I think my 4 year old daughter was trying to tell me something when she brought me a Chinese translation of The Little Book of Calm by Paul Wilson. I don’t usually make it a habit of reading books like this, unless you count all the productivity manuals I’ve digested, but my daughter was pretty persuasive. Generally its too ‘new age’ for me but like many texts like this there are enough bits of commonsense to make the effort of leafing through the pages worthwhile. Here is a selection of 10 tips contained within the book which I found to be the most relevant.
Leave it to others to be perfect, to be wonderful. Be content with who you are – you will be much more relaxed as a result.
Take a lesson in calmness from children: watch how they live every moment for the pleasure of the moment.
Clear out the clutter. Physical disarray adds to the tension of life. Clearing out the clutter is an orderly way to calm.
To bear ill-feelings towards someone else is more damaging to the bearer than the recipient. Forgive quickly and freely.
There comes a time when you need to shut yourself off from interruption, to concentrate on your own needs and responsibilities. Do it for at least one hour every day.
Keep plants where you work, sleep and live, and you’ll enjoy more oxygen. The more oxygen you get the more calmer you will become.
Anything that interferes with your sleep – coffee, cola, alcohol – interferes with your ability to become calm. Do whatever is necessary to get as much sleep as you feel you need.
Walk everyday – not because you have to , but because if you combine it with the right attitude , it can be the most relaxing way to get from A to B.
Be rigorous in differentiating between what is achievable and what is a waste of time. Then devote your energies to only those tasks you can achieve.
Any task you can do on remote control has the potential as a way of helping you feel good. Treat it as a meditation, concentrating wholly on the moment, and you will be fulfilled.
What works wonders for me isn’t mentioned anywhere in this book. A weekend getting massaged into submission at a resort in Thailand is a surefire way to ‘calm’ for me.
The Little Book of Calm