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Mental Health Tips: How to Stay Calm in a Stressful Situation

In the state of the world we live in today, it is extremely hard to avoid high-stress situations. At this point in time, I believe most people have accepted stressful situations to be a repetitive and unfortunate part of their lives. Since we already covered Simple Tools to Get Through the Day I thought it was about time we start discussing how to cope with high-pressure situations. Anxiety and stress are mental health issues that can be heightened in these specific situations, but they can also be dealt with. Staying calm within high-stress situations is a superpower that all humans deserve to have. Luckily I am here to give you some tips on how to make these situations much more relaxed and enjoyable.

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” 
― Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

Defining a High-Stress Situation

Many humans have different opinions on what a ‘high-stress’ situation could be. Today we will be utilizing the definition that a high-stress situation tends to make everything seem worse. In a high-pressure or stressful situation, feelings of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure are heightened. An example of a high-pressure situation would be a job interview or a harsh deadline at work. Personally in this type of situation, I tend to sweat and shake. Everyone’s individual nervous system reacts differently towards high-stress situations and I will share some trusted tips to help your body adapt to what it needs in order to relax and stay calm. 

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” 
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

5 Tips to Stay Calm in High-Pressure Situations

Use these tips to relax in stressful situations. Stress doesn’t have to ruin your life

  1. Remain Positive
    • Always remember to give yourself positive affirmations. Self-love and positivity are extremely important when you are in an uncomfortable situation. Let’s say you get into a car accident on a very important day at work. In this scenario you should continuously remind yourself that “everything will work out”, “I am going to be okay”, or “this is a temporary situation.”
  2. Avoid Caffeine
    • This is a fact I feel a lot more people should be aware of! If you drink too much caffeine on a day you are feeling very stressed the caffeine stimulates your brain to feel even more overwhelmed. Basically what I learned is you should not drink coffee and opt for water on these types of expected days with high-pressure situations. 
  3. Lighten the Mood
    • Cracking jokes in high-stress situations can always be helpful. Saying something funny in the midst of a nerve-wracking scenario can release hormones to make you feel calmer. Laughter is truly the world’s best medicine. 
  4. Identify the Stressor
    • Establishing the main stressor in a situation can be very helpful in order to stay more relaxed. Once you analyze the source of your anxiety the actual task at hand will seem a lot less scary. 
  5. Decompress and Refrain
    • It is extremely important to take a step back from a situation that is bringing you so much stress. In these types of scenarios, it’s important to do something small to take your mind off of the stressors. Examples can be going for a walk, taking a drive, reading a book, or watching a movie. After “decompressing” you can then refrain. Your perspectives will generally be different after decompressing and you can see the situation in a whole new light. 

These 5 tips have been extremely convenient and useful for me in times of high stress. Definitely utilize these tools to stay calm, cool, and collected when stress normally seems to get the best of you!

Sources

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/stress

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-tricks-successful-people-use-stay-calm-stressful-situations.html

https://work.chron.com/handle-work-high-pressure-situations-4625.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-calm-down

https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Calm-in-a-Stressful-Situation

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/stress

By Zoelle

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