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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Finding Calm by Sarb Johal


There’s no denying we are living in a troubled world of change and uncertainty. Honestly, how are you handling it? How do you deal with your feelings of anxiety and fears?

The demands of modern living can take their toll, even in relatively normal times. Add a catalogue of global crises and the impacts of a pandemic and you can easily feel overwhelmed.

If stress is taking its toll, you’ll want to read Dr Sarb Johal’s Finding Calm. Sarb is an expert in emergency management and disaster psychology. He helped develop the world leading response to the threat of COVID-19 in New Zealand. The lessons he shared can be applied to our daily lives.

I especially liked the chapter on fake news and telling facts from misinformation. An early chapter, Mastering Your Brake, also offers useful insights into shaking off disappointments, frustration and doom and gloom! Sarb’s advice when you’re finding life difficult is to figure out what is absolutely necessary and remove everything else. Removing distractions is one of the best things you can do and will help avoid the triggering need to multitask. Simplifying at every opportunity is almost guaranteed to reduce the risk of feeling overwhelmed.

Sarb says comparing your life to other people’s lives is a destructive trap that can be avoided by focussing on your own forward movement. For example, measure where you are now compared to last week, month or year and acknowledge what you have achieved. At times, it may not seem like much, but in our uncertain world, it’s still likely to be progress. Also, to protect yourself from depending on success in one aspect of your life, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, he says. It is important to acknowledge that life isn’t easy and nothing goes well all the time. Don’t focus your sense of self-worth into one aspect of your life, for example hobbies, sport, work, parenting or travel. If one part of your life doesn’t seem to be going well, you can draw comfort from other parts.

Finding Calm is for anyone wanting to develop resilience and strengthen their ability to ride life’s ups and downs. From simple mindfulness techniques to staying connected, Finding Calm offers the ingredients for complete mental wellbeing. He offers easy-to-follow tools and practical tips. Plus, he includes useful ideas to help introduce structure into daily life and shows how this can help reduce stress and feelings of panic. You’ll learn how to deal with uncertainty and find your inner compass in today’s chaotic world. Follow Sarb Johal online.

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Penguin, RRP $37.00

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