“With equanimity, you can deal with situations with calm and reason while keeping your inner happiness.” — The Dalai Lama
Over the past few years, we’ve all been through the wringer. It’s been one heck of a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. Feelings of anxiety and fear were heightened. Basically, most of us felt anything but calm. And as we transition into a “new normal,” it can be hard to quell these feelings of anxiety and fear.
If this sounds like you, maybe you need to learn a little bit more about equanimity!
Equanimity embraces a state of psychological calm. In fact, cultivating this state can help you emulate calmness, maintaining your composure no matter what the world throws at you.
While you might feel an emotion, this doesn’t mean you have to act on it or express it outwardly. This state further embraces mindfulness, Buddhism, and more.
So, how can you cultivate equanimity? What can you do to become more resilient, calm, and mentally strong? Let’s find out!
Psychology research defined equanimity as,
“an even-minded mental state or dispositional tendency toward all experiences or objects, regardless of their origin or their affective valence (pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral).”
Meanwhile, in Buddhism, equanimity may refer to two concepts; a “neutral” feeling or a mental state that requires practice and isn’t impacted by preferences or biases.
In many ways, equanimity is mindfulness in the purest of forms. You are present, but you are also present with complete mental clarity—Something that is easier said than done! In truth, we’d all love to be calmer and more composed. But in the moment, we can easily let our emotions get the best of us.
Someone who practices equanimity is known as an equanimous person.
This type of person is in complete control of their emotions, rather than the other way around. They maintain composure, even through the most stressful of circumstances. In many ways, an equanimous person acts as an anchor for many through tough and turbulent times.
However, you can become this type of person! Cultivating equanimity takes practice and effort, but it’s 110% worthwhile. You become more empathetic, more compassionate, and more loving overall. Who doesn’t want that in their life?
Inevitably, “equanimity” comes with many different definitions. The most simple equanimity definition is, “evenness of mind, especially under stress.” In other words, it’s, generally, a state of calmness and a state where you’re in complete control of your emotions.
Cultivating equanimity comes in many forms.
Monks frequently refer to our uncontrolled mind as the “monkey mind.” In fact, your mind can easily play tricks on you, leading you away from equanimity and leaving you struggling to feel in control of your life and your emotions.
Luckily, there are various ways to practice equanimity and get better at obtaining this mental state. Here’s how!
Meditation comes in many shapes and forms. Yet, there are meditations specifically for equanimity and mindfulness in general. The point of practicing meditation regularly is to gain back control of your mind and allow yourself space to simply observe thoughts and emotions, without acting on them or reacting.
Related Article: 8 Meditation Tips for Beginners: Quiet That Mind
Multitasking can throw your mind into chaos and disorganization. It can also leave you feeling pulled in multiple directions, without truly finishing one task to the degree you usually would.
Being present and mindful means paying attention to one thing at a time. This means avoiding multitasking and just focusing on the task at hand.
Related Article: 10 Tips for a Strong Mind That Anyone Can Achieve
Many of us lead busy lives. And in a society where “keeping busy” is encouraged, it can be difficult to carve out time to sit and truly enjoy a meal. In fact, we might not even remember scarfing down our lunch mid-workday, meaning we aren’t being as mindful as we could throughout our daily lives.
The solution? Practice mindful eating!
What does this mean?
When you eat, only focus on eating. Chew every bite! Enjoy all the flavors in every food. Mindfulness is easily incorporated into your daily life in such practices, leading to improved equanimity.
Reacting without thinking is the opposite of equanimity. Instead, use your words after thinking them through. At the same time, detach your self-worth from others’ words. This can help you become less emotionally reactive and achieve that state of composure and calm you crave.
In many ways, this is all about not giving your power away and not allowing others to sway how you feel or react. You have the power within you to choose your reactions and feelings. The more you practice this power, the more equanimous you become.
Movement acts as a form of mindfulness and meditation.
For instance, many sports demand you stay within the present moment. If you don’t, your performance, inevitably, crumbles. Moving our bodies allows us to let go of the past and remove future worries. It allows us to just “be.”
Creativity is a major pillar of cultivating equanimity and mindfulness. Many people call this the “flow state.” When in this state, there is nothing outside of it. Strive to do something creative at least once a week (ideally, once a day, but let’s take baby steps first!). This might mean painting, writing, creating pottery, sewing, and more!
Equanimity is your gateway to true freedom. It removes the anchors that hold us back in the past and the ropes that pull us forward into the future. Instead, it allows us to be present, without judgment and without reactionary responses.
It helps us find calm and composure, something that can quickly become our greatest strength.
So, how are you planning on becoming more equanimous?