Updated: Jan 15
...While Everyone Else is Losing Their Shit!
Have you ever noticed that some people stay calm under pressure much better than others? Would you like to become one of those people?
Everyone has a different tolerance for stress, but with practice, you can become much more resilient in the face of adversity. Dealing with stressful situations is part genetics and part skill. You can’t do anything about your genes, but you can certainly enhance your skills!
Practice these techniques and learn to handle stress like a Zen monk:
1. Take care of your body. A calm mind is best supported by a healthy body. What does that mean?
Get some exercise.
When your body is out of sorts, your mind isn’t at its most resilient. A well-cared for body is the foundation of a durable and stress-resistant mind. Make one small improvement in your nutrition patterns each week. Experiment with your sleep schedule. Exercise daily in some meaningful way. These three simple things matter more than you might realize.
2. Breathe. Your breathing is the only aspect of your physiology that you can control easily. There are plenty of breathing techniques you can try when you’re feeling stressed.
Simply take long, slow, deep breaths.
Inhale for four seconds, hold it for two seconds, and exhale for six seconds.
Just breathe normally and keep your full attention on your breath. Feel the air moving in and out of your body.
There are numerous breathing techniques designed to help people relax. Do some research and give several a try; see which style of breathing works best for you, or ask us and we'd love to teach you a few!
3. Relax your body. When you feel stressed, there is a part of your body that is stressed, too. Find that tense, uncomfortable part of your body and focus on relaxing it. In fact, do your best to relax your entire body.
4. Focus on the positive. There’s a positive aspect to any uncomfortable or challenging situation. Look for the positive or the gratitude and your mind will feel more at ease.
5. Focus on solutions. Focusing on problems is very stressful. Focusing on solutions is less stressful. If there’s a solution, there’s no reason to worry. If there’s not a solution, there’s no value in worrying. Basically, there’s never a benefit to worrying.
6. Manage your thoughts. Do you imagine the worst when something negative happens? Do you sit around and ruminate on your difficulties? Managing your headspace is necessary to stay calm regardless of the situation.
Consider if your thoughts are helping you to remain calm or creating stress.
Most people imagine the worst and their brains and bodies respond accordingly.
Try putting your attention on your breathing until you feel calmer and then begin looking for solutions.
7. Take cold showers or baths. Many people find that taking a cold shower or bath each day greatly diminishes their stress response. If you can handle a 50-degree bath, you can handle just about anything.
8. Take action. When you assertively deal with negative issues, you’re taking control. Sitting around and thinking is a passive activity. Only think long enough to find a good solution and then get busy implementing it. Activity helps to dissipate stress and build confidence and optimism.
Stress is unavoidable, but your ability to manage stress can be greatly enhanced with effort. You might be surprised by how stress resistant you can become! When you can handle more stress with greater comfort, you empower yourself to make positive changes in your health, career, relationships, and happiness.