In Portuguese, the word for “calm” is calma.
However, it’s used a bit differently than in English.
Often, calma is stated as a verb. It’s similar to the way you’d say, “calm down,” but it’s not nearly as pushy. More meditative than punitive, calma is like a gentle reminder that you should be calm. Tranquil. Relaxed.
It’s a word that’s more likely to come from your Pilates instructor than your mother.
Lately I’ve taken to using this word when I feel stressed. Or perturbed/anxious/flummoxed.
The source of the stress doesn’t matter; it could come from misplacing my sleep mask, waking up late with a sleep headache, or knowing I’ve earned a parking ticket from the lovely city of Chicago.
But just saying it, calma, softly while I exhale, is a great way for me to refocus. It’s my remedy for re-centering, conserving energy, and moving past the micro-stress.
Maybe you have a own mantra, or re-centering ritual, but if not, I invite you to try mine.