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It’s hard to figure out how to remain calm in high-stress situations—a skill many of us are nowhere near mastering.
What we’re all thinking:
How do you get out of your head and release the intense emotions and feelings that seem to be the source of your stress?
How is it some of us handle stress better than others?
Some people take a moment to breathe and assess a situation—before reacting—when faced with challenging situations. On the other hand, some people are all in before they know what’s what.
When it’s all said and done, some people handle stressful situations better because they know how to keep things in perspective.
Understanding how you can remain calm in high-stress situations is a great skill to have because it seems like it happens more often these days.
If you’ve found this challenging in the past, here are a few things you can do to increase the calm when your mind and body needs it the most.
But first, let’s take a closer look at what happens to the mind and body when faced with stressful situations.
Your body has something called a “flight or flight” response, and when you experience stress, this system kicks into action. As a result, the central nervous system responds by exerting the stress hormone cortisol.
When cortisol levels increase, your mind and body begin to experience a range of effects like increased heart rate, trouble breathing, headaches, anxiety, and much more.
In addition to this, when you maintain high levels of stress for an extended period of time, it may produce harmful bodily effects like high blood pressure, weakened immune system, insomnia, heart disease, and more.
It’s all about the individual steps you take in order to find balance.
When faced with a high-stress situation, it’s helpful to take a step back and look at the situation in its entirety. When you take this step back, it allows you to gain clarity along with an enhanced perspective through the process of reflective thought.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the confusion of things, and this is exactly when things get blown out of proportion most of the time. This is especially true if you’re surrounded by outside influences amplifying feelings of panic, fear, worry, and stress.
So, do yourself a favor and take a moment to realistically evaluate your situation. Don’t get caught up in what may happen in the future. Look at what’s happening right now to see if there’s a reason to feel high-stress levels. Most of the time, you’ll see there’s no need for panic or worry.
It’s also essential to break down any particular problem you’re having and look at what’s most important.
Questions to ask yourself:
Are you stressed out over something that doesn’t directly relate to your well-being?
Is the source of your stress avoidable?
Asking yourself simple questions like the ones above is a quick and easy way to get things into perspective.
However, if you are in an intense situation that requires immediate action, keep reading for ways you can remain calm and overcome stressful emotions and feelings.
Once you’ve assessed the situation, you must maintain a positive, optimistic outlook. This should be a daily practice you strive to incorporate into your life—with this mindset, good things happen in response.
When you maintain a positive attitude, it shows through in many different aspects of your life. When it comes to stressful situations, you’ll be able to avoid unnecessary stress because you’re looking for the silver lining in everything you encounter.
If you can learn to look for the silver lining in all “bad or stressful situations,” you’ll see you can turn a bad situation into a positive one easily.
There’s no denying millions of people across the globe wake up to a cup of coffee and probably have another cup sometime throughout the day. But when you’re faced with a high-stress situation, you may want to opt for a cup of non-caffeinated tea instead.
As previously mentioned, when the body encounters stress, it signals the release of cortisol from the central nervous system. The release of cortisol can trigger anxiety and other similar symptoms made worse by caffeine’s inclusion because it also increases cortisol levels.
This only intensifies a stressful situation with an increase in negative effects on the mind and body.
When you understand how your mind and body works, you also understand what tactics work to release negative energy and emotions which amplify stress.
When encountering a stressful situation, take your mind off the problem by engaging in another activity that allows you to decompress. Most people like to turn to a hobby that always brings them joy and takes their mind off hard-pressing matters.
Never underestimate the power of taking a deep breath and counting to ten as you exhale.
One of the most essential things you can do to decompress is deep breathing.
Adopting some sort of meditative practice is always helpful when trying to remain calm. There are tons of meditation techniques geared towards remaining calm.
You can also go for a walk and get some sunshine. The fresh air and sun combined always helps revitalize your mood and outlook on life.
Journaling is a great way to release stress and negative emotions. Many people gravitate towards journaling for therapeutic purposes because it’s simple, straightforward, and only requires a pen and paper.
Interestingly, this is what many people did in the thick of the pandemic quarantine. There was a massive increase in activities like exercise, gardening, and reading.
This has been one of the most challenging years this country has seen in some time.
Millions of people lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and we’re still dealing with the pandemic unfortunately in many ways which add to stress levels. It goes without saying, when you layer on different personal and family responsibilities and needs—it gets heavy.
You have to know when you need a break, and take it!
A “break” has different meanings for different people. If you’re still working, see about taking a personal day. On the other hand, if you have time, set aside time for a “break.”
This could be as simple as planning a hiking trip you’ve been wanting to go on or any other activity that serves as a break and helps you decompress.
Next time you’re faced with a high-stress situation and need to find a calm balance within it all, try one of the above and see how much better you feel.
It’s healthy to recognize and accept life is going to handle stress occasionally.
However, it’s also healthy to recognize when those stressful situations are taking a toll on your well-being and know what to do about it.
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