Seven Kinds of Calm Emotions and How to Practice Them

Seven Kinds of Calm Emotions and How to Practice Them
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 January, 2023

A little excitement in your daily routine is always good. Having the appropriate activation allows you to boost your motivation, ability to achieve, and capability to face difficulties. However, true physical and psychological well-being is found in a state dominated by calm and balance.

In fact, your life acquires greater meaning and significance when you have a calm mind. Calm emotions orchestrate and promote harmony, and you’re not tormented by anxiety. They give you a serene refuge from where you’re able to look at the world with a more open, focused, and relaxed perspective.

Although it’s true that our minds have evolved to facilitate survival and worry is a mechanism that allows us to react to danger, everything has a limit. As humans, almost without knowing how it happens, we end up seeing threats where there are none. We anticipate fatalities, feeling more exhausted and anguished every time.

So, what if you were to change this dynamic? How about learning some new mental approaches to reduce hypervigilance and constant stress and embrace calm and tranquility?

“So long and take it easy, because if you start taking things seriously, it is the end of you.”

-Jack Kerouac-

Woman meditating and reflecting on calm emotions
The calm mind feels more inclined to be in control.

Calm emotions and how to practice them

Calm. Just saying this word makes something light up within you. However, in today’s chaotic, hyper-connected, and demanding world, you’ve become accustomed to living with an excess of noise. Both external and internal. Notifications, emails, and endless goals are added to the weight of uncertainty and the fear of not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow.

A calm mind doesn’t avoid these kinds of realities. Calmness is a psychological approach that deals with the daily hullabaloo with better tools. It stops you from feeling that you’re walking a tightrope with no safety net. In effect, you perceive that you’re wearing a harness and can advance safely without the excessive weight of anxiety and the kinds of concerns that make you tremble and increase your risk of falling.

One way of achieving inner calm is through a specific type of state of mind. Experts describe emotions that provide physical and mental calm as low energy. They’re the kinds that prevent you from feeling the turbulence of anguish.

A study conducted by the University of Michigan (USA) claims that positively valenced emotions broaden and enhance our cognitive and behavioral repertoires. It states that achieving the ideal point of internal serenity means that racing thoughts and physical reactivity are reduced. This allows us to have greater control over ourselves and our surroundings. Here are some examples:

Keep in mind the following mantra for your daily routine: “I’m breathing out my tension, fear and worry, and breathing in calm and healing air”.

1. Serenity: accept what you can’t control

Serenity is a powerful emotional state. This sensation gives you stillness, satisfaction, and connection. When you act with serenity, you see things with greater clarity, acceptance, and calm. Moreover, you know what you want. It’s the exact opposite of a racing, anxious mind, and the best antidote to the fear of uncertainty.

  • You can achieve this emotion through self-knowledge and self-control. When you know who you are, and what your goals are, and accept that you can’t control everything, you achieve serenity.

2. Emotional elevation: appreciating the beauty of life

One of the most important calm emotions is the concept of elevation. Although it’s true that it has a spiritual component, this doesn’t stop it from being an experience that everyone can achieve. It defines the type of feeling that generates a magical combination between admiration, fascination, and satisfaction. It means finding something that gives you meaning and transcendence.

  • To achieve emotional elevation, you have to look for scenarios or practices that make you feel fulfilled. You can experience this feeling when you watch a sunrise at sea. Or, by going for a walk, working toward your dreams, or sharing time with the people you love.

3. Calm: more than an emotion, an attitude

Be calm, develop a calmer view of the world, and train your body to reduce tension and nervousness. This type of experience is the most suitable for achieving well-being.

Above all, emotional calm is an attitude toward life. It allows you to see your reality from a more relaxed, reasoned, and adjustable filter.

  • To achieve calm, you must train your negative internal dialogue, the one that brings you torment, anxiety, and catastrophic thoughts. You must accept that not everything is under your control.

Kindness is the highest and most satisfying of calm emotions. It should guide your life.

4. Relief: the end of anguish

Relief is one of those quiet emotions that you should work on every day. It defines the feeling that embraces you when you solve something that’s been worrying you and overshadowing your personal balance.

Mitigating suffering is a strategy that, to a large extent, depends on your own capabilities. You need to know how to respond to difficulties with innovative and courageous strategies.

  • You can achieve emotional relief with proper problem-solving strategies. Also, by using techniques to regulate your uncomfortable emotions. The kinds that increase your anguish and prevent you from making good decisions.

5. Confidence: a healing emotion

Confidence is your brain’s favorite emotion. It allows you to strengthen your relationships and look to the future without fear. The opposite of confidence is the dark tunnel of fear where light can barely even enter. Therefore, few psycho-emotional states are as cathartic and necessary as confidence.

  • To develop emotional confidence, you must understand that, even if you don’t have control over your destiny and other people, it’s a good idea to believe that what they can give you will be positive and enriching. This is an act of faith, a mental approach that requires openness, tranquility, and confidence.
Hands pointing to the sky symbolizing calm emotions
Calm emotions are the key to physical and psychological well-being.

6. Gratitude: the art of recognition

Gratitude is a calm emotion. People who don’t experience it only perceive feelings of emptiness and a distinct lack of something in their lives. They also feel frustrated. Gratitude is the ability to appreciate being human along with the non-materialistic aspects of life that bring us feelings of well-being.

  • If you want to train this emotion, you must remove any traces of selfishness and superficiality. Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation. To express it, you must possess an adequate system of ethical values.

7. Kindness: the highest of emotions

Kindness is a quiet but powerful emotion. In fact, having the ability to guide your behavior through the prism of kindness not only has an impact on your well-being but it means you can change the world. This is because there are also other equally brilliant and wonderful emotions integrated into kindness. For example, compassion and tenderness.

  • How can you be kinder? As with gratitude, you must remove any trace of selfishness. It’s a virus that makes us all sick. You simply need to be more sensitive to the realities of others, more attentive to the needs of the world, and more proactive in helping others.

The calm emotions we’ve described here are a means to an end. That of well-being, social harmony, and even happiness. Why not work on them?

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  • Fredrickson BL. The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Am Psychol. 2001 Mar;56(3):218-26. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.56.3.218. PMID: 11315248; PMCID: PMC3122271.
  • Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Rev. Gen. Psychol. 2, 300–319. doi: 10.1037/1089-2680.2.3.300

The contents of Exploring Your Mind are for informational and educational purposes only. They don't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment of a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.