I’m excited to share with you the experiences and wisdom of some truly inspiring women.
I always find it fascinating to learn about people in more detail, to see how they deal with challenges, in both life and business (because we all have many roles to play), and what goes on behind the scenes. These women, who are each making their mark in their field of expertise, have opened up to share their top tips for creating calm in their own lives.
Why don’t you pour yourself a cuppa and settle down. You might like to bookmark this post so you can refer to it in the future.
There is such lovely honesty here, so read all the way to the bottom – you might just find the tips that will help you on your way to Inspired Calm.
How do you create calm in your life?
What do you gain from this practise?
Nicola Judkins, Physiotherapist & Life/Wellness Coach at Reclaiming Strength
I create a consistent feeling of calm by tuning in to how my body is feeling and what it needs. If it is telling me I’m tired, I rest. If it is telling me I’m overwhelmed, I slow down. If it’s telling me I’m anxious, I stop and take some deep breaths.
I think of the messages my body sends me as my intuitive guide. These messages stop me from pushing myself too hard, becoming stressed and overcomplicating my life. When I listen and act on them my body feels healthier, my mind feels calmer and my life seems easier.
Tahlee Rouillon, Music Composer Extraordinaire at Sonesence
I create calm in my life through the magic of meditones. Meditones are tones of pure sound that create relaxed brainwaves with headphones. They help me become (and stay) zen. All I have to do is pop on my headphones and within a few minutes I’m drifting easily into a state of deep calm.
Meditones have literally changed my life. I used to suffer terribly from anxiety, panic attacks, and even agoraphobia. But because meditones help you create and strengthen calm neural pathways, I am more peaceful now than I ever thought possible. Even when my mind starts to race, I can calm myself naturally. And if I ever need a boost – I just pop on my headphones. It’s that easy.
Kate Davison, Wellness Coach at K8 WellnessThe “Stop” Technique – This is a great technique for dealing with stress, overwhelm, negativity and the monkey mind.
When I become aware of a negative thought, I instantly break that thought by saying “STOP, STOP, STOP!” and stare at a point on the wall with a smile. This NLP technique is even more effective if you make it a whole body experience, so I will jump up and use my hands and say it out loud! The stop should be firm and authoritative – you are calmly and simply interrupting the thought.
The second part is to take in a deep breath and step back at the same time. Put your left hand out to leave all the negativity there and step away from it all. Breathe out deeply, imagining that you are breathing out all the negative thoughts and feelings and stepping away from them. Finish with a smile (important, even if it’s a fake one!).
I learned this specific technique to deal with fatigue, stress and anxiety issues, to cope with a long-term health condition and starting a new business! So it’s really powerful for any negative thought and to stop yourself from heading towards what I call “the pit of doom and despair”!
Nicola Newman, Artist, Writer & Creativity Teacher
I find when I foster a sense of spaciousness in my day, I feel more calm.
For me, spaciousness is needed in all areas of my life; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. I do this by journalling (to get things out of my head), walking and being outdoors (as often as I can!), living in the present (by gently bringing my awareness back to my five senses when my thoughts run off wishing things were different than they really are), and not overloading my life with too many appointments!
I feel happier, more productive, and better able to be more creative (and fun to be around!) when I’m fostering spaciousness in my life. It’s not always in balance, in fact one area of life pretty much always needs attention while another is the focus, but being gentle with myself and taking it one day at a time is key.
Naomi Arnold, Business & Life Passion Coach, Dream For Others podcast
The main thing that I do to create calm and feel less busy is to actively look for ways to create calm and get less busy. I know that sounds simple, but I really do have to set myself a challenge to get my ‘un-busy lenses’ on and look for ways to create space and calm.
This often involves me drawing upon an ‘un-busy toolkit’ that I’ve created for myself over the years. Making a deliberate effort to say “no” more – to myself and others. Doing a brain dump of everything I need to do and then instructing myself to cross off all the things that aren’t absolutely necessary. Writing calming and self care activities on my To Do list – right up the top – as one of the first things I must do that day.
When I draw on ‘tools’ or strategies like this from my ‘un-busy toolkit’, I go from feeling overwhelmed and out of control, to calm and ‘back in the game’ again!
http://www.naomiarnold.com ‘Dream for Others’ podcast
Angela Raspass, Your Next Chapter Business MentorHow do I create calm in my life? Imperfectly! In a life that pulls me in several directions, often at the same time it’s a constant, conscious re-anchoring that needs to take place, and for me this involves several things that may also help you.1. The “Bookends of my Day” – a short guided meditation followed by a cup of tea and journaling in the morning and a gratitude list in the evening.2. A curated atmosphere in my home office – music by Parijat playing on my laptop as I work during the day, a Selenite lamp, fresh flowers each week and an inspiring Vision Board alongside me.3. Time out in nature whenever possible – I grew up on a farm and the older I get the more I realise that this is vital for my soul and spirit.4. Living by the Serenity Prayer and practicing self-compassion.5. Recognising the value of, and investing in, self-care and support including a naturopath, mindset coach and spiritual mentor.
I adopted many of these practices when I first joined the Recovery Movement almost 10 years ago, and they have gradually changed the core of me. I’m a naturally driven and competitive person, and have rather high expectations of myself and this has led to default behaviours of constant busy-ness and harsh self-talk in the past.
These tendancies have softened significantly. I let go far more easily these days. I have allowed more space in my life and have developed a far kinder self-regard. Although I still juggle my business and family demands, I’ve slowed down, embraced the concept of trusting a Higher Power and now prioritise taking better care of me. I’ve also finally managed to swap Red Bull for Herbal tea!Calm is a destination I visit far more often today and I’m committed to extending my stays…
Jacqueline Weisser, Tapping into Wealth Coach
I remember back to my blackest period – what helped me then was having someone REALLY LISTEN to me. Hear my pain, shame, guilt, isolation, overwhelm and really understand. No advice, no dissection, just plain hearing with acceptance.
Feeling that acceptance opened my thoughts and gave clarity. I was then less hard on myself and more accepting of my circumstances which I could not change.
I’m eternally grateful to the person who was there for me.
At other times, to escape the little boxes we tend to live in, I’d go for a walk in Nature. It would give me a wider view and greater perspective – feeling freer and part of a wonderful, beautiful and abundant world.My problems would look smaller and the answers more available.
Sandra Kelly, Blogger & Survivor of deep shite at Sandra Kelly – What Lies Within
Quiet alone time is how I create calm in my life. I have a few ways of working this necessity into my day but one of my favourite ways to do this when I’m at home is to disappear to the loo! Yup, the loo! In my humble opinion it is one of the most under-used and under-rated potential Temples of Tranquillity at our disposal (pun not intended).
I’d often sneak off to our ensuite bathroom after our evening meal. You know that time when the kids are voicing protests over who’s turn it is to wash and dry (or pack and unpack the dishwasher), the television is at Antarctic levels (can be heard all the way to that icy land and back again) and the husband and granny are chiming in with not so tolerant conflict resolutions for the feuding offspring? (Or something like that… you may insert your own scenario). Well that’s when I’d back away slowly and stealthily to my little happy place.
Due to our ensuite needing to accommodate wheelchair access for my husband it happens to be large enough to also accommodate a small rocking chair… my escape spot. So there I would sit, eyes closed, taking a moment to breathe. At times my thoughts would carry me away to far off places – like a deserted beach… sometimes involving bubbles and a wink from Hugh Jackman. I may have been lucky enough to get two minutes of quiet or on a good day maybe even ten minutes before someone came looking for me but boy, either way it was enough to save my sanity.
In all seriousness, putting myself in time out for however long it lasted enabled me to hit the reset button. The act of sitting and breathing normally and removing myself from the energies of others was enough to ground me, bring down the stress level a notch or two and prevent the demon horns from sprouting through the top of my head.
You don’t need great big chunks of time to create calm in your life. All you need is a bit of imagination without expectation for a desired outcome. Just close your eyes, drop your shoulders and enjoy the moment for what it is – a pause for whatever reason you need it.
Learning to pause like this has had a huge impact on the reduction of stress and overwhelm I carry around with me. And the good thing about loos? No matter where you are you can usually find one.
Sidsel, Yoga Teacher
I very easily get caught in my monkey mind, and then notice my speedy thinking translates into speedy movement. So my best way to deal with this is with slow deliberate, conscious movement. It is almost becoming a cliche these days, but it’s my yoga practice. Flowing constant movement, but in a slow, steady, deliberate manner, takes back control of my body, and that way I access my mind and give it something slow and steady to focus on. No matter how much or little physical yoga I do (sometimes simply standing and rolling up and down along the spine for a minute is all I have time for), it always works.
I usually feel the need to finish the physical either lying down or sitting cross legged for a few moments in stillness, letting it all settle down, like the glitter in a snow globe. Then I try to bring this feeling with me – by bringing the slow, steady, deliberate movement into the next thing I do after the practise, which is usually drinking a glass of water. That way, I’ve already brought a bit more calm into an everyday task.
These days, with a new baby on board, I try to apply this slow, steady deliberate focus to something super mundane, like changing her nappy. Since it will get changed either way, I can choose to be frantic or calm about it. Calm usually makes me feel better, and less tense in my diaphragm. I guess you can call it a full-nappy-mindfulness practice.
http://www.yogasidsel.com https://www.facebook.com/yogasidsel https://www.instagram.com/yogasidsel_supersids/
Katherine Mackenzie-Smith, Life & Biz Coach for Introverts
I create calm by making space for me. As a highly sensitive introvert, showing up in the world can sometimes be a little full on so – in order to show up as my best self – it’s important that I have quiet and space to re-energise and be mindful of my nervous system. This means paying attention to any rising frustration, fatigue, or anxiety and making instant changes to my environment to combat those feelings. This can look like escaping a noisy room to walk outside in the sun, a quiet coffee somewhere, reading a book or journalling in silence, a shower to reset the system, or even just a few deep breaths.
Doing this means that I feel less drained, overwhelmed, and more aware of my emotions, reactions, and energy and generally just feeling much happier and at ease.
http://www.katherinemackenziesmith.com instagram.com/miss_kms ‘The League of Extraordinary Introverts’ Podcast
Leesa Young, Holistic Nutritionist at Nuture Nutrition & Wellness
I have a very strong and long-standing habit of setting unreasonably high expectations for myself. As you can imagine, this is so very counter-productive when it comes to creating any sense of calm – in fact it’s pretty much impossible for the two to co-exist. So, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to slow down, stop putting so much pressure on myself, and make space in my life – space for quiet, space for self-care, space to have fun, space to just be.
Once I realised that every single minute of my life did not need to be scheduled, it’s like everything suddenly relaxed – there were more hours in the day, more of that sense of freedom that I was so craving. Life for me is all about feeling free – and feeling calm, grounded, centred in myself allows the space for that feeling of freedom.
Nicole Mathieson, Kinesiologist & Confidence Coach
Get out of your crazy head.
Deep within you, there is a part of you that is unbreakable, and unflappable. Where there is a deep knowing that your inner peace and well-being does not rely on your external conditions but on simply being present.
The way back to this place of calm – is not, as your head will lead you to believe – by getting everything perfect (because let’s face it- that never happens). The calm comes from getting out of the craziness in our heads and being deeply present with ourselves in whatever is going on. Do not approach this by getting frustrated with your head – it is not bad, it is just doing it’s job. Approach this with patience, kindness and understanding. Take a deep breath in, put your hands on your heart and simply comfort whatever feelings are there. The more you practice the more calm you will feel.
http://www.nicolemathieson.com ‘Unbreakable’ podcast https://www.instagram.com/nicole_mathieson
Jarka Kunova, Coach, Writer & Speaker at Designed By Life
I create calm by going for a walk in nature on my own. I like to walk barefoot on grass, which grounds me and at the same time recharges me. Getting some fresh air and the notion of walking is also an active form of meditation for me.
I used to suffer from mild anxiety and regular walks in nature or on the beach really helped me manage stressful situations. Now I use my alone time in nature for creative stimulation as some of my best ideas come during my walks.
http://designedbylife.com.au https://www.instagram.com/designedbylife_/ https://www.facebook.com/designedbylifeblog
Vicky Reihana, founder of Vitality Nutrition & Personal Trainer and Lifestyle-Nutrition Coach at StayStrongMummyMy husband and I have integrated this tip into our lives for the past year: at least 3-4 times a week after dinner we take our pooch for a 30 minute walk. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we walk in silence.We become present with our surroundings, the waves crashing on the beach, the warm salty air.The stress of the day disappears as we feel total gratitude for each other, our children and where we live. True Story! It works for us!
Sally Donald, Blogger on Health/Fitness & Fashion at On Any Given Day with SJD
I create calm in my life through exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
Whilst the exercise I do is generally vigorous – HIIT training, boxing, weights – when I come home from a session I am happy and relaxed. Ready for my family and to take on the day.
Also supported through a healthy eating habit.
http://onanygivenday.com.au/ Instagram link @onanygivenday_
So what was your biggest take-away? What do you think you’ll put into practise? Perhaps you have your own tip to share?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
If you’d like some daily prompts for creating space and calm, there is an infographic available HERE.