Finding Calm in the Chaos

by | Apr 10, 2023

Finding Calm in the Chaos

First, let’s address the chaos. We are all caregivers at some time in our lives. We either find ourselves in the midst of caregiving without warning or without the necessary skills for the task at hand. Whether your caregiving started early in life or in your later years, often that one, really big and significant caregiver role comes along. And in our busy lives it adds to the daily stressors we are already combating from our jobs, our environment, and other relationships. 

The human body produces adrenaline to give you the extra energy in demanding situations and stress occurs when the body doesn’t have a chance to return to a resting state. Chronic stress creates what is known as oxidative stress which is like rust on your cells and weakens the immune system. It’s important to be aware of your body’s response to stressors, such as increased heart rate, changes in breathing and digestion, or even blood pressure. Other signs could be headaches, exhaustion, changes in sleep patterns, or loss of concentration. Stress is your body’s natural response to change. It has both physical and emotional effects, and is a very individual experience. A situation that one person finds stressful may not bother someone else. For example, one person may become tense when driving while another person will find that experience a source of relaxation. Something that causes fear in some, such as rock climbing may be exhilarating for others. There is no way to say that one thing is bad or stressful because our individual responses are different. Life would be dull and boring without some stress/excitement; the key is to manage the stress properly so that it doesn’t become harmful to our health. Outside events such as problems at work, preparing to move, or preparing for a special celebration can be stressful events, but it is important to remember that it is how we react to those stressors. We can’t control the events but we can control and choose our response. 

One way to find the calm in all that chaos is to begin to change our outlook and mindset and the Zen philosophy can be a helpful starting point. The following quotes from some well-known philosophers can help encourage you to open your mind, think differently about the difficulties that you face, and even find the inner strength and focus to keep your anxious mind at ease.

“Each morning, we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ― Buddha

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” – Jack Kornfield 

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”– Shunryu Suzuk

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” ― Dalai Lama

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” ― Dalai Lama

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Nothing ever exists entirely alone. Everything is in relation to everything else.”– Buddha

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” ― Lao Tzu

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.” ― Dalai Lama

So, now that you have some inspirational Zen quotes to reference, how do you use them to your advantage? I recommend putting your favorite quotes up somewhere you can see them everyday, or writing a different Zen quote in your planner for every day or every week, or add them as a morning or evening reminder on your phone or prompt for journaling. The key is consistency in exposing yourself to these Zen quotes and to constantly make sure you are not only reading these quotes, but really thinking and write about what they mean to you.

If you are looking for more guidance on finding calm in the chaos of caregiving and starting a new path to wellness, Alaka’i Associates is here to be your guide. Contact us for a free 30 consultation at

Until next time, LiveAlohaLiveWell.