Aug 10

11 Ways to Find Serenity Amidst Chaos

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no trouble, no noise, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all these things and still be calm in your heart.”

- Unknown

SerenityIn our fast-paced, multitasking, day-to-day lives, we often find ourselves adrift in chaos. I have a lot on my plate (plates, really), and I know full well that I’m certainly not the only one!

Within this chaos, finding our inner calm is just as important—actually more so—than completing our next task. It allows us to recharge and breathe just a bit easier. It’s incredible what just five minutes of serenity can do for your energy level and mental state.

Begin this week by using a special power—the ability to find serenity amidst chaos—and watch as the beauty of the week unfolds around you. The following is a brief menu of serenity options from which you can choose. By all means, indulge yourself this week!

1. Breathe. Those seven letters can instantly trigger a calming response. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, count to three, and release. Repeat as necessary.

2. Rock Out. Take a quick four-minute break from your work to listen to your favorite song. You’ll probably find that it will calm you down, pump you up, or bring back great memories. Regardless of the genre, give yourself a moment to enjoy the music that will transport you to a place of pure happiness.

3. Uni-task. Yes, you read that right. Instead of believing in the mantra of more is better, allow yourself to focus on each task at hand, one at a time. This will allow you to de-clutter the other tasks that are taunting you from the periphery of your mind.

4. Step away. Let me guess, you’re staring at a screen just now, right? The television screen, the computer screen, and even the smartphone screen have become the interfaces with which we interact most often. When you’re piling on the work and begin to feel overwhelmed, take a step away, or simply turn your chair around for a minute or two. When you do, you’ll instantly regain the clarity you need to continue.

5. Stop! Think about…things. Placing yourself on autopilot does little more than cloud your mind. Instead, take a minute to organize your thoughts and tasks. This way, as you embark on that checklist, you’ll have a clearer vision of your day. After all, improved clarity brings about greater focus—so watch as you execute all of your tasks.

6. Take a Fresh Air Break. When you feel that you’re being pulled in every direction or that you’re stuck in a certain project, take a minute to walk outside and breathe in the fresh air. This will help you reconnect briefly with nature (even if you’re in the middle of a hot city). More importantly, it can help you get back to work with a revitalized attitude.

7. Read. If you’re in the middle of working, prompt your brain to switch gears by reading something new and interesting. This is a great way to continue the learning process with a broader scope. If you’re at home and everyday stresses are getting to you, reading can be a great way to relax. The images and emotions your brain conjures up simply by reading words will certainly be a welcome method of restoring yourself.

8. Reconnect. When life’s chaotic journey begins to get too far under your skin, it’s important to take a step back and reconnect with someone you’ve met along the way. We are greater than the sum of our experiences, and these include the relationships and interactions that have propelled us to where we are today. Simply pick up the phone to learn how someone else is doing and what they are up to in their own lives. A reminder of the memories will be an added bonus.

9. Stretch. Flexing those muscles and moving your body around is a great way to relieve some of the tension being built up in your muscles. Stretching helps you to continue marching on and allows you to reject the manifestation of any stress—literally and figuratively.

10. Laugh. It’s the most important of all medicines, and taking a minute to laugh with others or even at yourself will definitely reinvigorate your mind and soul. Adopting a lighthearted approach to the chaos that surrounds you will help you return to a tranquil place.

11. Create a Serenity Trigger. No matter how you deal with those chaotic moments in your life, create a serenity trigger that will help you find a peaceful place whenever the need arises. My serenity trigger is an image of a beautiful flower blooming within a simple mason jar. When I visualize it, it reminds me to take a few minutes away from what I’m doing to find serenity amidst the chaos.

All of these actions represent different ways of approaching the same problem. We feel stressed because of the palpable chaos around us. When we do, then it’s time for us to find our place of serenity and return to it over and over again.

What is your serenity trigger? How do you find serenity amidst chaos?

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Posted in: Goals & Productivity, Tips + Techniques, Top Posts

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Kali August 10, 2009 at 8:38 PM

I love coming here to your island. Thank you!!!
Have a wonderful week my friend. ;~)


Carolyn August 13, 2009 at 12:59 AM

So happy you enjoy my little island!! Hope you’re having a great week!


kali August 10, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Thank you for everything you do. :)


Laura August 10, 2009 at 9:51 PM

I love your site. Thank you for all you do everyday, you make my life better just by being here on Facebook. God Bless you and Yours.


Carolyn August 13, 2009 at 1:03 AM

I truly appreciate your thoughtful words. They mean so much to me. Thank You :).


Bambi August 11, 2009 at 9:08 AM

This was wonderful, thank you. I’m constantly trying to find ways to deal with the daily work that I do.

The Serenity Trigger is great as well. I think mine changes since my mind is always multi-tasking. One that will be a constant is Lake Tahoe, CA…when I visited there I thought it was peaceful and beautiful.



Carolyn August 13, 2009 at 1:04 AM

Bambi, that sounds like a beautiful serenity trigger!


CAROLYN MORALES August 11, 2009 at 10:20 AM

My serenity trigger is prayer to God who is so much bigger than us. I thwart the negativity and the internal and external accuser noises with prayer and remind myself what GODS Word says about us. I reflect on the beauty that God created and his original intentions for our good. The creater of the universe is a Father to me. He keeps me inspired with his love letter to us in scripture.


Carolyn August 13, 2009 at 1:05 AM

Thank you for your very powerful comment, Carolyn!


Swirly August 11, 2009 at 11:02 AM

This is my biggest struggle these days – trying to find that peace amidst the chaos (although at least it’s happy chaos!) At the moment, any sliver of time during which I can be alone is GOLD….as in, alone with no work, no laundry, no nothing. Those moments feel so hard to find these days, but when I stumble upon them, I immediately breathe easier.


Carolyn August 13, 2009 at 1:08 AM

Me too — happy chaos is so confusing! Such a catch 22! I saw your post recently about those moments of alone time and completely agree – golden!! Thank you Christine for sharing your Ordinary Sparkling Moments :).


Jess LC August 11, 2009 at 4:58 PM

I love #3- I am doing it myself (more often) by a) turning off the email function on my Blackberry unless I actually want to check emails and b) by using only (or mostly) one tab on my internet window. When I have my gmail tab up, I find I constantly check it to see if I got a new email.

Now when I post, I don’t get as distracted. Or when reading this blog post :)


Carolyn August 13, 2009 at 1:11 AM

Oh I know – I’m the same way, but hadn’t thought about minimizing tabs. Such a smart move! I either have my internet open or closed (and when it’s open, there are typically 10 tabs!). I’m going to try that!! Thanks, Jess.


kazari August 12, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Make Tea.
Heat the cup.
fill it up.

even in the middle of the busiest work day, there is time to do it slowly.


Carolyn August 13, 2009 at 1:12 AM

That sounds just wonderful! I may have to print your comment out as a daily reminder :).


Dusan Vlahovic August 12, 2009 at 12:38 AM

When i’m burned out and it’s a beautiful day i go outside and sit right where the sun hits, and just sit there, being present; it’s very comforting and energizing. And if it’s a cloudy day i do anything on that list and keep going!. Nice read!.


Carolyn August 13, 2009 at 1:14 AM

So happy you enjoyed the post! Love your suggestion – especially during the summer… just sitting outside in the sun is so rejuvenating!


Arif | August 12, 2009 at 12:46 AM

Beautiful post!

I especially love #3. That one has been so relevant to me the last few weeks as I have juggled work with trying to launch a blog site.

The only way I have managed to get through it all is by focusing with the help of “Unitasking”.



Carolyn August 12, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Thank you for your kind words! Recently, I’ve found unitasking to be so important as well. It takes so much mental energy to switch between tasks. I create little zones – so during one zone I’ll work on research and then during another I’ll work on blog writing and so on :). I am so much more focused and get a lot more accomplished. Thank you again for your feedback!


ms hopeful August 12, 2009 at 12:57 AM

great, i like the idea of serenity trigger, this is a positive trigger for an antidote to bad mood :)

can i share your post in my site with due acknowledgment


Carolyn August 12, 2009 at 4:58 PM

I’m so happy you enjoyed the post and like the idea of a serenity trigger :). I would love for you to share the post on your site!


Michelle | When I Grow Up Coach August 27, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Living in New York City, I’m constantly trying to find the sernity amidst the chaos (which is easy, because this place is chaotic!). To do that, I’ll find the nearest park (believe it or not, there are a lot of them here!) & plop myself on a bench & just watch the people go by or call someone I’ve been meaning/wanting to talk to. If I’m home on the Upper West Side, I find serenity in Riverside Park, on a bench next to the water without a car in sight. Also, I shouldn’t discount time with a good book in a bubble bath or a few minutes in the corpse pose. Aaaahhhhh…..


abbey September 19, 2011 at 7:06 AM

i surely need this, it’s been busy with work and stuff. i am doing yoga as well when i feel stressed so some of your tips may help too :) thank you for sharing!


patricia September 29, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Thank you for sharing these Serenity Tips.
This post is great and useful to many people living in countries where the economical environment is unstable!
I will share this great post on twitter too!


Kathy Sprinkle November 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Thank you so much for the inspiration! I added this post to my Speaking of Serenity round up.


Ashish August 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

You’re beautiful.

Anyways, my serenity trigger is waves pounding on the beach, somewhere in the Pacific, clear blue sea, clear blue sky, white sand, and just the sound of nature around. Sunset/sunrise in times when I need to make it extreme ;)

Ahhh.. I just soothed down while writing it..


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