The ability to control your emotions and remain calm under pressure is hard to do, but highly prized. There’s something so cool about a woman who can control how she responds to anything. That’s not to say don’t be vocal, but to think through how you respond. If you can control your emotions and keep a level head, you can take pride in it. Check out 5 tips to help you keep your cool anywhere. This skill isn’t a normal one, so remember to work on it consistently.
#1 Take a deep breath
We’ve all been there. We see something we don’t want to on social media. We get an uncomfortable email at work. We are receiving bad news. When any of those situations happen, or any unwelcome situation happens, take a deep breath before doing anything else.
You can feel the anxiety boiling up. You start to see red. Your heart is fluttering. Regardless of all of those signs, take a deep breath. Try to bring yourself back to the un-anxious state you were in prior to the news. Count your breath in, count your breath out. Once you’ve taken a couple deep breaths, move on to #2.
#2 Before you freak out, think of the worst-case scenario
It’s so easy to get bad news and instantly react like the world is ending. Nine times out of ten, it’s never as bad as it initially seems. Whatever the news is, think about the worst-case scenario. What is the worst thing that can happen if this news is true or can’t be worked on?
Now that you have the worst-case scenario in mind, how bad is it…really? Does it keep you from breathing? Does it kill someone? Are you still a healthy individual? The reality is that things could always be worse. When you have that perspective and put the most important things first, then whatever bad news isn’t really that bad.
#3 If something requires a response, write it out and read it out loud
When you receive negative news via email and need to respond to it, the best thing to do is follow steps #1 and #2, then write out your response. Before you click send, read it out loud. How is your tone? Do you sound like you’re keeping your cool? Are you freaking out and acting accusatory or defensive? If your response is not indicative of someone who is as unbothered as possible, re-write it.
#4 Finish what you’re doing, then come back to the issue
If your unwanted news comes in the middle of a project or task you are working on, try to finish what you’re doing before addressing it. When you have some time to think about something else and then come back to the issue, you will be much more level-headed. You will also have given yourself time to think about solutions or alternatives. Not to mention, the more time you give before you respond, the less severe you make the situation.
#5 Talk it out with a trusted friend
Can you sneak away and call a friend before freaking out or responding? Having a calm voice to talk to and let you know if you are overreacting can be a game changer. Someone who is not emotionally invested can help bring you back to earth. Your friend can also help you craft a response that is appropriate and not emotion-driven.
As I mentioned earlier, the ability to keep your cool is not easy to master, but it can be so freeing. To know that nothing affects you as much as you let it is true self-awareness. Have you overreacted to negative news and regretted it? What tips can you share for keeping your cool anywhere? Post a comment below to share!