10 Ways to keep cool when everything goes wrong
When things start to go wrong and it feels like the whole world is against you, it can be hard to stay cool, calm and collected. If you don’t, though, you are quite likely to make rash decisions and just make things a lot worse. If you are one of those people who tend to panic or get angry when things don’t go your way, read these ten tips that will keep you calm, even in the most stressful of situations.
1. Let it all out!
Sometimes when we are under a lot of pressure, the very best thing you can do is let off some steam. Walk away from the situation that is stressing you and have a good scream or thump a few cushions. Letting some of your anger and frustration out might be just what you need to do to calm down. Just don’t do in front of other people!
2. Take a few deep breaths
Taking a few deep breaths is such a simple way of reducing stress, but it’s one that we all often forget to do. As your mother probably used to tell you, if you start to feel yourself getting angry or you begin to panic, count to ten and breathe deeply. This will release hormones in the body that tell your brain everything is OK. It also gives you the chance the calm yourself down and then you will be in a much better frame of mind to be able to deal with any problems you are facing.
3. Remind yourself that nothing lasts forever
When you are right in the middle of crisis, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking it will last forever. But the truth is that nothing ever does and, as they say, this too shall pass. When things do seem to be spiralling out of control, try and take a step back and remember that things will change and they will get better.
4. Remind yourself of your own strengths
Another thing that can happen when you are under pressure is that you forget how strong you are and you begin to doubt your own abilities. Take a step back from the problem and think about all the things that you have overcome in the past. Tell yourself “I can do this!” Whatever you do, don’t lose your cool, throw your hands up in the air and just quit.
5. Try another approach
When you lose your cool, you also lose your ability to think literally and thinking of alternatives is just what you need to be able to do in a crisis. Keep calm, keep cool, and see if there is another way to approach the current problem. Often, the answer is looking you right in the face, but it’s your panic that gets in the way of you seeing it.
6. Chip away at a problem
If you look at an issue in its entirety and you try and tackle the whole thing in one go, it will seem like an impossible uphill struggle and you are likely to give up altogether. Try to break your problem down into smaller pieces and work on those, one at a time. The more you chip away at those little, more manageable, parts of the problem, the sooner you will fix the big one.
7. Accept reality
You might be getting yourself wound up because you are trying to achieve the impossible. Sometimes, it’s better to just to accept defeat and face up to the reality of your situation. We are not suggesting that be defeatist and only you can judge your own circumstances, but if something really can’t be changed, your time would be better used working on something more productive.
8. Stay grounded
When things start to go wrong, you tend to fear the worst and you start thinking about all the possible outcomes that could happen. The problem is, while you are busy worrying about what might happen, something else actually is happening! Try to focus on what is happening right now so that you can work on fixing the immediate problems. Staying grounded in the present will make your current efforts far more effective.
9. Keep moving forward, one step at a time
Whether it’s a mountain of paperwork sitting on your desk, or a list as long of your arm of unanswered emails, the only way you will get through it is by pushing on, one step at a time. You are only human, and there are only so many hours in a day, all you can do is your best.
10. Ask for help if you need it
When things seem like things are getting on top of you, don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are far kinder and more understanding than you probably give them credit for, so you don’t need to face everything alone. Ask for help when you need it and, if you can’t do something, admit that you can’t. You’ll feel all that pressure lift right off your shoulders and you’ll then be able to get on with something else.