6 Habits of Exceptionally Calm People

#4: Healthy boundaries

Nick Wignall

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Photo by George Milton

Why do some people always seem so calm and zen-like while the rest of us seem to be constantly frantic, stressed, and overwhelmed?

Of course, everything from your current life stressors to your genetics probably plays some role in how calm or crazy you feel on a regular basis. But here’s the thing a lot of people don’t realize:

You can create a calmer mind by building better habits.

Whether through deliberate planning or dumb luck, consistently calm people have cultivated habits that help to keep them feeling calm even when things get stressful and chaotic.

If you want to become a calmer person, try to cultivate these 6 habits.

1. Keep your expectations in check

Expectations are often subtle defense mechanisms against the fear of uncertainty and helplessness.

When you can’t actually control an external situation — or are too afraid to try — retreating into your own mind and telling yourself stories about how things should be gives the illusion of control.

For example:

  • Suppose you have a boss who isn’t very supportive of you, especially during team meetings. You’ve asked him several times to be more supportive but nothing changes.
  • So you’ve gotten in the habit of telling yourself stories about how he should be supportive — and how that’s what good bosses do. And you do this because it temporarily gives you something to do that feels productive — like you can control things.
  • Of course, in the long run, these expectations are unrealistic and will continue to get violated, leading to a steady stream of disappointment, frustration, and decidedly non-calm moods and mindsets.

Expectations give us the illusion of control in the short term. But in the long term, all they do is stress us out.

People who keep a calm mind know that the long-term stress of high expectations isn’t worth the short term-relief they bring.

So if you want to foster more inner calm and peace of mind, train yourself to be skeptical of your own expectations and stories of how things…

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Nick Wignall

Psychologist and writer sharing practical advice for emotional health and well-being: https://thefriendlymind.com