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Top Tips For Finding Your Inner Age Of Calm

20/03/2017 14:36 GMT | Updated 20/03/2017 14:36 GMT

Stressed? I thought so. What with Brexit, the far right (and in the interests of balance, the far left), Scottish independence, the size of Smarties. Oh woe. How are we to cope? Did I mention Toblerones?

Far from being a new Age of Complacency, as has been suggested, it seems to be one of anxiety. Unlike previous generations without downloadable worries to fret over, we have them all the time, delivered personally.

The news more or less exists not to inform, but to inflame, it seems. Social media connects us instantly to others who will share our worst fears, or happily show us theirs. Maybe even a video. Mount Etna erupting? I was almost there with that BBC film crew myself.

Somehow, we are all slightly on edge, collectively worrying, over-stimulated with electronic cortisol coursing through our systems.

Are we even happier when we learn that other people are? Shared triumphs can leave us feeling hollowed out and inadequate. "The universe resounds with the joyful cry, I AM!', Scriabin observed. He might have added '...but you are not.'

What we are losing is that sense of individual ease and calm enjoyed by previous generations when they had the people they saw, those they saw less often, and a few disembodied voices on the radio.

Not that it would be good to go back there. But perhaps what we have yet to do is work out where the boundaries of what we know and say should be for our own good, recognise the distorted perspectives that can arise from our connected era.

So, in the interests of helping towards finding an Age of Calm, here are nine steps to take, and in no particular order:

Make sure all the boring basic money stuff is sorted out. Income should at least come close to expenditure. And be sure to have prepared for that day when interest rates rise, as they certainly will, and rain falls.

Prioritise health. Don't scrimp. Mental health, for example, is a growing problem for the NHS, businesses and individuals. A good way to keep a sense of equilibrium is to exercise. There is no better trick for promoting well-being.

Nobody reaches their deathbed wishing they'd done more unpaid overtime or cleaned the living-room better. Prioritise family and friends. Take holidays and develop non-electronic interests.

Do something selflessly that helps people who cannot possibly help you.

Challenge work patterns by moving out of the comfortable bits and taking a few risks. It can do wonders for self-esteem.

Money again: wills and power of attorney are important to get sorted out. Nobody should ever choose the state as their best friend or chief beneficiary, which is what can happen if statements of intent, either about possessions or incapacity, are not clearly written down.

Make a break from technology part of your routine. We all need to tune out and switch off a lot more.

Cybercrime is a growing issue, so be alert to heartfelt requests for money from strangers, or your friends unless they actually call.

Smarties. Honestly, they're for children. And anyway, it may never happen.

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