Prioritising emotional calm
Whether we’re facing creative challenges, or testing times in life beyond our work, proactively prioritising our own emotional balance is one of the most helpful things we can do – both for ourselves and for others.
Protecting and nurturing our innate stores of inner strength and calm will make a powerful and positive difference to the actions we take, the people we become, and our experience of the journey.
When we are able to maintain a centred, grounded and clear-headed calm:
• we are more open to creative ideas or inspiration that can actually help
• we make better decisions
• we are more available to uplift and support others
• and we play a vital role in shifting the prevailing energy to one of practical effectiveness, steadfastness, resilience, optimism, hope and a solution mindset.
So, to inspire you to discover and implement the most effective tools and practices for you, here are some of my recommended remedies for emotional calm, in no particular order.
There a quite a few! (I have been exploring these remedies for many years.)
So, feel free to just scan and read the ones that jump out at you. The forces in charge of your attention know what you need.
Or just come back here the next time you need a little something to soothe your soul…
Emotional Calm Remedy #1
Whether you choose tunes to boost your energy, lift your mood or soothe your soul, music is a fast-acting remedy that can work wonders at restoring emotional balance.
Classical music used to be my go-to remedy for calm but recently I’ve been finding much solace in yoga music and Sanskrit mantras.
I first discovered these a few years ago via Maya Fiennes and I was hooked.
I often don’t know what the words mean (though my Sanskrit is improving!) but just listening to this kind of music works on my nervous system in ways I don’t need to understand to appreciate.
(Playing this Sanskrit prayer for grace on loop during challenging times has worked miracles in my life – highly recommended!)
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Emotional Calm Remedy #2
Along with the meditative music I love, a regular practice of meditation has transformed my habitual levels of inner calm and emotional resilience.
I don’t know how it works exactly, I just know – it works.
I highly recommend finding a meditative practice that you love, one that you find restorative, effective, enjoyable and – most importantly – doable.
Listening to guided meditations daily on waking has changed my life – it takes 20 minutes but makes such a difference to the tone and experience of my day.
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Emotional Calm Remedy #3
3. Creative expression
My work is a HUGE source of comfort to me during challenging times – it provides an absorbing focus that distracts from fretful thoughts.
It also helps me feel I am being of service, doing something that assists my fellow humans – and that feeling is deeply soothing to my soul.
The flow state is also known for a number of beneficial, long-lasting and cumulative effects on our physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing.
I’ve been fascinated by this connection for over two decades and my current focus (a welcome respite during turbulent times) is a new support system for creatives that explores the link between creativity and wellness.
I hope to have more to share on that project soon, but if the calming power of the flow state interests you, I highly recommend Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
(I have both the paperback and the audiobook version – I may be slightly obsessed. 🙂 )
And if you’d like to read my vision of just how powerful and beneficial expression can be in our lives, I wrote about it in The Joy of Dharma which you can access here. (It’s free.)
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Emotional Calm Remedy #4
A regular exercise regime will have cumulative effects for both physical and emotional health, but movement also works as a go-to remedy during any testing times.
A couple of minutes of jumping jacks or squats never fails to shift my mood and halt any negative emotional spirals.
I recently bought a skipping rope and not only does a short spell of Skip Therapy boost my energy and get my heart pumping (a lot) – it also makes me smile.
Something about skipping and jumping is uplifting and enjoyable. Ask anyone under 10 years old – they get it.
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Emotional Calm Remedy #5
Yoga heals my heart like nothing else.
My favourite is Kundalini yoga, and whether it’s the spiritual connection, the gentle stretching, the meditative mantras or the breathwork – there is some restorative magic at play in these ancient practices.
Modern science is beginning to reveal precisely why yoga works and I find the neuroscience and body-mind connection fascinating.
But the greatest evidence is my own experience.
I know yoga restores my calm. I turn to it multiple times and day and it always works.
There are so many branches and styles of yoga, I highly recommend exploring this rich and supportive practice so that you can find the most beneficial option for you.
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Emotional Calm Remedy #6
6. Affirmative prayer
I’m fascinated by the mysteries of prayer, but I sense that some of its power is the soothing effect it has on the person offering the prayer.
I love the work of Dr Joseph Murphy and his studies of ‘scientific prayer’, ie the psychology of belief and our innate spiritual support mechanisms. I highly recommend The Power of Your Subconscious Mind if this potent medicine appeals to you.
These are two of my all-time favourite prayers that work for most scenarios.
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Emotional Calm Remedy #7
7. The healing power of nature
Nature soothes. We don’t need to understand it, we don’t even need to think at all. Just being in nature is healing to body, mind and spirit.
Advocates of forest-bathing will cite the scientific effects of natural spaces and places, but I recommend experiencing the benefits for yourself.
Sunshine, trees, mountains, rivers and lakes, plants and animals, birds and flowers, fresh breezes, open skies and sunsets – these soul-soothing blessings are all around us and often freely available.
Just a few moments in their presence can help to restore our calm.
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Emotional Calm Remedy #8
8. Positive journalling
My days just go better when I journal. I am naturally calmer, and more grounded and present.
Downloading the whirring thoughts and concerns is therapeutic for me, once I’ve got them out of my head and onto the page, my mind stops reminding me of them over and over and over.
My journalling has changed in recent years. I used to just pour out whatever came to mind, but after discovering Muse Power, I now use my daily journalling as a tool to receive answers, insights, clarity and guidance.
I also now use it as an intentional tool to set the tone for my day and my life, incorporating the techniques of Affirmative Prayer which have been working like magic for me in recent months.
Positive journalling is one of my all-time favourite remedies for emotional calm, as well as the empowering practice of life by design.
I share more about the power of positive journalling in Tonics For Your Creative Spirit if this fast-acting, free and effective form of therapy appeals to you.
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Emotional Calm Remedy #9
9. Helping our fellow humans
There are times when prioritising our own emotional wellbeing involves less focus on ourselves.
Turning our attention to helping others in practical ways can help to stem the runaway currents of overthinking.
It’s a question of balance – one that we can get better at answering the more we practice and notice our results.
If you are exhausted from serving others, this might not be the most appropriate remedy. However, if you have done all you can to protect and nurture your own wellbeing, it can often be hugely beneficial to turn your focus to helping others.
It helps us to feel useful, it gives us back a sense of power and control. These feelings can be restorative and soothing.
Service, kindness, helping others – these acts have positive and uplifting benefits for us. It’s the ultimate win-win.
To supercharge the benefits of this practice, I highly recommend taking a tip from The Diamond Cutter and giving exactly what you need to receive. Eg, if you are craving calm – help someone else to feel calmer.
Case in point; writing this blog post is helping me to enjoy more emotional balance.
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Emotional Calm Remedy #10
10. Practicing surrender and detachment
And practicing surrender has been both empowering and enlightening for me – it’s amazing how things tend to work out better when I let go and trust.
Admittedly, this is still a work in progress! It does take practice. But like anything we commit to learning, we can get better and better at this, over time.
Cultivating a strong Surrender-&-Trust muscle leads to more resilience, emotional balance and inner calm.
Again, it’s not always easy, but it can be done, and the benefits are more than worth the effort.
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Emotional Calm Remedy #11
11. Spiritual studies
One way to balance out unavoidable influences that interfere with emotional calm is to feed your mind with uplifting, empowering ideas and material.
Whatever your belief system, spending time with the books and teachers that connect you to your spiritual power will have a soothing effect on your nervous system.
Regular exposure to inspiring material will have cumulative effects, helping you cultivate higher levels of resilience and inner strength.
Personally, I’m something of a magpie when it comes to spirituality and belief systems, having explored both eastern and western faiths, as well as ancient and modern theological systems.
One book that I turn to when I need to feel connected to a force larger than myself is The Creative Process In The Individual by Thomas Troward.
The idea that we are divine and more powerful than commonly imagined can be great comfort in the face of life’s challenges.
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Emotional Calm Remedy #12
12. Tapping / EFT
Emotions are energy. We are energy beings. Techniques that address our energy fields and meridians can be powerful and practical ways to navigate the challenges of life.
Tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is one such technique.
It does require an open mind but once you see its benefits, it is a rapid and potent way to restore calm and emotional balance.
It is also increasingly recognised as a powerful tool for many aspects of healing and wellbeing.
It’s free and something we can do any time, anywhere! I use it daily. (Sometimes hourly.)
Emotional Calm Remedy #13
13. Attention Curation
Our thoughts and emotions are not completely random.
They are the result of many complex processes – our life experiences, our tendencies, our brain chemistry, our environment.
Not all of these are easy to affect or control, but one thing we can do to support calmer and more helpful habits of thoughts (and the proceeding emotions) is to take responsibility for what we allow into our precious minds
From the books we read, the films we watch, the news sources we trust, the people we follow online – we can choose these carefully in ways that empower us, align with what really matters and support our emotional health.
If you feel the need for more emotional calm and inner peace, do what you can to limit any external inputs that will compromise that.
Protect your brainspace from excessive exposure to negative content or overwhelming media.
Our attention is one of our most precious assets – consider how much advertisers are prepared to pay for a piece of it.
Taking responsibility, when possible, for what we give our attention to can help us to more positively shape our worldview, our energy and our emotional lives.
So, I hope you will explore some of my favourite remedies for emotional calm!
If you’d like to learn more about the power and effectiveness of these remedies, I delve into the How Tos for a number of these practices in Your Creative Dharma.
Because emotional calm is a HUGE asset on the journey to creating your ultimate career, success and life sweet spot, as well as in being a good human, doing your bit and enjoying this beautiful, messy, bumpy journey we call life.
If any of these feel self-indulgent, or you think that nurturing or protecting your calm and wellbeing is not a high priority, please remember that you will make better decisions, cultivate more loving relationships and enjoy better health (which helps everyone) when you master emotional balance.
In As A Man Thinketh, James Allen suggests that the more tranquil we become, the greater our success, our influence and our power for good.
Like this post?
If you’d like more practical, doable and holistic tips for creative living, I compiled some of my most popular blog posts in my new book, Tonic For Your Creative Spirit.
It’s packed with self-coaching techniques and helpful insights – kind of like a field guide for creatives who value health, happiness and fulfilment.
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