How do you react when the heat is on? I mean you’re sweating at this point and obviously uncomfortable. Maybe you’re embarrassed, sad, or angry about something or someone. On the other hand, maybe you wanna just throw something at the wall to break it or slap someone. Then, reality sets in, and you realize that you can’t do those things.
We’ve all found ourselves stressed out or in uncomfortable situations where we’ve wanted to be invisible. If you’ve ever been in that situation, it’s not fun. Instead of panicking, you can survive, and live to tell about it.
Here are six tips to help you to remain calm under intense pressure and make the best out of the situation.
1). Take several deep breaths to naturally relax.
Deep breathing always helps me to calm down so I can think when I’m anxious or upset about something. Additionally, in the article Breathing Techniques for Anxiety, published in Psychology Today, Dr. Alice Boyes states that “breathing exercises are an excellent, quick, and easy solution for stress and anxiety relief. This approach is also virtually universally effective for getting anxiety relief. The effect on anxiety is almost instant.”
2). Think about a happy or funny experience.
When I find myself in a jam, like in the lab in my doctor’s office giving up seven tubes of blood for testing, I always think about something happy or funny to take my mind off of the temporary pain. And surprisingly, it works.
I’ll think about the funny shenanigans that happened with my kids Jay, Del, or Amber, or my deceased Doberman. Like that time I put socks on my Doberman’s paws just to see what he’d do. His eyes said it all.
Or that time I went to Petsmart and bought the Dobie a brand new luxurious bed for $50, and it lasted about 20 minutes because he ripped it to shreds. There were little cotton balls everywhere!
Have you recently attended a fun event like a festival, concert, ball game, amusement park, picnic, or had something funny happen at home or at work? Try to remember every small detail so you can have something to smile and laugh out loud about.
3). Change your perspective.
Ask yourself this question: what’s the worst that can happen? You’ve already stumbled over a sentence, couldn’t answer a question properly, or done something else trivial. Such is life right? And, someone had a good laugh about it and quickly moved onto something else.
Also ask yourself this question: will this issue that’s causing you anxiety matter in a week, month, or year from now? If not, don’t spend too much time and energy worrying about it.
4). Think about the consequences of overreacting.
Take a few minutes to think about what would happen if you overreacted. How would you feel about yourself tomorrow? Would you lose your self-respect, and the respect of others because of the way you behaved? Would you have a lot of regrets afterward?
Of course I’m not saying not to be concerned about serious matters, or don’t get upset or angry. We all have a right to get upset. I’m simply saying don’t do anything you may regret while you’re overly concerned or angry.
5). Take a time out.
Take a 15-minute break to shift gears even more by going for a short walk or listening to enjoyable music. Stepping away from a situation can help you to take a quick mental break to see it with a fresh pair of eyes when you return.
How did you feel, when you revisited the issue? Did it still cause you stress and anxiety? If so, remember your breathing techniques so you can stay calm.
It’s also okay to not solve a problem on the same day it happens if you need more time to think it through. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it, especially if it’s causing you unnecessary anxiety.
6). Call for back up.
Similar to how you would call another doctor to get a second opinion if you needed it, it’s a great idea to call a good friend to get their thoughts about your situation. Explain what has happened, and ask them how they might handle the situation. Remember, your goal is to remain calm under pressure next time.
If you’ve already taken action, ask her if she thinks you handled the situation properly, and what you could have done differently.
Humbly accepting constructive feedback is one of the first steps to real personal growth.
When you have a few minutes alone, really think about her response and her feedback. How can you use it to your benefit so you’ll be less stressed about similar situations now, and in the future?
Then, use her valuable advice with your own wisdom and experience to either make a fabulous decision, or manage your stress levels about the decision you’ve already made! We’ve all met stressful situations that we weren’t quite sure how to deal with that caused some anxiety. We were either stressed out, didn’t manage it well, or had room for improvement.
I hope these six tips can help you to remain calm when you’re stressed out in a similar situation again. Do you have other tips you would like to add to the list? I’d love to hear about them below.
Boyes, A. (2016). Breathing Techniques for Anxiety. Psychology Today.