Have you ever felt as if the anxious thoughts in your mind were spiraling out of control? Do you find yourself constantly worrying about the future or someone else’s beliefs about you or your performance? The whispering voice of self-doubt can start out as a small snowball rolling down a mountain and become larger by the minute until it disrupts your entire day.

The New Year and new decade, has offered us collectively an open invitation to embrace a state of inner bliss. Noticing the opportunity to inhale a bouquet of joy can provide a calm refuge and an open door to remain grounded as you traverse through an unprecedented global crisis. In the words of Albert Einstein, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
We often equate and base our happiness on what is happening or the tangible items we possess. There is a hidden paradise nestled in the soul that readily welcomes bliss in times of busyness, barrenness and brokenness until it kisses the face of bountifulness. Sherrilyn Kenyon powerfully stated, “The strongest steel is forged by the fires of adversity. It is pounded and struck repeatedly before it’s plunged back into the molten fire. The fire gives it power and flexibility, and the blows give it STRENGTH. Those two things make the metal pliable and able to withstand every battle it’s called upon to fight.”

On July 3, 1978 Aviation Week and Space Technology released a report about an aircraft that was designed to fly at sea level and they desired to extend its performance capabilities to fly at least 10,000 feet higher. If you find yourself experiencing negative thoughts or anxious feelings ask the question, “Where can I begin ascending from within to pivot in perspective or elevate my emotions?”

Here are five ways to shift from a low state to a peak state of being:

  1. Gratitude: You can insulate yourself from the harsh winds of life by planting your heart under the tree shade of gratefulness. Oprah stated, “The more you celebrate, the more you have to celebrate.” Find a jar or box and write on a notecard the simple pleasures you are thankful to experience each day. They can become a source of encouragement in moments of discouragement.
  2. Grounding through Meditation: The ability to intentionally think kindly to yourself, about yourself and others will cultivate a rich inner peace. Thich Nhat Hahn offers a short mindful meditation in his book Being Peace: “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful time in my life.”
  3. Gardening: Nature provides a healing therapy that is often overlooked and underappreciated as a result of the constant bombarding of commercialization and materialism. Can you picture a more vibrant way of being if you basked in the sweet serenity of Mother Nature’s beauty?
  4. Growth and Development: A deliberate investment in your personal growth is guaranteed to yield a priceless return for generations to come. Operating at the highest level of excellence allows you to discover who you are beyond who you have been. The perfect time to sharpen your mind and prepare your portfolio for future opportunities ahead starts now.
  5. Generosity: One of the fastest ways to elevate your emotional state is to brighten someone else’s day. She who refreshes others in a time of drought shall also be rejuvenated. There is an indescribable gratification that comes from intentional acts of kindness. How much more fulfilling and thrilling could your inner world be if you chose to live generously?

It is not always easy to choose the most positive responses in the moment but with practice you will begin to strengthen your ability to live by your values rather than allowing feelings to dictate your behavior. How can you manage strong emotions and remain emotionally balanced in times of crisis?

  • Refuse to respond immediately if your emotions are unsound and unstable. Create a quiet space to contemplate and process your thoughts with mindful awareness.
  • Write out your feelings in a journal to sift through your emotions in a safe private place alone.
  • Speak with an unbiased and non-judgmental confidant who can be a sounding board and provide you with loving support and honest feedback.
  • Accept full responsibility for being a contributor to a viable solution rather than a one who exacerbates the problem.
  • Remove yourself emotionally and create distance from the situation. If you were an outsider looking in what would you say or do differently? If you could choose to let go of one thing you’ve been trying to control what would it be?

Those who rise above the challenges of life have a special ability as stated by Bruce Lee, “to absorb what is useful, discard what is not and add to what is uniquely their own.” As you proceed forward each day, concentrate on what can be changed and remember you possess the power to prevail.