Life by Design

How To Stay Calm Under Pressure


May 15, 2018

I'm Regina.
Psychologist, executive coach, and functional medicine health coach and my mission is to help you truly thrive. Let's get to work!
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Have you ever been under tremendous pressure at work? Have you ever had to complete multiple projects with a relatively short turnaround, and it left you feeling dread and panic? You aren’t alone. We’ve all had moments where we cracked under pressure. The key is that we learn from those moments and then develop a system for learning how to stay calm in the future. You might have felt overwhelmed at the time, but you can definitely learn how to be cool, calm, and collected when things get heavy. Panic, fear, and frustration are natural human emotions, but we can learn to keep our heads and get the job done with a little practice.

Don’t Panic

Here is the most important thing that you need to learn—don’t panic. When you panic, you waste valuable time and mental and emotional resources. You can’t be effective at your job in the midst of a panic, and other people looking to you for help or guidance will start to feel the same emotions. If you are feeling panic, take a few moments to yourself and breathe. Remember that the world isn’t crashing down. You’ve been through worse and survived. Now think about the task at hand and what you need to do in order to be successful. Focus on the task and not the emotions.

Break The Big Problem Into Smaller Tasks

A lot of the time, we panic at work because we see the large scope of the task we’ve been assigned. But that doesn’t have to be the case if we break a big problem into smaller tasks. Instead of looking at the massive project we’ve been tasked with this month, we can instead break it into weekly assignments that are more easily digestible.

Keep A Strong Support System

In critical moments, we might have feelings of fear and doubt. It is natural after all! Keeping a strong support system is key to your success. You can bounce ideas off of them and get their opinions on important tasks and decisions. At work, your support system might be your boss or a mentor. In your personal life, it might be your parents or a close friend. Your support system can help you get through difficult times by reinforcing your positive traits and helping you limit your negative thoughts and emotions.

Learn From The Moments

The thing about life is sometimes we fail at the tasks we were working on. Sometimes we don’t get it right. Sometimes we let panic overwhelm us completely. It is important that we look back on those moments and evaluate where we went wrong. From these moments we can get valuable insights. By sharing them with trusted confidantes we can gain valuable feedback. If we don’t learn from these mistakes, we are likely going to make them again at some point. So make sure that even when you do fail, you learn from what happened and are prepared not to make the same mistake again.

* Tree image credit goes to: Faye Cornish.

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