There is a saying that “Peace is not about avoiding trouble, work and hardships. Rather Peace is the ability to remain calm in the midst of life’s challenges”. This is something that I have struggled with and still think about sometimes. It is really easy to feel at peace and ease when things are going well and you are generally happy about the state of your life.
However, when there is chaos around us or things don’t go as planned or we have expectations that aren’t met, we can start to feel that tide of emotion rising up within us – anxiety, anger, fear, worry, … the list goes on.
So, how does one go about finding that deep well of calm within – especially in the moment of challenge? Here are a few techniques that might help you with this:
1. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – this is one of a collection of techniques that use the body’s energetic meridians to effect emotional and physical change. It is also known as “tapping”. It has been used with great effect in any number of things, but its ability to deflect and lower panic and anxiety in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) patients is why I’ve listed it here. Basically, you tap on various meridian points (top of head, above eyebrow, side of eye, under eye, above lips, below, lips, below collar bone and under arm on side of body) with two or three fingers while reciting “Even though I (enter the feeling you are having here – e.g., feel worried), I deeply love and respect myself. Continue repeating this as you tap your way through the points. Check yourself after one round, if you still feel the feeling or another feeling, continue until you are at a neutral point. Get help from a good EFT practitioner if you need help.
2. Remembrance – a Sufi practice of chanting the name of god (Allah) silently or under your breath repeatedly for 5 – 20 minutes. You can sit comfortably and if possible, close your eyes and place your hands over your heart area. This technique really helps you get into your heart space, which is where the calm resides.
3. Chanting – An example of chanting would be the Hindu peace chant:
Sadgamayaa Tamaso maa, Jyotirgamayaa ;
Mrityor maa, Amritam Gamayaa
Here is a link to a site that explains the meaning of the chant and some mp3 links so that you can listen to it.
There is something about the vibration of sound that can change your energy field instantly. If this chant is too complicated for you, try simply chanting “Ohm” over and over again until you start feeling calm.
There are many more ways to get to that place of peace. These are but a few techniques that I use regularly to get back to feeling calm and centered when I find myself feeling overwhelmed, worried, anxious, fearful, etc. And the beauty of them is that you don’t even need to know WHY you feel the way you do. Just do one of these and watch your blood pressure lower, your breath deepen and your connection with the Divine increase. What more could you ask for?