Serenity: a positive state of mind where you are untroubled by life's ups and downs. It means remaining calm and true to yourself, regardless of what else is going on.
So, why serenity? How would 'being' in a state of serenity help you? What would it mean to your life, to your relationships? Only you can answer these questions, but here are some other thoughts that might help:
* Refresh your sense of self. When you are so busy that you cannot focus on you, it is easy to forget all about yourself. Taking some time, even a few minutes, can help you remember who you are. Ground yourself, feel your feet on the floor...take some easy breaths. Feel, sense and notice who you are.
* Contain emotional storms. Fluctuations in mood are normal, but too much drama is counterproductive and only increases stress. Normal emotions are good and need to be understood and processed, but at times letting your emotions run unchecked masks what is really going on. Get to know your triggers and learn new skills to calm yourself.
* Monitor your thoughts. Everybody has a whole repertoire of stories they tell themselves about the events in their lives. When this repertoire is negative and automatic – catastrophising, black-and-white-thinking, overgeneralising etc – it sabotages success and peace of mind. Worse still, stories of anticipated calamities intensify worries, fears, overwhelm, irritation, frustration and other self-defeating emotions. Challenge your thoughts: Are they realistic and true? Choose thoughts that are in accordance with your values, your authentic self.
* Look for solutions. Dwelling on problems and focussing on things that are wrong or could go wrong seems so natural. It also opens the door to blame, recrimination, guilt, regret and generally a disturbed state of mind. None of it will bring about resolution or progress but consumes precious emotional energy without any benefit. Looking for solutions instead of dwelling on problems will help calm an over-aroused nervous system.
* Flow with life. At its core, serenity contains a sense of trust that all is well just as it is. That can be difficult to accept unless you understand that each experience is telling you something valuable about yourself and the world around you, and that adversity contains the seeds for new treasures. Going with the flow is not about drifting passively in life’s currents. On the contrary, it is the active acceptance of how things are and choosing how to deal with them. Instead of fighting circumstances, you see things objectively as they really are.
By adopting the value of serenity, you will be able to deal with life’s challenges in a calm and considered way. Instead of getting caught up in drama that only increases your stress, you meet the demands of living with an attitude of acceptance and self-directed action.
Enhance serenity by making time for Being, with moments where all Doing stops. Mindful awareness, reflection and meditation all help you do that. Simple activities like walking the dog, going for a swim, listening to gentle music or other forms of ‘me-time’ provide powerful opportunities to settle your nerves, regroup and refresh your perspectives.
If you hold spiritual or religious beliefs, prayer, contemplation or tuning into universal energies will also help you do that. Serenity might seem an old-fashioned value that has no place in a fast-paced world. But while stress is commonly understood as something imposed by external factors, stress is really the body’ and mind’s response to challenging circumstances. This liberates us to deal with life differently and choose tranquility of mind instead of self-defeating overwhelm.