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How to stay calm under pressure

How to stay calm under pressure

Health & Lifestyle

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

25 Jun 2017, 10:29 — 5 min read

Courage is grace under pressure.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

'Keep Calm and Carry On' was a morale-boosting poster created by the British government for the troops during the Second World War.  Even though 2.45 million copies of the poster were printed, it was hardly ever publicly displayed and little was known about it until a copy was rediscovered in 2000. It has since been re-imagined by a number of private companies, and ‘Keep Calm’ has become a popular mantra for this generation. What is the secret to remaining calm in the most challenging circumstances…here are a few tips.

  1. Make physical activity a channel for your aggravation
    Exercise is the best way to let out steam. Choose the exercise routine that you like and stick to that. When you give priority to your health, you are better equipped to deal with a calamity.  The key to good health is simple -- follow a regulated diet, exercise regularly and get adequate sleep. By taking care of your health, you’ll increase your self-restraint, memory and emotional equilibrium. These factors will ensure that you act with balance and maturity in a crisis.

  2. Be more self-aware
    To stay calm, you need to know your emotional triggers—the circumstances and persons that are likely to make you lose your temper and balance. By working on your self-awareness, you become adept at managing challenging situations with calmness. It’s important to train your brain to act prudently and avoiding knee-jerk reactions.


  3. Stay positive, don’t assume the worst
    The most detrimental thing you can do in a crisis is to assume the worst. This line of thinking leads to panic and makes you visualise awful scenarios that may never happen. This further intensifies the fear. Try to control the negative thinking and remain more positive in your outlook.


  4. Get in touch with a close friend or mentor
    Don’t be afraid of seeking help from trusted friends and guides. Our support system can help us view a problem from a fresh perspective and encourage us to stand our ground or follow a different approach. In either case, as the saying goes, ‘a problem shared, is a problem halved.’ Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders alone, when you have friends to help you bear the burden.


  5. Write your troubles on paper
    The simple act of writing your troubles on paper can have a calming effect. Writing helps to make our jumbled anxious thoughts more coherent and helps us to think more lucidly. It is a good practice to write your thoughts (with solutions if possible) to prevent worry and stress from getting the better of you. This exercise is especially beneficial just before going to bed, so that you can rest easy.


  6. Disengage
    Disconnect from the stressful situation for a while, even if only for an hour or two. Give yourself some time to process the crisis, come up with a plan to deal with it or simply switch your mind to something distracting like watching a movie and deal with your problem after a while.


  7. Re-brand your feelings
    Another helpful exercise to help you stay calm under pressure is to re-label your negative emotions and give them a positive perspective. For example:


    Worry --> Concern

    Fear -->Anticipation

    Frustration --> Desire

    Dread --> Caution

    Alarmed --> Curious

    This skill does take a little practice, but it makes you a more calm, positive and effective leader.


  8. Cut down on caffeine
    When you are in a state of panic, your heart rate increases and you experience an adrenaline rush. In such a scenario, it is counterproductive to have any caffeinated drinks than can only further increase adrenaline and make your feel more on edge. A safer option is to drink plenty of water that helps to hydrate and cool your system.


  9. Listen to mellow music
    Music has the ability to immediately transport us into a different realm. Listening to your favourite relaxing melody can do wonders for your state of nerves. So when you feel the pressure building, plug-in your headphones and let the music soothe you.


It's simple to sparkle when everything is going well, but it's how you respond to nerve-racking situations that sets you apart from the rest. As Thomas Jefferson says, “Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”

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