How To Be Calm Amidst The Chaos All Around Us.....

After my previous post 'Rude In Dilli......Ya Dilli Dilwalon Ki, some of my readers asked me to include in my write up some calmness tips as well.
To be honest, I am not an expert on such issues but over the years I have devised some of my own ways to stay calm in stressful times........I think I should share them with my readers.
But before that, I would like to relate an anecdote I read in a diary a few years ago. The author is not known.

                                           The Trouble Tree
I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work and his electric drill quit, his ancient one ton truck refused to start. As I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked towards the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. Upon opening the door, he had undergone an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small kids and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do at the little tree. 'Oh, that's my trouble tree,' he replied. 'I know I can't avoid having troubles at my job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again.
'Funny thing is,' he smiled, 'when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many of them as I remember hanging up the night before.'

By narrating this story I do not at all mean to say that one should not share one's problems with the family members and bear the entire burden himself or herself. It's just that one should try to keep the work and family apart unless it is absolutely necessary.

If you are faced with supposedly insurmountable problems whether at home or at your work place, you should call 'time out', stop thinking about the issue completely, blank out your mind for some time. Involve yourself in some other activity that you enjoy-take a walk, clean your table, cook, eat your favorite dish, listen to music, dance or simply find a lonely corner and yourself and loudly! In effect, detach yourself from your problems.
By doing any of these things you will be able to inhale some much required oxygen and relax your tensed nerves. When you go back to the task at hand, you will find yourself much better equipped to handle your problems as you will look at them with a fresh perspective, objectively. You will be amazed to find that half your problems were actually non-existent or merely a figment of your over active imagination.

If you feel you are overworked, devise a to-do-list, prioritize the most important, important and less important and assign work according to individual skills and capabilities. Do not take the entire burden on your shoulders. (Even youngsters can put in some very valuable contribution at home.) Don't hesitate in seeking help if you are stuck at some point, do not let your ego (or feelings of embarrassment) come in the way of your work. Learn to say 'no' to more work when work is already piled up.

When faced with irritable or short tempered people, offer them a glass of water, drink a glass yourself and without raising your voice, assure them that you would hear them out after they have calmed down.

Do not expect other people to be face readers. Instead of keeping your feelings pent up within yourself, communicate! Non-communication is wrong communication. So get rid of prejudices. Approach the other person with an open mind, be willing to hear his/her side of the matter and voice your grouses in a stable, matter-of-fact manner. Adopt a suggestive instead of dictatorial or accusing tone. Keep realistic expectations from others, even from your own self, do not presume you can be a superman/woman.

Be open to suggestions and flexible in your approach to people. Be willing to accept your mistakes and apologize.

Exercise, do yoga, meditation..........introspect at the end of the day. Maintain a regular eating, sleeping, waking up, exercise schedule. Develop a hobby, involve yourself in some creative work.....start a terrace garden or adopt a pet. Feed your body, mind and soul.

As you practice the above mentioned suggestions, over a period of time you will be able to innovate your own calmness tips.

Remember, calmness is a state of mind, it can not be acquired in a day, a week or a month. It requires persistent effort and consistent conditioning of be patient, even if you sometimes lose patience!!!


  1. mam i usually read the speaking tree article in Nav Bharat Times and it helps a lot to learn about life and i recommend that one should read it

    1. Thanks Ekklavya for this valuable reminder. I had forgotten to mention it although I also subscribe to and regularly read the Speaking Tree supplement in TOI. The Inner Voice column in HT also gives some fresh perspective on life. Dear Readers, the above mentioned two are highly recommended........


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