How Calm People Stay Calm

Girl meditating

Ever wondered how that one coworker stays so calm while you feel so hurried with a hundred tasks? Certainly they have just as much to do as you, yet you’re so flustered you can barely think. How do these de-stressed, calmly composed people function and what do they do so differently?

Michelle Carlstrom, the senior director of the Office of Work, Life, and Engagement at Johns Hopkins University, “I think people feel less stressed – even when they’re really busy – if they’re able to live out personal values that matter to their life. Whatever your values are, if you don’t get to practice them it’s hard to feel calm.”

Below are some simple strategies that calm people practice which you can integrate into your own life as well. 

Find Your Center

Carlstrom says that people who are able to stay stress free often find their center through stillness. Meditation, simply focusing on your breathing, or even prayer are all methods to reach your calm, inner self. She believes that any strategy aimed to reduce distractions and halt racing thoughts can absolutely reduce stress.

Express Gratitude

Gratitude researcher, Dr. Robert Emmons, says that philosophers “for millennia have talked about gratitude as a virtue that makes life better for self and others,” while research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that those who record what they’re grateful for, whether it’s keeping a list or having discussion, feel happier and more energized.


When calm people feel anxious they turn to their friends. Carlstrom recommends socializing with the people you feel closest to, whether that’s your friends, family, or co-workers, “as long as there’s a diversity in your social relationships.” Spending time with friends can build a sense of community and make you feel happy and at home all at the same time. Blow off some steam and vent, but then focus on having fun with your family and friends.

Realize Your Mechanisms

That calm coworker probably doesn’t have everything together, but simply knows how to manage his or her stress. Carlstrom states that it’s important to figure out if the stress you’re feeling is “real or if it’s perceived.” Count to 10 and ask yourself if the stress your feeling is worth it. Another trick to managing stress is to realize what your coping mechanisms are. If you shop when you stress or you eat too much, realize this and manage your impulses so they don’t become unhealthy or lead to even more stress.


Make sure to consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for all health related advice.

Story Credit

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jillian

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