As we edge closer to Christmas, a lot of us may feel quite tense. There might be financial stresses, tensions with family, or just feeling tired after a busy year.

At times like this we really need techniques on staying calm, and feeling serene, even when our environments are hectic. Feeling serene is a learned behaviour that takes practice.

James Allen, a philosophical writer, penned the influential book “As A Man Thinketh” in the beginning of the 20th century. His teachings about how calmness is “one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom” and that it’s a result of repeated and concerted efforts in self-control, are as relevant now, as they day they were written.

To get to a place of calmness, we need to understand how thought operates, and how that impacts on our feelings and behaviours. In previous blogs we have talked about this in detail, and that our behaviour and our lives are shaped by what we think.

You can become calm by understanding that you are a thought-evolved being, Allen writes. This knowledge means that you understand that you and others are governed by thoughts. That certain thoughts cause certain actions – there is a cause and effect relationship between how we think and what happens.

Allen writes that, you can stop worrying and fussing and remain composed and laid-back by learning self-control. To me, this means acknowledging and recognising your thoughts –observing them, becoming conscious of them, and then managing them and adjusting them. Creating more positive thought patterns takes repetition and practise. It could mean reading the serenity chapter in James Allen’s book every morning. Or perhaps you recite the serenity prayer.

People who are calm, and who are mindful, attract others. We don’t like being round people with short-tempers, their lack of self-control turns us off, because of their unpredictability. On the other hand, serenity attracts respect and influences change for good.

If you are really in a position of self-control, it doesn’t matter what goes around you, you can draw from an eternal pool of serenity. This is about finding and maintaining composure, so you can be emotionally and mentally secure, no matter what life throws at you. This is about developing an awareness of what is going on around you and accepting it for what it is (and not how you want it to be). Or if you can change something – change it!

Another way to feel more serene and to accept things for what they are is to practise gratitude. Set aside five minutes each day to write down ten things you are grateful for. This is a great habit to get into.

Sometimes we need reminders to be grateful for this season that we are in. I encourage you to enjoy yourselves and set aside time to practise feeling more calm.

Terri Newman-Hodge

Having pursued personal growth, consulting, and development throughout my life, I am now thrilled to be able to turn that passion into a business, by working with and facilitating Proctor Gallagher Institute’s “Thinking Into Results” program, that helps people live happier, healthier, more abundant lives.

© 2018 Terri Newman-Hodge