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Five Key Reminders to Keep Calm and Carry On

Updated on July 14, 2014

Think Before You Speak

We've all had that dreadful experience of being in a heated conversation which escalates into a full blown argument. Sometimes a healthy ribbing or lovers quarrel is seen as a way to relieve tension and stress. We may think we are communicating clearly and effectively until the insults fly. Often a partner, friend, parent or co-worker will bring up a past grievance that has absolutely nothing to do with the present moment. Obviously, when our emotions and feelings get the best of us its easy to blurt out, "You're an idiot!" , "You never listen to me!", " It's always your fault!". It's crucial to stay calm and really think before we speak during a spat. Unless we allow ourselves to become conscious of what we're going to say we might create World War III out of a once playful battle of wits. Did you remember to empty the dishwasher last evening or pay the car insurance? So those duties may have temporarily slipped your mind. Does that make you a forever lazy couch potato? Certainly not. But if someone you love and trust calls you "lazy" despite the fact that you work just as hard as they do, an intentional hurtful comment is a form of manipulation. You may have bigger underlying issues than getting dishes put away or bills mailed. Think before you speak. Keep the peace. Keep calm and carry on.



"You are the sky. Everything else- is just the weather."

-Pema Chodron

Accept Without Judgment

Stop judging others and keep your cool. If someone makes a remark about you and it’s something you also judge in yourself, it will most likely hurt. However if they make the same remark and you don’t have that judgment about yourself, it probably won’t bother you at all. Why do we let little things that people say annoy us so much? How well do they know you? Is your ego so fragile that ignorant comments from perfect strangers upset you?

Have you accepted that you're not a perfect person? You have imperfections, flaws and annoying habits just like the rest of humanity. At one time you didn't understand how to download a file or change the oil in your own car. Why are you impatient, making fun or criticizing people who haven't learned yet? Does making other people feel small or stupid somehow make you feel big or better about yourself? Most people who constantly nag, judge and belittle others suffer from low self-esteem. They don't feel or understand their own value. Many times people project their own hatred of themselves and their own shortcomings onto others. Children who were physically or verbally abused, cruelly punished or neglected may carry all of that pain and anger into adulthood. Unsympathetic, selfish or mean adults may have been spoiled rotten and always had their own way as children. Past hurts need to be validated and old wounds need to heal.

Before you lose your sense of calm, examine where frustration, maliciousness or meanness is coming from. Accept without judgment that others must be hurting inside. Unless there is a total lack of empathy why would we treat others so terribly? Ask the person to clearly and directly explain why they are being so mean or judgmental. You don't need to tolerate disrespectful comments or actions but you may want to understand them. Understanding leads to compassion. Manipulators and bullies find great gratification in upsetting people. Don't give them permission to treat you badly. Keep calm and carry on.

Shift Your Focus

When we get really stressed out it's usually because we've focused too much of our energy on one specific task or endeavor. Even people who love and become absorbed in their career or those who find fulfillment raising children need to stop and take a break. When you lose your calm, make mistakes and become frustrated it's time to step away from a person or project and shift your focus. Close your door. Go for a drive. Get a snack. Take a walk. Look at a funny website. Hire a maid or a baby sitter. Give yourself a mental break especially if you think you're becoming overwhelmed. When you feel stressed out or stretched to the limit your own mind starts to play tricks on you.

Have you ever thought that someone was deliberately ignoring you or deceiving you? Do you suspect people are talking to others behind your back? This occurs all the time in offices and businesses around the world. Instead of being paranoid about your co-workers and loved ones, keep calm and ask yourself how did you feel in that moment? Were you frustrated, hurt, angry or upset? How about when you found out that they had not done it to begin with? How did you feel then? Did you feel embarrassed or upset with yourself? When we allow stress to build up our minds invent untruths and we create a thousand enemies. Observe how your thoughts play cat and mouse the next time you feel stressed out or upset. It's pretty amazing what you'll discover if you just stop for a moment and examine your own patterns of thought. You must keep calm and carry on.

Listen to calming music.....

Let it Out

What's the first thing most of us do when we're upset? We phone a loved one, tell a friend, confide in Fido or immediately start typing an awful email strewn with the most unsavory expletives. WAIT! Before you hit send, keep calm. It's okay to let out your frustrations but we do need to be mindful of how and when we release the "Cracken". Telling a trusted colleague is fine but keep your voice down in case the boss is within earshot. Be aware of who you're venting to and why. Will you make matters worse?

A better way to let go of stress is to hit the ground running. Exercise is a great way to release pent up energy and negative thoughts. Go for a walk. Listen to music. Take a bubble bath. Some people find it helpful to nosh on healthy snacks such as pretzels or veggies rather than gobble up an entire pepperoni pizza or hot fudge sundae (which you may regret later). Skip indulging in shopping, alcohol, smoking or drugs. Avoid driving angry if you can.

Initially, whichever method we choose to release our frustration, remember there's still the issue of finding forgiveness and resolution. Unless you can automatically come to terms with what happened you may become resentful and possibly prone to future anger flare ups. Talk calmly with the person who upset you. If the occurrence isn't something you can resolve with another human being such as when a random driver cuts you off in traffic or gives you the finger, then you will have to let it out and let it go. Keep calm and carry on.

Breathe Deeply

The best way to stay calm and keep your cool is to breathe. Take a few deep breaths, count to ten and relax. When we become tense our breathing becomes shallow and ragged. When our breathing is unsteady it causes loss of oxygen to our brain and all other body organs. Becoming aware of our breathing allows us to keep our balance. Deep breathing has a direct calming effect on our nervous system, relaxing muscles and lowering our blood pressure. Most importantly, its one hundred percent free, no doctors prescription required. Deep breathing exercises can be performed whenever or wherever you need them.

One very easy way of deep-breathing is putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind your two front teeth. Breathe in slowly through your nose to the count of five. Hold your breath to the count of seven. Then exhale slowly and audibly through pursed lips to the count of eight. Place your hands on your abdomen and you can actually feel it rise as you inhale. By the fourth exhale, you should feel noticeably relaxed. By the tenth breath you should feel renewed. Now, keep calm and carry on.

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“Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment

Keep Calm and Carry On.......

What Makes You Lose Your Cool?

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  • LKMore01 profile image
    Author

    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us Crafty. Speaking through other people is never a wise a choice and the teacher should have known better. I'm grateful if any of my articles help others. Thank you once again for stopping by.

  • CraftytotheCore profile image

    CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

    You did a fantastic job with this Hub and I love the photos. I should have stopped by here and read this the other day. My daughter's teacher told her to tell me I need to buy her a hairdryer. I have to admit I lost my cool. I didn't say anything to the teacher, but it upset me that the teacher didn't send a note home or tell me directly. I felt she put my child in the middle of what is a parenting issue, not a school issue. And quite frankly, we already have a hairdryer which my daughter knows how to use.

    I had to really take a few deep breaths and focus on something positive to get over the sting of it at first.

  • LKMore01 profile image
    Author

    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Thank you, Eiddwen. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

    Very interesting and useful. Voted up for sure.

    Eddy.

  • LKMore01 profile image
    Author

    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Liz. Your feedback is much appreciated.

  • epbooks profile image

    Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    It's so important to think before we speak. Many times we can easily say things that we will eventually regret! Excellent hub with valuable points!

  • LKMore01 profile image
    Author

    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Flourish,

    Thank you for reminding us that we can definitely get caught up in the baggage of others emotional histories. What we discover may lead to compassion and understanding or our choice to protect our boundaries and gently sever ties all together. Thank you once again for sharing your wisdom.

  • LKMore01 profile image
    Author

    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Anna,

    Thank you so much for reading and responding. I really appreciate your feedback.

    kidcrafts,

    Once again I always appreciate your support and insightful commentary. Thank you so much for your kindness.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

    I enjoyed the quote about the walking corpses. We all carry around emotional baggage to some degree from childhood, past conflicts with the person we are dealing with, personal failures, failed relationships, etc. Some people's baggage is very heavy, and it can make interaction difficult. The trick is not allowing their baggage to become yours. They must work through what issues they have while we as individuals must do the same. That's how I keep calm. I won't carry other people's baggage for them.

  • kidscrafts profile image

    kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

    What a great quote... “Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.” I just love it!

    Great advices in your article, LKmore! I think it's always a good idea not to judge others as tempting that it might be! It can be a dangerous game! It's not worth to destroy precious friendship or family connexion over judging or gossiping! Life is just too short for that!

    Thank you for making us think at the beginning of the week! It's a very interesting hub!

    I love your choice of illustrations!

  • Anna Haven profile image

    Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

    You are spot on with the tie between past and present emotions and oversensitivity.

    Some really good ideas for reigning in those destructive words. A useful and interesting hub.

  • LKMore01 profile image
    Author

    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Thank you for reading and commenting Mel. It's amazing how cathartic writing can be. It's probably saved countless relationships. Peace to you always.

  • LKMore01 profile image
    Author

    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Bill,

    You are right. When you are in the heat of the moment it's often difficult to keep perspective. Once we allow ourselves to cool down then we can really face any challenge. Thank you for reading, commenting and as always thank you for your support, Bill.

  • Mel Carriere profile image

    Mel Carriere 4 years ago from San Diego California

    Personally I find I can write myself out of a bad mood. Had a little spat with my wife tonight and I wrote myself out of my anger in about 10 minutes. Great hub!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I couldn't really vote in the poll because I rarely if ever feel stress. However, the rest of the hub, losing our cool, well, been there, done that and I'm quite certain I'll do it again. :) Great suggestions my friend; now if I can only remember them when faced with certain situations. :)

  • LKMore01 profile image
    Author

    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Thank you for reading and commenting Suzette. If we could all learn to be a little more kind, a little more considerate and little more compassionate we would all be so much happier. Thank you again for stopping by.

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

    Quite an astute article. Best advice I know-Keep calm and carry on. You are certainly correct - most people that belittle and push others' buttons are insecure and have self-esteem issues. We can only control ourselves-we cannot control others. Great advice and tips here.