Staying calm in stressful situations is a skill that can mean the difference between success and failure. We’ve probably all been to a job interview and felt overwhelmed with stress, causing us to stumble on words and forget all the things that we rehearsed over and over in the mirror. That’s why we thought it would be useful to put together some tips on how to keep cool in stressful situations.
Stay positive in stressful situations
If you go into a situation with a negative mindset it’s likely that your outcome is going to be negative. Instead, adopt a positive mindset, this may be challenging but you need to change the way you think, even if you don’t get the job, you will take away experience which may help you in your next job interview.
Avoid drinking caffeine to keep cool in stressful situations
The last thing you want to do when you have a lot on your plate is overwhelming your body with caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant so it will stimulate areas of your brain that are already causing you to feel overwhelmed in the first place. A better alternative would be to drink water.
Identify what is stressing you out
Identifying what is stressing you out is the first step to overcoming those feelings. Being able to identify the cause of your stress allows you to figure out ways to reduce that feeling in stressful situations. If it is work you are feeling stressed with you can try making a list and prioritising your list by a matter of urgency, alternatively you can speak to your manager and tell them you are struggling, they are there to help you.
Make a plan to keep cool in stressful situations
Once you have identified what you are up against, you can develop a step-by-step plan to get your goal. One useful tactic is creating lists or keeping a diary, you can then structure your days and everything you need to do is clear. This can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Having a list that you can tick off throughout the day can really help to make a difference in your time management efficiency. You can also prioritise your list depending on how soon it needs to be completed.
One thing that we are probably all guilty of is going on our phone up until the last minute before going to bed, try putting down your phone half an hour before you go to bed. You can also try techniques like sleep hypnosis if you are struggling to fall asleep. This can help to relax your mind in stressful situations and prevent you from thinking about the things that are stressing you out. Another recommendation is listening to this podcast on “why sleep matters”, it’s extremely useful and goes into detail about why you might be experiencing a lack of sleep and what you can do to try and improve your sleep.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to speak to someone! As mentioned before, speak to your manager if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed at work, your manager will want to support you and try and figure ways to help you deal with your stress. If it’s your university work you are struggling with, speak to your tutor. They are there to support you!
Speak to friends or family
A problem shared is a problem halved. Friends and family may also be able to offer you advice or support. Not only might they be someone to speak to about your problem but seeing your friends and family is also a great way to reduce your stress and have some downtime.
However, it is important to get the right balance. Don’t fall into the trap of burying your head in the sand and doing everything you can to distract yourself from the stress. You can’t control what life will throw at you next, but you can learn to cope with stressful situations in a healthy way.
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