Finding calm in chaos might sound counterintuitive, right? How can one possibly remain calm when every fibre of your being is screaming 'Overload!'? Well, let me tell you, my wonderful readers, it is absolutely possible. It all comes down to perception and control.
Take my typical Tuesday evening, for example. Picture the following: Dalton has his school project deadline, and Milo decides it's a perfect time to shed his fur (as if there's ever not a perfect time). I could choose then to either lose my cool over the chaos or understand that realistically, I can only do so much, and the rest, well, it's out of my hands. It's about understanding, accepting, and dealing with the situation as it unfolds, which helps in cultivating calm.
Maintaining calmness throughout the year might seem like a monumental task. After all, no one's ever calm ALL the time, right? Sometimes, our emotions get the better of us, and that's perfectly okay. The idea is to maintain an overall sense of calmness, even when things don't quite pan out how we expect.
The way to do this is by creating a routine. Regularly practicing things that make you feel calm can make calmness a habit. Incorporating calm-inducing practices into your daily routine, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or even something as mundane as taking a walk with your furry friends, can contribute greatly to preserving your calmness, ensuring it stays with you in the long run.
The more moments of calm we can integrate into our lives, the more peaceful our days can become. The more peaceful our days, the less stressed we are overall. So, let's make calmness our main resolution for the New Year, and here's to a peaceful, stress-free year!