The power to remain cool and collected despite stressful situations is not always something that is innate for many people. In the face of life’s challenges, it can be incredibly difficult to remain calm amidst chaos, whether that chaos is environmental, interpersonal, emotional or otherwise generated by external forces.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to maintain a sense of calm and connectedness even in the most trying times. Read on for helpful ways to keep your cool under pressure.
1. Calm Your System
When you experience stress, both your mind and your body respond, often by increasing tension or entering a fight-or-flight state that leaves you in a heightened state of anxiety and alertness that is less productive than it is burdensome. Sometimes, before you can address what’s on your mind, it can be helpful to take steps to relax your body. Try taking deep breaths, relaxing your shoulders or utilizing calming supplements such as CBD cigarettes or gummies.
2. Meet Your Needs
Overwhelm is often the result of a buildup of stressful event after stressful event, which can take a toll on even the healthiest and most vigorous individuals. However, if you’re sleep-deprived, dehydrated or hungry, maintaining a sense of composure in these circumstances becomes even more difficult. Make sure you’re well-rested, fed and have enough fluids in your system to give yourself a solid foundation to work with as you deal with the stresses of the day.
3. Step Away
Conflict and stress can be an uphill battle, and when you don’t have a safe plan of attack, or you find yourself too overwhelmed to begin to come up with a series of steps to handle what’s in front of you, it’s a good idea to give yourself a break and create some distance between you and the stressor. Even if it’s just for a few moments, or just in your own mind, try to get away from the situation to clear your head and ground your system.
4. Accept Your Feelings
Agitation, irritation, impatience, anxiety and exhaustion are all uncomfortable to experience. Rather than fight what you’re feeling, take a moment to name what’s going on and give yourself permission to feel exactly what you need to feel. Remember that feelings are not directives that need to dictate your behavior. Every feeling provides valuable information as to what might be going on for you in a given moment–and that’s never something to dismiss.
5. Examine Your Thoughts
When your body and mind reach a heightened state of stress, you’re much more likely to spend time ruminating or imagining worst-case scenarios as your system enters a state of irrationality. Pause to notice the thoughts that are coming through your head and examine where you’re placing your focus, what you can and cannot control and what thoughts may be rational or irrational about the situation.
6. Find a Distraction
Pent-up emotional energy can become heavy and overbearing fairly quickly. Release some of that pressure by taking a quick walk, listening to music, getting some fresh air or engaging in an enjoyable activity to switch gears and give yourself some time to cool down and balance out the negativity with something positive and constructive.
7. Look For the Opportunities
Much of the time, all it takes for a seemingly negative situation to turn into an opportunity for progress is a bit of restructuring. Approach the issue from a few different angles and try to identify the ways in which the problems might provide a valuable chance to flex your creative or problem-solving skills and tackle the situation with tools you already have.
8. Ask For Help
No one is an island, and this is especially important to remember when the going gets tough. Rather than take it on alone, reach out to your network to share some of the burdens with others who may be able to share an alternative perspective or bring different experiences and skills to the table. This not only makes the situation easier to deal with than it would have been on your own, but it can fortify you by reminding you that you don’t have to go at it alone.