When I first realized that I was good at remaining calm under pressure was the day I was being interviewed by four people at once. We were all sitting in a small room practically on top of each other and all eyes were on me. For an hour I was beaten down with question after question – as if I was being interrogated and expected to crack under the pressure but I held my composure and gave it everything I had. Don’t get me wrong, I was nervous and was experiencing some anxiety but my motto is “Don’t ever let them see you sweat”. Believe me, this isn’t a skill I was born with but I’ve worked hard through the years to find ways to control my reaction when I’m feeling under pressure.
We are bigger than our problems…
We can’t always control challenges that life throws at us but we can control how we reaction to them. Lets face it, life is full of ups and downs and all too often, the “downs” overwhelm us. It’s easy to instantly react and make things worse than what they are. It is so important to find ways to calm down, assess the situation and then take action by putting steps into place to sort things out in a composed manner.
Sometimes situations do not go as expected. A good day may turn bad, everything may suddenly go wrong. Needless to say, it’s difficult to stay calm in such situations. We tend to become confused, panic or even heated by anger. That won’t help you much to get out of the situation though. Handling a bad situation in such condition will just make it worse; you are more likely to make mistakes. That’s why it’s important to stay calm. By staying calm, you will be able to judge the situation wisely and take the appropriate actions.
Remaining calm doesn’t mean you’re not concerned about whatever the crisis of the moment is – what it shows is that you are handling the situation in a mature and responsible manner. When we face our issues in an unemotional manner and avoid immediate reaction, then our ability to think through problems becomes much easier.
Tips to help keep you graceful under pressure
Take long deep breathes - Shallow breath does not help us in situations and can only bring on and increase anxiety. Take 5 minutes to stop to breathe deeply and regain your stability.
Take yourself away from the situation – If you seem to be in overwhelming situations lately, it is best to walk away for awhile. This gives you time to calm down and assess the situation before reacting.
Eat healthy – Even when you feel that life is upside down, try to eat a balanced and healthy diet. Start your day off will a full energy meal to keep you strong in tough situations at work and daily life.
Keep positive things around you - Keep positive affirmations around you to take a moment and escape the pressure. Put photos of family, of tropical islands or of motivating dreams around you. Stay positive to stay calm.
Get some time out - Go for a walk outside if you can to clear your head, work off some of the stress hormones in your body and, yes, breathe. Think!! Get a bit of perspective before you return to face whatever it is you must face.
If going outside is not an option, excuse yourself to go to be bathroom. Or walk a flight of stairs or two. Do anything to get away for a moment.
Take that breath, do what you can, picture your desired outcome, and you’ll feel calm — or at least a lot calmer — quickly.
Just keep in mind that you will find a solution….