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3 Tips to Developing a Calm Composure

Things bother us! It’s human nature. For some of you though things really bother you. Someone does or says something and anger and frustration arise. When you act or respond out of a place of anger and frustration, I’ll bet it’s not usually good. I also bet you don’t feel good about the interaction as it’s happening but afterwards. How can you have composure in these kinds of situations?


The way you react and respond to situations largely has to do with how you were conditioned. You’ve probably been acting and responding to situations similarly most of your life. Now you don’t have to. 😊 There are some basic principles you need to know in making this kind of change. Once you know and understand them, you realize there’s less to get angry and frustrated about.

What does composure mean?

I think it’s important to talk about composure. What is composure? Composure means – having self-control, a state of calmness. Is that the state you’d like to achieve in most situations? I know I’ve worked on attaining that state in my life. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s changed not only how I see others but how I feel about myself. How have I worked through this?

Learn to not take things personally

We think everything is about us. Truth is, that is not true. learning to not take things personally is one huge step to having the kind of composure you want. When someone does or says something that impacts you in a negative way, stop and ask yourself, is that about me or that person? I guarantee that it’s not about you, it is about them and has nothing (really) to do with you.

Feelings are real but not true

“There is a fundamental understanding that is helpful as we begin to look at our illusions of reality. Tibetan teacher, Tsoknyi Rinpoche coined the phrase Real but Not True. What this means is that, while thoughts are really happening and there is real biochemistry that accompanies them, they are only representations in our mind. They are not the experience of this living moment. Just like a map is not the territory that it represents, our thoughts are not reality” – Original Source, Psychology Today

Learning to have composure

Since composure pertains to self-control, here are my top tips to developing not only self-control but a state of calmness.

1. When you feel the anger and frustration rise in you, stop and take a breath. Learn to be more present and think about what is happening from a more factual place. Think about what IS happening versus what do I think it happening. This can make a huge difference and start to shift your perspective. You come to understand that what IS happening is very different from what you think is happening; which is based on your life experiences.

2. Start to think about conversations from the perspective of, who’s conversation is this? If it’s the other person’s conversation Ask good open-ended questions, reflect on what you are hearing and listen. You can be an active participant but this conversation should not be about YOU! If the conversation is yours, try to stay away from judgement and expectations. Be clear about what you are looking for and ask but just know that it’s awfully hard to get from these things from other people. My mantra with other people is – no judgement and no expectations. I try to remain present and open to what’s coming up.

3. Maintain good body language. At a minimum, stand or sit tall, shoulders back and down, head and chin up and eyes forward. The next level is putting a smile on your face. Pay attention to closed-off body language. What are you reacting to and why?

4. Another common mantra I use in a variety of situations is: nothing bad or terrible is happening. I sometimes follow that with I am grateful for…

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