It’s true, we are living in challenging times. This is uncharted territory and with it comes a whole heap of uncertainty. For most of us, uncertainty, change, ambiguity (whatever you want to call it) is right at the very top of the list when it comes to the things that create our panic state or cause us to do anxiety.
After watching generally rational people acting without consideration, rationality or any sort of foresight, it seems to me that the heightened state of anxiety of our society in general is something that needs immediate attention.
Now is the time to stop all the crazy and to press the metaphorical reset button. Approaching a global pandemic with Buddhist like calm might seem like it will get you nowhere but it does come with a stack of benefits. Spending too much time using our sympathetic nervous system’s stress responses is exhausting our adrenals and damaging our immune systems (the same ones we need to fight off a new virus). Exhaustion also impacts our ability to make good decisions (fighting in the supermarkets anyone?).
Contrastly, more calm allows us to feel more in control, reduces feelings of stress, anxiety and panic, allows us to make better decisions, makes us less reactive, increases our resilience and makes us more empathetic.
With all of those benefits in mind, Here are 5 free tools to create more calm.
Playlists on Youtube
There are a whole heap of great playlists on Youtube for creating calm. One I love is the Marconi Union Weightless 10 hour loop. If you haven’t heard of it then it might interest you to know that Weightless is the world’s most relaxing song. Studies have shown that listening to it can decrease heart rate by 35% and symptoms of anxiety by 65%. If I’m feeling particularly wound up at bedtime, I put this loop on and just drift away to sleep.
There are a whole stack of meditation apps, all with various price points and styles. Most of the popular apps work a freemium plan meaning that there is a free version (some with a short course of 10 days for example) and then a paid subscription to get full access. A couple that I love are Waking Up the app by Sam Harris (my geek crush) and 10 Percent Happier by Dan Harris, not of the same Harris family).
I love a good crime or interview podcast as much as the next person but there are also some pretty awesome feel-good podcasts available on the free platforms. I love Happy Place with Fearne Cotton and also Sleep with Me as a great sleep aid. Sleep with me has been so successful at helping me with my poor sleep that I recommend it to almost everyone.
Spotify, Apple Music, Android, whatever your player of choice is, there are literally thousands of great playlists to help create calm. When I was a little girl, my grandma always had classical music playing at home. I never understood the appeal (after all, I was too busy crushing on Chris Cornell) but now it’s my go to for lowing my heart rate. As a new mum, I’ve also found some of the kids playlists pretty awesome for relaxing. I particularly love Calming Instrumental Covers for chilled out versions of songs I recognise.
This one is as free as they come. If you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed then try going outside and hanging with mother nature. Even just sitting amongst the trees in your backyard can help lower blood pressure and resting heart rate, clear your mind, increase your lung capacity and the fresh air will provide you with some much needed energy. I sometimes like to sit outside and try and notice as many different sounds as possible. It’s a great mindfulness trick and I’m often noticing something that I hadn’t noticed before like the sound of a new bird.
So there you have it, 5 (or more!) great tools to create some more calm. Now do yourself a favour and actively go out and create some much needed calm in your own life!
Until next time,
Ps, I’d love to hear what you’re doing to create more calm in your own life. Email me at Rebecca@thesharpmind.com.au with any awesome suggestions.
If you’re finding it a little tricky to get back to the best you then hypnosis can really help. Want to work with me? Visit me at The Sharp Mind or book your first session with me at the Lotus Centre in Brookvale today. Or contact me on 0437248134 or at Rebecca@thesharpmind.com.au to find out how I can help.