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Your Chill Pill for 2016 Your Chill Pill for 2016

- (Huffington) - 1 years, 6 months ago...

At a recent holiday get together -- full of wonderfully high-powered women who were stressed over the holidays and other aspects of life -- I met Kate Hanley, clearly the calmest person in the room. What's her secret? She has more than one. Kate handed me her new book, A Year of Daily Calm, published by National Geographic (hence, the exquisite and calming nature photos that accompany the brief reflections, handy tips and sage advice) and I knew I had to try her tips. While self-help can often complicate our lives with to-do lists and "shoulds," as a life coach, Kate knows how unhelpful and stressful those lists can be. A Year of Daily Calm finds the sweet spot that makes it possible to shift into calm with a gentle ease, and offers you space to take notes or journal. It's NOT another item to put on your list and check off. In this interview, Kate Hanley shares how "calm" is truly possible, why we need it more than ever, and how to welcome calm into our hectic lives. After working through some of the exercises I can say it has the potential to be a game changer. Lisa: With everything going on in our lives, and in the world in general, people may not believe they can be calm on a daily basis. How would you respond to someone who finds it hard to imagine? Kate: You only have so much control over the stressors you're exposed to, but you absolutely have a say in how you respond to those triggers. The catch is, you've got to spend some time building your calm muscles, because the human brain is wired to look for problems and focus on what's going wrong -- it's called the negativity bias. If you don't actively cultivate more calm in your life, you'll get stuck in stress mode and that feeling of being at peace will get more and more elusive for you. I'm not suggesting that you can be eternally Zen. I am saying, devote some amount of time on a mostly regular basis to cultivating calm, and you will begin to notice that your buttons don't get pushed quite as frequently or as strongly as they once did. You'll enjoy your own company more, as will the people you come in contact with. You'll help others find their own inner calm, simply by modeling the way. It's a lovely ripple effect that reaches well beyond your own self. Lisa: When you say "Daily Calm" what does that mean to you? We probably don't want to "strive" for calm, but what are we aiming for? Kate: To me, daily calm equals quiet time. The quiet itself may only last for a few minutes -- or even only a moment -- but that reduction of mental noise creates effects that stick with you all day. When you're stuck in traffic and are late for work, you'll be more likely to remember to take a deep breath or two before you start shouting at the other drivers because you took a little time for yourself that morning to savor a few sips of your tea, or to sit and focus on the sound o...

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