Stress is everywhere and affects everyone. However, there are people who seem to take stressful situations in stride. They seem to handle all situations with tranquility. You probably know at least one person like that. Maybe you’d like to become one of those people.
While everyone has a different threshold for dealing with stress, you can greatly enhance your ability to stay relaxed in all situations.
Control your reaction to stress with these strategies:
- Maintain a positive perspective. In most cases, nothing bad is going to happen that you can’t handle. There’s always another job interview, another person to date, and another opportunity on its way.
- Create an alter ego. Imagine the ideal version of yourself. This person would probably be brave, tough, and unflappable, among many other possible traits.
- When faced with a stressful situation, imagine how your ideal self would handle that situation and just do it.
- In time, you’ll become more and more like that ideal version of yourself.
- Respond slowly. Cool and collected people respond slowly. They move slowly. Take a breath or three and respond to the person or situation confidently. Taking the time to respond is calming.
- You’ll feel more confident when you behave in the way a confident person would behave.
- Build your self-confidence. The more confidence you have in yourself, the less stressed you’ll feel.
- Self-confidence is very situational. You might be highly self-confident while hitting a golf ball, but much less confident while giving a speech.
- When working on building your self-confidence, focus on those situations that will provide the most benefit.
- Smile. Smiling makes you feel better and more confident. It can also put others at ease. If you can smile genuinely in the face of a challenging situation, you can do just about anything.
- Visualize. One of the easiest and most effective ways to enhance your ability to stay calm in stressful situations is to visualize yourself being calm in a variety of stressful situations.
- It really does work if you do it regularly. At least once a day is preferable.
- Practice having a present-moment mindset. This helps to prevent your mind from imagining negative potential outcomes. All it takes is to keep your attention on your environment.
- This is harder than it sounds. Imagine trying to put your house key into your front door while a giant rottweiler barrels toward you. It’s not easy to keep your eyes on the keyhole. Your mind and attention like to wander.
- Relax your body and breathe deeply. Relaxing your muscles and breathing deeply helps to short-circuit any stress response in your body.
- This is a skill that requires practice. First, you have to remember to do it. Second, it takes a moment to focus your mind on your breathing and muscles. So, you’ll need to leave the current situation behind for a moment while you do these exercises.
Many of these techniques and ideas seem simple, and you’re probably aware of many of them. However, knowing something is very different from doing it. For example, you know how to swim, but that’s not the same as swimming laps every day. Knowing how to visualize isn’t the same as visualizing every single day.
The real power comes from using them regularly and becoming an expert in their application.
Apply these ideas to your life and you’ll see steady progress in your ability to handle stress. Before you know it, you’ll be the calmest person in the room.