Keeping a cool head under pressure is one of the great challenges of staying successful. With every new challenge, we grow as a person and a business, pushing ourselves to try new things, think outside the box and keep going until we succeed. And if you’ve made it this far, there is a chance that you are succeeding.
Like most things in life, staying calm comes with practice. And once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier than you ever thought possible. You can learn to stay calm under pressure by first identifying what causes your stress and working on those specific areas until they no longer bother you.
Read on for some helpful tips that will help you achieve that Zen state whenever you need it most:
Plan your day the night before
Before you head out into the day, take a look at what may be stressing you out. It might be the other people in your office, or the clients who are waiting for their questions to be answered. Or maybe you are stressing about a big presentation that you have to give in the morning. Whatever the case, take a few moments to look at what is stressing you out and what you would like to do differently to make it better.
Now, if you are in a routine where you head into work and sit until the evening without a break, being stressed out about something you’re already stressed out about may not be much of an improvement. So take a second to think about what moments of your day are the most stressful, and then think about how you can try to do something a little different to lower your stress level.
Breathe when you are tense
If you are feeling stressed out, take a deep breath and let it out. Just like the old saying goes, the body and mind are two separate entities, and when you are stressed, the two often get mixed up. A quick way to calm down and separate out your thoughts is to breathe. If you are in a situation where you feel overwhelmed or tense, use breathe as a method of relaxation. Whether we realize it or not, our bodies are in a state of constant breathing. If we are relaxed, our breathing will remain steady. If we are stressed, our breathing will increase in pace until we get those thoughts in order.
Take a break from your email or phone
If you have a routine where you can’t stop yourself from checking your email or social media feeds, try taking a break. Go for a walk, eat a snack, or do something completely different for a few moments. This will allow your brain to reset and realize what is actually important in your life at that moment. This will also help you to better prioritize the things that matter most to you.
Checking social media feeds and reading email may be something you feel compelled to do, and you may even think you are helping people with your work. But in reality, you are just spending your time on things that don’t really matter.
Practice mindful meditation
If you aren’t formally practicing mindfulness, now is the time to start. This is a state of being that has been used by different cultures and religions to help people overcome anxiety and stress. Mindful meditation is all about focusing on the moment while being aware of your thoughts and emotions. When you are practicing mindful meditation, don’t try to control or change your thoughts or emotions, instead, try to be more aware of what you are thinking and feeling the way you normally would be. Keep in mind that you may be feeling overwhelmed and stressed, but that doesn’t mean anything is wrong or that you have to change how you feel, t just means you are human and you may be stressed about something.
Talk to people and ask for help
While you may be extremely capable and confident in some aspects of your life, in others, you may feel truly overwhelmed. You don’t have to do everything yourself and with so much information available today, there is no reason you should try to take on everything on your own. Talk to people and ask for help. Reach out to your colleagues at work and tell them what you are struggling with. Reach out to your mentors and leaders and connect with people that you trust who have been there and done that. This will allow you to share what you are struggling with and get help and advice on how to overcome it.
Educate yourself and be constantly learning
If you are feeling overwhelmed, try to break down the information into smaller components until you feel comfortable with it. If you are reading a book or article and finding yourself overwhelmed, don’t try to finish it. Instead, read through it but don’t try to read it all in one sitting as this will allow you to take breaks and come back to the information when you are feeling somewhat calm again.
Make it a habit to read something that isn’t necessarily related to your field of expertise, but something new and exciting – this will help you to break away from what you are currently reading and keep you from feeling overwhelmed by the information available.
Being overwhelmed is normal and even healthy. But it can also become destructive if you let it consume you. Try taking a break from whatever you are reading or listening to. Eat a snack. Take a walk. Talk to a friend. These small, yet important, disruptions will help you reset and reset your mind. These tips will help you keep your cool, no matter what pressure you’re under.
More about Bernie…
Senior Director, Consumer Media Group at Confluent Health – Growth marketing focus on brand awareness, interest and new patient acquisition to our 44+ partner brands and 530+ locations across the US. Accountable for driving yearly business results supported by our consumer strategy and direct-to-consumer roadmaps. The Media team is responsible for owned and paid media as it relates to performance marketing, campaign management, partnerships, website development & support, search engine optimization, relationship marketing, Yext (Google My Business) support, recruiting, email marketing and supporting our partners at the local level.
Chief Cheese – Strategy & Engagement at B2The7 – Helping brands Reach, Retain & Regain customers with Omni-Channel data-driven strategies and tactics that focus on increasing sales, transactions, comps and customer engagement.
B2The7 Photography – Sharing experiences with photography: nature, landscapes, sunsets, flowers, animals and more.
Helping job seekers & recruiters daily…Founder of Careerbarn.com – Bringing jobseekers and employers together since 2000.