How to Keep Your Composure in Stressful Situations

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Photo by ahmad gunnaivi on Unsplash

In a day and age where everyone and everything around us is moving at lightning speed, it can often be a struggle to constantly try to keep up. The pressure to keep up or be at risk for getting left behind has become an innate mindset, which is now especially ingrained in those of us who were molded throughout the rise of the internet.

I, being one of those individuals, am no stranger to that mindset. Getting things done quickly (and, of course, efficiently) has been a skill that I’ve strived to master over the past few years. And it’s been a particularly necessary skill to have mastered catering to the specific career that I’m currently in. However, constantly moving at such a rapid pace can be extremely stressful and will eventually take a toll on our overall physical and mental health.

Since graduating college and entering my career path, I’ve encountered many situations where tasks were considered urgent and required a very quick turnaround time. In those situations, I’ve often been panicked, frantic, and overwhelmed. Sure, I would get always things done, but not without high levels of anxiety. The art of staying calm in stressful situations was never my forte and frankly, it still isn’t. However, I can in fact say that I’ve come a long way from how much my past self was prone to meltdowns. That’s because I realized that if I lose my cool in every single stressful situation that I encounter, then I’d lead a very miserable life. And that’s when I decided to try to find ways to keep my composure in future stressful situations. So, here’s everything I personally tried which actually worked.

Take a deep breath (or many deep breaths) before doing or saying anything

Too often, we say or do things in the heat of the moment that we later wish we could take back. Just know that once the cat’s out of the bag, there’s no going back. Even though you can apologize, ask for forgiveness, or even later receive forgiveness, sometimes words can cut deeper than you and some people will never forget. So, before you say or do something while you’re stressed or frustrated, pause first, take a deep breath and think about how it might make the other person feel. Think about whether or not you’ll regret it down the road.

Step away from the scene

Removing yourself from the situation that you’re in will give you some time to step back, take a break, reflect, and separate yourself from any of the triggers that caused the stress in the first place. Go for a walk, talk to a friend, have some coffee or tea. Do anything that’s completely unrelated and can help you take get your mind off of what was going on prior. Sometimes, all we need is to just get away for a little bit before we get back in the game.

Try to smile (seriously though)

As silly as it sounds, sometimes faking a smile can eventually lead to a real one. Smiling when the whole world seems to be crashing down on you is sometimes all that you can do. If you can’t physically step away from the stressful situation itself, then be present and try to smile in hopes that keeping your chin up will ultimately turn things around — things will turn around.

It would be naive of us to think that we can easily overcome stressful situations. It’s honestly never going to be easy, but all of us do have the strength to overcome whatever life throws at us. We have to accept and acknowledge these situations as they come to us because in the end, those situations will only make us stronger.

Written by

Part-time Writer & Full-time Digital Advertising Expert in Queens, New York. Avid runner & Plant Mom. I write about writing and life.

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