how to stay calm

Find your calm: 6 ways to keep going when the going gets tough

Staying calm in the light of crisis is a skill that separates winners from others. It’s a skill that can save lives and helps you make rational decisions when it counts the most.
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Every time there’s a crisis, our usual response to the situation is to hit the panic button. We start losing sleep, overthink every detail, and stress perpetually, which leads to a complete meltdown. It’s no wonder that we often find ourselves stuck in a dark tunnel with no light at the end of it. So, how does one stay calm when such episodes of tragedy occur in life? For instance, when a long relationship ends, a job is lost, mortgages begin to pile up, or when we lose money in the share market—all of these bring anxiety and stress that wreak havoc on our lives.

History has it that all successful people, leaders, and entrepreneurs responded to the crisis by staying calm and clear-headed. They didn’t lose their cool or take impulsive decisions when they went through a rough patch. Instead, their psychological readiness and mental preparedness enabled them to stay relaxed and poised under pressure.

Staying calm in light of crisis is a skill that separates winners from others. It’s a skill that can save lives and help you make rational decisions when you need them the most. The good news is anyone with the right approach and dedication can learn the art of staying calm to stay composed and self-assured. Here’s how.

Take deep breaths

When you hear bad news, instead of panicking take a few deep breaths. It’s the first, and probably the most effective step in becoming calmer and poised. According to a Harvard study, deep breathing can help you experience positive emotions, mindfulness benefits and “aids you in disengaging from distracting thoughts and sensations”. Taking deep breaths take you farther away from stress and help calm your mind, which allows you to see things with a clear head. So, the next time you come across something upsetting, don’t react. Pause and take deep breaths before carving out your next steps.

Don’t overthink

When something does not go according to the plan, negative thoughts starts running amok. You find yourself stuck in the loop of overthinking as if you are on a merry go round that never ceases to stop. Once you get caught in its vicious trap, overthinking sucks all your energy and composure. To stay calm in the event of a crisis, you need to control your thoughts first. Remind yourself that it never leads to anything positive. It only wastes your time and makes you more stressed. If you can keep yourself from overthinking, calmness will prevail on its own.

Stay positive

Staying calm is nothing but developing the ability to stay positive in the face of negative circumstances. It’s one of the biggest and most important traits of a leader, which keeps them going when the going gets tough. Positivity is all about seeing the silver lining and staying optimistic. It’s about being hopeful and having positive perspectives in life. Because you cannot change what happens to you tomorrow, but you can change your response, outlook, and how you perceive your circumstances. So, if you want to stay calm and march forward regardless of your situation, learn to look at the brighter side. There’s always one if you watch closely.

Talk to someone you trust

During difficult times, if you can’t stay calm on your own, look for support. You can call your best friend or a mentor you look up to and share what happened. Don’t worry about getting judged or ridiculed. They are people who love you and wish the best for you. They can be your rock when nothing is going right in life. Let them know how much you appreciate their help and time. And if you just want them to listen, let them know. Sometimes, letting everything out is all we need to come back to our senses and see things more rationally and objectively.

Clear your head

Some news hit harder than others. They can shake you to the core and leave you overwhelmed. In such dire situations, staying calm might be the last thing in your mind. This being said, you need to take some measures to find your calm before you spiral down into the deep pit of negativity. If you are out of ideas, just go for a walk or a run to clear your head. You won’t believe what a 20-minute walk in nature can do for you. According to Harvard Health Publishing, spending time in nature “can help lower stress hormone levels.” You will find calmness and composure that might be evading you. It can put your negative thoughts to rest and let optimism take over. You will be able to think clearly and see through all the negativity that you were experiencing before.

Think about what you can control

One way to stay calm in a difficult situation is to ask yourself what you can and cannot control. Often, we worry about things that are beyond our power. For instance, we can’t change the weather, the taste of the food, or what our colleagues think of us. Giving your best at work is in your control but the feedback and criticism you might receive are not. Making a plan for a Europe trip is in your hands but an unforeseeable situation that prevents you from going is not. Understand this difference. If you find yourself in a challenging situation, ask yourself if you can control it. If yes, does worrying about it is the solution? Such questions can give you perspectives to regain your calmness and work on the next steps with rationality and confidence.

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