We’ve all been in a situation where we need to stay calm… be it due to the intensity of a situation and the need for a clear head, where it’s inappropriate to lash out and you need to hold your tongue or simply to quell any other feelings such as nerves.
However, it is not always easy to stay calm in situations that increase our emotional levels and put us out of our preferred comfort zones. When you come across a situation where it’s important to try and remain calm, use these 7 tips to help maintain a cool head.
Take a Deep Breath
The next time you’re faced with an upsetting situation which is sure to make you the complete opposite of calm, stop what you’re doing for one minute and breathe.
Take five deep breaths in and out – breathe in for 5, hold for 5 and breathe out for 5 and repeat. Try and imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale. If after this you are still feeling tense, simply repeat until you feel a sense of calm return.
When faced with an upsetting or uncomfortable situation, if it’s possible, don’t react straight away. Instead, be patient and try and get as much information about the situation as possible. Think about if what is happening right now will matter in a years’ time? If the answer is yes, then step away and remove yourself from the situation.
It’s always best to not rush through a tense situation to try and maintain a sense of perspective.
Gain Some Perspective
As we’ve just said, in these types of situation, it is important to try and maintain some perspective. If you feel that you’re starting to get really frustrated or upset about a situation then take a step back and question your perspective before it gets too carried away.
Ask yourself how you think you would feel in the other persons shoes if it is a confrontation or perhaps how someone else might feel if they were in your situation. This can help turn negative emotions into ones of empathy.
Then try and consider whether in a day, a week, a year, 5 years’ time this situation will even matter. This is a really grounding thought process and helps you to shake off the little things and focus your time and energy on things that really matter.
When a stressful or upsetting situation occurs, your mind can go in a million different directions and some of your thoughts or perhaps the majority are likely to be negative.
The more your mind continues to wander through all these different pathways, the more difficult it will be for you to remain calm. Stop yourself from beginning to imagine the worst-case scenario and forecasting the future as this will not help but in fact hinder you.
Instead, try and let go of negative thoughts and refocus your mind on something positive, no matter how small.
The Body Matters Too
If you make your personal health a priority, you’ll be better equipped to handle a crisis. A lot of people forget that self-care isn’t just a trend or a whim but an important part of daily life for both physical AND mental well-being.
Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep are the key ingredients to good self-care. Exercising lowers the level of stress hormones and helps the body function at its highest level.
By maintaining good physical health, you’ll increase your self-control, memory and emotional intelligence which are all key factors in helping you to stay calm.
We all know what it’s like to feel completely overloaded or overwhelmed. Thanks to technology many of us hardly ever shut off and are somewhat like an internet browser that’s got a million tabs open all at once.
Social media platforms are a huge contributor to stress as we read things we might not otherwise see and spent time mindlessly scrolling when we could be having some much needed non-screen time.
If you are feeling overloaded, try a digital detox and ditch the technology.
No matter how carefully we plan, there’s always a chance circumstances will change and things won’t go to plan. We can’t control this as it is simply one of those things but what we can control is our reaction to it.
Simply take a moment to breathe, gain some perspective and think about how you can fix or alter the situation or circumstances to a place that you are happy and comfortable with.
Being flexible rather than rigid will help you find ways round the obstacles that fall into your path.
If all else fails, don’t forget you can always call on the ear of a friend or loved one and talk it through. Two heads are better than one and they’ll be able to give you an outsider’s point of view.
Things are not always as bad as what they seem!