When a major life event occurs, we can feel as if we are in an unending storm. A calm centre can be hard to find. Equally, many people struggle to feel calm in daily moments. Parents struggling with frustration, customer service employees finding it hard to manage difficult customers, and dealing with daily hassles such as peak-hour traffic are just some examples of what can shift us from calm to stress. At these times it can help to turn to the wisdom of others.
There is something calming about wise words. They tell us that people before us have shared our struggles and have looked for solutions. These words tell us that others have found a path when they were lost or an anchor in the storm of life.
These are my favourite 7 quotes that I draw upon to bring calm and ground myself when I need it most:
1. “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~ Thich Nhat Han. If you follow my Instagram account @nadene_vanderlinden, you will know I am a big fan of Thich Nhat Hanh. I love to share his quotes because I find them helpful and poetic. This one reminds us to breathe to find our calm centre, and that all feelings are temporary.
2.”Will this matter five years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.” ~ Catherine Pulsifer. This quote asks us to assess the nature of whatever we are stressing over and whether it is worthy of our time and energy. That lady in the carpark who swore at you is annoying, but will it matter in five year? This is enormously helpful for me as I can sometimes get very annoyed about things that won’t matter in five minutes let alone five years.
3. “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” ~ Willa Cather. If you are going through a challenging life event these words can help you feel that there is a purpose to your suffering. Although it may feel unpleasant, you will learn and you will grow from this struggle. It can help reframe these times more positively.
4. “Nature does not hurry but yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu. This was the most popular quote I posted on my Instagram account last year. Many of us get caught up in the busy of life and trying to make things happen. While purposeful action is important in life, this quote reminds us that things can happen without the rush and without the pressure we often put on ourselves.
5. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” ~ Richard Carlson. Reminding us to focus on the bigger picture and what is most meaningful in life. The tricky part for some of us can be identifying what is the small stuff and what is the big stuff. What can seem like small stuff may be linked to something that you hold very important in your values system. Or if you are in your early days of parenting, sometimes you don’t know yet whether this stuff is the small stuff or the big stuff. However, if you know what your small and big stuff is, using the quote “Don’t sweat the small stuff ” can help you.
6.“Done is better than perfect.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg. This saying helps us to focus on getting the task done rather than focusing on having everything absolutely right. Perfectionistic behaviors can cause a lot of stress. By focusing on completion rather than perfection, it saves a lot of time. On completion, we feel successful rather than we failed something. This is especially helpful for busy parents who have a large number of tasks to complete each day, sometimes with less-than-willing helpers.
7. “No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow” ~ Maya Angelou. A helpful quote for when you have had a bad day. Sometimes we just need to focus on the fact tomorrow is a new day and a fresh opportunity. If we yelled at the kids or handled something in a way we didn’t like at work, these words help us maintain a positive mindset. This quote also creates hope which helps prevents the negative prediction trap.
I hope you enjoyed reading these positive quotes, my interpretations and suggestions. I would love to hear your most helpful quotes for calm living in the comments.