“You can measure a man’s character by the choices he makes under pressure.” – Winston Churchill
I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you’re so stressed, you start to panic and lose control over your mind and body. But, there’s no need to worry because that happens to a lot of us and it’s a normal part of our lives.
If you’re someone who’s often stressed out and feel panicked or overwhelmed, you must learn how to stay calm under pressure.
Whenever you are under pressure, your body automatically turns to “fight or flight” mode – a progressive method that releases hormones aimed to get you ready to either fight against the danger or run from it. And guess what, most people decide to avoid the problem instead of facing it.
7 Top Techniques to Stay Calm Under Pressure
The ability to stay calm under pressure is one of the most important character traits that most of us lack. However, a recent study shows that remaining calm under pressure is not an inborn trait, but a skill you can learn and develop over time.
So, if you were thinking that you’re not born with the ability to stay calm under pressure, you might wanna reconsider that. If you want to make the right decision, you will need to stay cool, centered, and focused on the right things.
And for that, you need to know how to stay calm under pressure. So, here are the 7 top techniques you can apply in your daily life to remain calm under pressure:
1. Take deep breaths
Often, people overlook the importance of breathing and take it for granted. But, what most people don’t know is; deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body.
When you’re stressed, the cortisol level in your body rises, which stimulates alertness and vigilance, raising heart rate and blood pressure. Taking deep breaths helps decrease your increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure.
This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce anxiety, and relieve stress under pressure.
2. Shift your focus
Getting distracted by negative thoughts and feelings is perhaps one of the main barriers we struggle with keeping our calm under pressure. When you are under pressure, you’re too busy focusing on your panicked thoughts and you can’t concentrate on more important things.
However, it’s normal to have negative thoughts on your mind when being under pressure. So, instead when under pressure, think of a positive situation or thought. This will distract your mind from dwelling on the negative aspects of the stressful situation.
3. Go for a walk
Doing regular exercise is very effective at reducing stress and anxiety in your body. When you do physical exercises, it automatically shifts your focus from the stress and pressure to the exercise.
So, if you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed under pressure, you can quickly get rid of it by taking a walk, or a short run. The goal here is to move your body to throw that stress out of your mind and body.
So, the next time you don’t know to stay calm under pressure, get out of the house even if it’s just for 10 minutes, and breathe some cool and fresh air.
4. Confront your emotions
As I mentioned earlier, most people, when under pressure, run away from it instead of fighting it. We don’t always feel positive emotions only, but negative ones too.
And whenever we come across these negative thoughts and emotions, we tend to become uncomfortable. As soon as they pop up in our head, we either take, reject, or change them depending on whether we like it or not.
However, all emotions, either negative or positive carry useful messages that help us to know more about ourselves. So, when learning how to stay calm under pressure, you need to confront your emotions instead of avoiding and running away from it.
5. Get plenty of sleep
According to research, people who don’t get the minimum amount of sleep i.e. 6 hours, are most likely to feel more stress and anxiety than those who get enough sleep.
When you don’t get the minimum amount of sleep, your mind and body cannot function at their best. Everything seems out of place when you haven’t had a goodnight’s sleep.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you get stressed and anxious, and when you get stressed, it can lead to insomnia thus leading to an endless vicious circle.
6. Surround yourself with positive people
You might know some people, who just by their presence makes you feel stressed. On the other hand, there are people who always make you feel good and thankful.
When you are surrounded by anxious, pessimistic and negative people, you can’t be in control of yourself. So, avoiding these people from making you feel stressed is very crucial when learning how to stay calm under pressure.
Instead, make a list of people you feel the most comfortable to be around. So, when you’re feeling low under pressure, try spending more time with those people, who lift you up rather than pull you down.
“The only way of finding a solution is to fight back, to move, to run, and to control that pressure.”
7. Practice mindfulness
One of the main reasons we feel stressed under pressure is because we overthink about what has already happened, and what will happen.
Mindfulness is a technique that helps you stay in the present moment, instead of getting lost in the future that you can’t control, and the past that you can’t change.
It’s normal to be nervous and stressed about your job or relationship, but it’s equally important to live in the present and not get lost in the past or overthink about the future. So, it’s very important to keep yourself at the moment while learning how to stay calm under pressure.
Stress is a normal part of our lives and it’s okay to be stressed out or overwhelmed under pressure. It’s not a disease that can’t be cured. If you follow these 7 techniques I’m sure you’ll be able to overcome the fear of stress and anxiety under pressure.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
How to remain calm when angry?
- Admit that you’re anxious or angry.
- Challenge your thoughts.
- Release anxiety or anger.
- Visualize yourself calm.
- Think it through.
- Listen to music.
- Change your focus.
How to stay calm in a fight?
- Focus on what the other person is trying to say.
- Don’t raise your voice.
- Pay attention to your body posture.
- Exit an argument earlier than you think you need to.
- Think of something calm or funny.
- Don’t bring other issues into the argument.
How do navy seals stay calm under pressure?
Another effective breathing technique practiced by the seals is called ‘tactical breathing’. The method focuses on slowing the breathing rate down by breathing through the nostrils, counting to four for each inhale and exhale. Tactical breathing is used when the operator faces stressful situations like combat.
How do you de-stress in minutes?
- Stretch your shoulders.
- Twirl some plates—real or imaginary.
- Mindfully drink tea.
- Balance on one leg.
- Practice body scanning.
- Tap your toes together.