If you regularly dedicate time to researching mindfulness and meditation, “equanimity” is a word you’ve likely come across. For the month of June, make it your mindful mission to dive deeper into what it is to experience equanimity. The equanimous mind is a highly beneficial blessing in today’s world.
What Is Equanimity?
When authors, philosophers, experts, great thinkers, and our parents remind us that “cooler heads will prevail” they are referring to equanimity. Its exact definition will differ, but it is essentially calm non-reactive observation.
What happens when we maintain our composure and stay trained on the present moment? We learn more. We pick up ways to improve a situation or help others. And most importantly, we don’t inflict or project our hostility, judgment, or any other emotion on others.
Equanimity is a healing balm for tense, unpleasant situations. If we throw equanimity to the side, we can easily react in ways we can never take back.
What Equanimity ISN’TWe are emotional beings. Pulling back from acting on these emotions can seem cold and inhuman in dark, urgent, or otherwise important times. But perhaps the value of equanimity becomes clearer when you acknowledge what it isn’t:
- Equanimity is not apathy. Are you meditating, or are you simply ignoring everything around you? Exactly! Equanimity is not an absence of caring. It’s just more careful. Equanimous people are still engaging with reality.
- Equanimity is not lazy. In the situations where it really counts, achieving equanimity isn’t easy. It’s not for people who want to avoid having an opinion or are indecisive.
- Equanimity is not neutral. When we talk about acceptance in relation to equanimity, we don’t mean that we accept or approve of what our equanimous mind observes.
In fact, accepting what is in front of us can strengthen our morals and ethics. That is because we did not let our emotional reactions obscure any important information. Plus, with equanimity, we are more likely to recognize what is beyond our control. Thus, we can move forward and effect change in the exact areas where our talents are needed.
Steps Toward EquanimityWe’ve never set a mindfulness goal that we achieve just by flipping a switch in the brain. And of course, you cannot remain equanimous at all times. But if you’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster lately, here are some practical ways to find more balance for the month of June.
Imagine better outcomes. Remind yourself why you need equanimity. Before you mindfully apply it, imagine how it can help in that unique situation. Now picture how the outcome would differ if you acted out emotionally.
Breathe and meditate. Breathing in particular is a solid method of settling down. Give yourself a chance to let feelings pass. If you breathe, you won’t boil over. Meditating daily is how you can become acquainted with what true equanimity feels like - use nonjudgmental awareness to settle in.
Acceptance begins with you. If you can’t acknowledge and accept your circumstances, feelings, and fears, what business do you have judging or interfering with someone else’s? Take an equanimous approach to yourself first. You might come to a resolution internally that eliminates the urge to project unpleasant things onto others.
How will you practice equanimity in June? How do you think it could benefit the world around you? Let us know in the comments.