7 Days of Calm, Day 7: Find Your Inner Kid

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Kids are experts at living in the moment. They don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what may happen tomorrow, they enjoy being where they are today.

As adults, we find more time to worry or be distracted. We create more time to over-analyze the events of yesterday and over-plan the events of tomorrow.

Find your inner child and ask them: What do they want to do today?

Picture yourself as a child. Pick a time when you remember being happy and carefree. Focus on that version of you. Picture yourself at that age. Picture where you are, how you look, what you’re wearing. Is there a toy you loved playing with? A bike you rode everywhere?

Let yourself become that child version of you, and let yourself see the wonder in the world they see.

As your child self you can become carefree. You can lose yourself in something inconsequential. You could draw. Color. Build something with Lego. Take books from the shelf and stack them into a tower. Maybe make up a song.

Don’t try to create something perfect, just enjoy the sensation of being creative. Remember how you would become lost in something when you were a child? That activity was the most important thing in the world, as you were doing it. Let that feeling take hold of you now.

Remember, this may not be something you’d normally consider ‘productive’, but that doesn’t mean it’s a waste of time. Quite the opposite.

Think of one thing you loved to do as a child. What about it did you love? Imagine your present self doing that thing and feel that sensation of joy.

Is this something your present self can do? If not, what would be the equivalent experience, as an adult? What would trigger an equivalent sensation?

In what ways can you make that childhood joy a part of your everyday routine?
Is there an image, a song, a memory to trigger that feeling?

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7 Days of Calm, Day 6: They Go Low, You Go High

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It can be too easy to try and feel better about ourselves by putting others down. Sometimes we realize we are perpetrators of such behavior, sometimes we are the targets of it.

Can you think of a time when someone hurt you to make themselves feel good? Or when you hurt someone to feel better about yourself? This may be hard for you to admit.

Whether it’s teasing a friend, throwing shade or just plain bullying, it can be tempting for someone to engage in negative behavior as a quick fix for boosting their self-esteem.

It’s an easy win, but a cheap shot.

Ask yourself, what is it about the target of this behavior that makes the person want to hurt them? In what way does making them feel bad make the other person feel good?

That good feeling, that ego boost when someone is mean to another, is a dopamine hit. It’s a positive chemical response triggered by a negative reaction.

If you find yourself expressing negative opinions about someone, ask yourself: What could you do to give yourself that same dopamine hit? What could you do that would make it stronger?

What thing could you do to be nice to that person? To give them a dopamine hit? What could you do that would make you both feel good?

If you are the target of the negative opinions, what good thing could you do in spite of this? What thing, real or imaginary, would give you a dopamine hit powerful enough to counter their negativity?

Really picture it. Close your eyes and live that experience. Even just imagining it can trigger a release of dopamine in your brain.

Imagine a time in your life when you felt confident, felt good about yourself. What were you doing? Embrace that feeling of joy. Pinch your thumb and forefinger together to ‘lock in’ this feeling. Whenever you need to access this, whenever you’re feeling low or vulnerable, pinch your fingers to trigger the feeling.

Day 7: Find Your Inner Kid

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7 Days of Calm, Day 5: Stay On Target

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There are things in our lives constantly crying out for attention. Devices, media, friends, family, chores, work, ambitions, desires. Multitasking is a useful tool but, like any tool, it’s important to only use it for the right task.

Distractions can be damaging to our sense of calm. If we focus on many tasks at once our attention becomes fragmented. And, with it, our sense of purpose.

What do you find yourself distracted by?

Attempts to focus on too many tasks, or on tasks that are too dissimilar, can take more time and energy than approaching them individually. What is it that makes you try to do so much at once? Are you worried about falling behind? Is it fear of failure? Fear of missing out? Do you feel pressure to overachieve?

You can create an anchor that brings your attention back when you’re distracted. Your focus is important, and your anchor will help it keep from drifting.

Your anchor could be clapping your hands. Clicking your fingers. Singing a song. Saying ‘No’ (out loud or under your breath). What will your anchor be?

Think of the things that distract you. When you’ve activated your anchor, can you picture these distractions as smoke being blown away? Are they clouds that part? A flock of noisy seagulls who take flight as you approach?

Are your distractions chains holding you down? Does your anchor pull you into the sky, breaking free of distraction to soar toward your goal?

Day 6: They Go Low, You Go High

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7 Days of Calm, Day 4: Let It Go

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We all have things we dwell on. Thoughts or situations on which we become fixated, replaying them over and over in our heads. So often, these are situations that are in the past. Situations that may never happen.

How good would it feel to take that thought and just let it go?

Think of the situation you fixate on, think of it’s pivotal moment. Now take a snapshot of that. Actually blink your eyes, as if taking a picture. Imagine that picture as an old polaroid. Hold it in your hand and watch it fade to black and white.

Let the wind catch the polaroid and pull it from your fingers. Watch as it tumbles through the air. Notice how quickly it leaves you. Let the moment go.

What other ways can you think of to let go of this moment?

Do you pin the polaroid to a tree then watch as you walk away? The picture soon becomes indistinguishable. The tree it’s pinned just one of many in the forest. The picture will fade. The moment is gone.

Day 5: Stay On Target

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7 Days of Calm, Day 3: Get Back in the Game

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Sometimes things can feel overwhelming. And that can be okay. We just have to remember that our emotions often don’t reflect the reality of our situation.

Is there something that makes you freeze up? Something that makes you hide under the duvet rather than face it? Think of that thing that seems so overwhelming. Embrace it and let yourself experience the anxiety it causes. If this is overwhelming, that’s okay. Let it overwhelm you. You’re going to make that feeling go away.

Tell yourself that your emotions are valid. That it’s okay to feel this way, but now it’s time for a new emotion.

Make your whole body as tense as you can, counting backward from 10 to 1. When you’ve finished your countdown, exhale and relax your muscles. Let that overwhelming emotion flood out of you.

What’s your favorite color? With your next breath in, imagine the air you breathe in is that color. Even the molecules of oxygen are that color. Maybe they’re multicolored. Maybe they sparkle like glitter. With each breath, you take in more and more of your favorite color. It crackles around you like electricity.

When you’re ready, imagine facing the thing that had seemed so overwhelming. Raise your arms toward and and picture colored lightning shooting from your fingertips. Picture yourself walking toward it and walking straight through it as if it were smoke.

What had seemed an insurmountable obstacle is no longer accompanied by overwhelming emotion. You were always capable of overcoming it. And, now you’ve disassociated it from a negative emotion, you can.

Day 4: Let It Go

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7 Days of Calm, Day 2: Break the Cycle

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Our habitual behaviors are learned responses to recurring situations. Almost all habitual behavior is positive. If you’re about to cross a road, you’ve learned the habit of first checking it’s clear of traffic.

Some habits we adopt because they were, at one point, of benefit to us. However, if they are no longer beneficial and we continue them they can become detrimental.

Eating food high in sugars and carbohydrate can be a common response when faced with a stressful situation. It has clear short term benefits, your body ensuring you’re fueled for the challenge ahead. However, if we repeatedly respond to stressful situations in this way it can become damaging to both our physical and mental health.

Think of a habitual behavior you engage in that you’d like to correct. Do you stress eat or starve? Impulse shop? Pick at you hair or your fingernails?

What emotion do you feel when you engage in that behavior? What is the emotion that triggers it? Can you think of its opposite emotion?

This opposite emotion is the one you’re going to move toward each time you find yourself engaging in this habit.

Imagine yourself exhibiting this behavior, then picture yourself curling up into a ball. Head tucked in. Arms at your side. Try tensing your muscles as you visualize this. Let that triggering emotion wash over you.

Now imagine you’re moving away from that emotion and toward its opposite. Picture yourself standing slowly, feel each of the vertebrae in your back, from the base of your spine working up, extend. Spread your arms and look up to the sky, feeling sunlight on your face.

Finally, imagine a pair of wings unfolding from your back as you fully embrace your desired emotion. Really picture those wings. Are they feathered? Dragon wings? Are they made of metal?

Each time you find yourself engaging in this negative behavior, you can picture yourself unfurling, your wings spreading before they carry you away from the triggering emotion to become absorbed in the emotion you prefer to experience.

Day 3: Get Back in the Game

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7 Days of Calm, Day 1: Shields Up

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Hate, aggression, resentment originate in others and are thrown at us, but we’re under no obligation to accept them. We can learn to deflect comments and criticism that are harmful to us. We can raise a shield to protect us from other peoples negativity.

Picture your shield surrounding you. How big is it? What shape does it take?

Think about how your shield protects you. Think about how it physically deters negative comments people make about you.

Do their hurtful remarks shatter into dust when they come into contact with your shield? Do they bounce off and vanish toward the horizon? Maybe they slide around you, leaving you untouched?

Their comments could also pass through your shield and become transformed. Their surface aggression can be stripped away to reveal how, in talking about you, they are really talking about themselves. If the words, “You’ll never be successful” pass through your shield, they are stripped back to reveal what they really mean.

“I wish I were as strong as you.”

“I would be scared to do the things you do.”

Your shield provides a means of interpreting the world around you. It allows you to move forward with your goals without distraction. How can you imagine your shield working for you?

Day 2: Break the Cycle
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7 Days of Calm

Welcome to our 7 step guide to creating one moment a day where you deal with anxiety.

We all have stress in our lives. Cards for Calm helps you find little moments in your day to look at the source of this stress and develop creative ways of dealing with it.

Each card is designed to take only a few minutes to play and this 7 step guide will help you confront the sources of this stress and find creative new ways to think about them.

Each day we guide you through developing creative visualizations that help you combat a source of stress and anxiety in your life. They include dealing with other people’s negativity, changing habitual behavior and dealing with bullying.

And you can start improving how you deal with them today.

Day 1: Shields Up

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Day 2: Break the Cycle

Day 3: Get Back in the Game

Day 4: Let It Go

Day 5: Stay On Target

Day 6: They Go Low, You Go High

Day 7: Find Your Inner Kid