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How You Can Be Calm Even When Things Get Rough

How You Can Be Calm Even When Things Get Rough

When life gets rough, sometimes it’s hard not to fall apart and sink deep into an abyss of negative emotions. Have you ever wondered how some people can be so calm during the most turbulent times while others can’t? Would you like to adopt some coping strategies that keep you calm during the bad phases of your life? Here are 9 things you can do to get through tough times with a level head.

1. Cry if you need to—for a while.

Some people are more emotional than others. But repressing your emotions doesn’t always help. If you do repress them, it’s like holding a beach ball under the water. You can do it for a while, but it will eventually come back to the surface—and sometimes in an explosive manner. So have a good cry once in a while. Let the emotions out in order to help yourself think more clearly afterwards.

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2. Then stop the crying and put your logical side into the driver’s seat.

Once you let your emotions out, make a decision to put your emotional side in the passenger’s seat and let your logical side drive. Logic will help you stay calm and focused during chaos. If you let your emotions out with a good cry or two, you can shift mental gears and do the next step: solve the problem.

3. Be solution-oriented.

Dwelling on the negatives won’t change anything. Let’s say you just lost your job. Maybe it was shock. So you’ve had your cry and/or the time of freaking out, and then you made the decision to put your logical hat on. Now look at the possibilities. Start applying for jobs. Think about a career change or starting your own business. Look at the actions you can take to make your situation better. Then do something.

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4. Remove yourself from the situation if you can.

Maybe you didn’t lose your job—but you hate your job. Or your boss. Or your co-workers. Maybe you’re in an abusive or loveless relationship. If there is any possible way for you to remove yourself from a negative situation, then do it. Staying and dwelling on the negatives won’t make you happier or calmer. Sometimes you just need to get out so you can have a better life.

5. Keep things in perspective.

Sometimes what we think is a tragedy isn’t really a tragedy. It may just feel like one. As I look back on my life, some of the things that I thought were the end of the world were really just stepping stones. I like to ask myself the question, “At the end of my life, am I going to look back at this problem and feel that it was significant? Or will I just laugh at how upset I was over it?” If you can give your problems a new perspective like that, it will help you stay calm. Sure, some problems really are huge. But many of them are not—we just think they are.

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6. Remember that it won’t last forever.

One of my favorite quotes is: “The only thing constant is change.”  While that’s an ironic statement, it’s actually very true. No one stays in once place. It might feel like you’re staying in the same place, but time marches on. If you take action to make a better life for yourself, then you are claiming your power and taking that first step toward being happier.

7. Ask for help.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. It’s not! Where has it ever been written that everyone needs to go through their problems alone? Nowhere! Having other people support you—either emotionally or by actually doing something to help—will make you feel like you have less of a burden on your shoulders. Less burden equals more calm, collected, and lighter feelings.

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8. Realize that it could be worse.

Another thing that helps me keep calm during tough times is that I always remember that there are a lot worse things that could be happening. Maybe you did lose your job, but at least you have your health and perhaps family members to help you get back on your feet. Somewhere in the world, someone has it a lot worse than you do right at this moment. I know it doesn’t always feel that way, but many times, it’s true.

9. Believe that things will get better.

Hope. Hope is everything. If you don’t believe that things will change, then they won’t. I always love to quote Henry Ford when he said, “Whether you think you can—or you think you can’t—either way, you are right.” If you think things will get better, then they eventually will. If you think they won’t, then they won’t. Your beliefs shape your experience.
Staying calm when life gets rough takes practice, but it can be done. If you practice these steps on a regular basis, eventually it will become second nature to you.
 

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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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