Why are some people so relaxed?

Have you ever asked yourself how some people always remain so incredibly calm and relaxed? Or are you perhaps one of them yourself – and have long since internalized the following wisdom?

It is said that serenity comes with age: the more experience we gain and the more often we find that the world usually doesn't end after all, even if it feels like that to us, the more confident and relaxed we become. In addition, success should leave us calm, because whoever is successful feels less vulnerable and has more (self) confidence. If we look at the etymology of the word serenity, belief or religiosity could also contribute to deep relaxation: The Middle High German "serenity" means devotion to God and trust in God.

However, it doesn't seem to depend only on age, success and our belief whether we are calm or not. A few weeks ago I passed a green pedestrian light. Suddenly a cyclist came from behind on the left and crossed the pedestrian crossing, although he should have stopped. I was shocked for a moment, stopped, said "Oops" and then just kept walking. The woman to my right – she was about 30 years older than me and her hairstyle and clothes were about four times as expensive as mine – also stopped and snapped "Asshole!" and then went on, visibly angry. I wouldn't even consider myself a particularly laid back person. But in this situation the well-dressed "asshole!" Lady and I refuted the three theses about serenity (I don't know how she feels about God, of course, but he doesn't exist for me).

Factors such as the weather, to-do list and daily form certainly also play a role in how calm we are. For example, if it had rained that day and it had been below eight degrees, I might have been just as excited about the cyclist as the woman next to me. In contrast to me and the other pedestrian, really deeply relaxed people are largely independent of external factors because they have the right attitude – and internalize the following five things.

5 things that relaxed people understood

1. Getting upset usually doesn't help

From an evolutionary point of view, feelings such as stress, fear and excitement have the purpose of focusing us in dangerous situations and ensuring our short-term survival. But such situations are rare these days. We cope with most of the demands of our time much better when we are relaxed and calm – because then it is easier for us to keep an eye on the overall picture, prioritize more sensibly and act more prudently. Excitement is often wasted energy that is of no use at all, on the contrary, even rather harmful. Relaxed people have internalized this so deeply that they save themselves the trouble from the start.

2. Things don't always go smoothly in life

Things can't always go well in life and go our way, sometimes rowdy cyclists cross our path and we can't change anything – but then we don't even have to try. Chaos, failure, decay and failure are part of life. To internally rebel against it leads to frustration and excitement, to accept it gives peace and serenity.

3. Life is demanding, but we always create constant stress for ourselves

Even deeply relaxed people don't lie in a hammock all day chilling out. We all have to face the challenges of life and sometimes it is exhausting and stressful. However, what down-to-earth people have understood is that necessary stress only lasts for a short time, until we have classified a situation and have it under control. After that we could actually come back down and calm down, but many people get lost in their stress and get into it instead of letting it go – and allow themselves the feeling that they have done enough.

4. Nothing bad happens when we relax

In fact, some permanently stressed people have a phenomenon behind their tension that is called "fear of happiness". Affected people believe that once they are let go and let go, the deeper they fall and the harder they hit when the next stressful situation occurs. They also fear that if they relax, things will slip out of their minds and lose control. Basic people do not have this fear because they know that it is unfounded.

5. Et kütt like et kütt and et would still have jot jejange

In general, German culture and society are not among the most relaxed – just think of proverbs like "no hard work, no price" and "work first, then enjoyment". But Rhenish wisdom such as "et would still have jot jejange" show that we Germans can also have a relaxed attitude towards life. What sounds so cute in dialect is in fact an important and correct insight that can help us to achieve a basic serenity: Because even if everything is getting out of hand for us, it is rarely the end of the world. Sure, if we have to defuse an atomic bomb, it can be, but most of our everyday dramas are over after a few weeks at the latest and forgotten, even if we have not mastered them optimally. Why this is so is a question of faith, but that it is so, we can also impress ourselves with a Rhenish wisdom: "It picks up on the goal".

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