How to remain calm in stressful situations

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Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The year has hardly begun and it feels like the challenges, stresses and frustrations of last year are back with a vengeance. Although people are rested from their time off, they aren’t necessarily equipped to deal with stress early on in the New Year. When stress arises in the work place, panic usually sets in, which then immediately lowers productivity.

Some of the world’s greatest achievers – in both business and sporting environments - have developed coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. Research says that maintaining a certain level of ‘readiness’ for challenging situations, tasks or discussions, enables you to be prepared for whatever comes your way – in the office or at home. In addition to this state of readiness, our friends from Shower to Shower share a few tips to help you keep cool in stressful situations:

Limit caffeine

Our first instinct in the morning is to give ourselves the crutch that is coffee. It makes us feel good, it gives us a platform to catch-up with people in the kitchenette as we prepare it, and it helps quell the yawns throughout the day. Sadly, because of the initial release of energy, it can also lead to fatigue and irritability later on. 

Walk away

Disconnecting from the situation for as little as 10 minutes might help you to take a more level-headed view of the situation and help you to react in a more positive manner.

Don’t let imagination take over

It’s human nature to immediately jump to the worst case scenario. If you’re in a stressful situation, don’t make it worse by imagining ‘what if’. Concentrate on what you need to deal with now – not what might arise in the future.

Take care of your body

Take care of your physical state – inside and out. Drink plenty of water during the course of a work day – keeping hydrated helps with fatigue and keeps headaches at bay. Your stressful environment might lead to physical responses like sweaty palms, and an increase in body odour.

Develop a strategy to get through the stress

Sitting and worrying about a situation is not going to get you through it. Taking a pen and paper, or making a couple notes on your phone will help you to align your thoughts and clearly define how you’ll deal with the situation. Start with the first three steps you can take to deal with the situation. Include pro’s and con’s (if appropriate) and people you might call on for advice.

There’s no doubt that you’ll encounter stressful situations, but if you’re able to remain cool and collected, then you’ve got 2018 waxed!

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