We’ve all been there: when everything at work seems to be going wrong. Find out how to stay calm at work in even the worst crisis.
We all have those moments where everything is going wrong, and we can’t help but feel our hear rate jack up to a million times a second. Even without that “oh no” moment when we make a mistake, it can be easy to get over-stressed and panicked during the workday, and let everything else fall to the wayside.
Here’s how to prevent that stress, keep calm, and stay on track and productive.
During a stressful situation, you might be thinking, “how can I be mindful of anything except my panic and sense of impending doom?”
Well, mindfulness is actually focusing on the panic or worry, not shying away from it.
According to Harvard Business Review, it’s a way to “learn to stay present, participate in regulating our own nervous system, and eventually, develop new, more free and helpful ways of interacting.”
This is done by “noticing we are provoked”, like when you start sweating and feel your heart rate go up. Then, when you’re completely aware of every (manageable) thing happening to your body; you’re making a choice to be “put and present, to be curious and explore your experience.”
Basically, instead of sweating and blindly feeling like the world’s going to collapse, you pay attention to the situation at hand, and say “hey, I feel a little jittery, and my body is nervous, but I’m going to be okay”.
Those TV shows were (partially) right when the depicted someone hyperventilating into a brown paper bag. Although the thought of grabbing a paper bag from your desk drawer and breathing into it might sound funny, but it could be just the thing to help you stay calm at work.
Breathing – the right way- is the biggest key to staying cool as a cucumber. As Alan Watkins explains in his book Coherence: The Secret Science of Brilliant Leadership, rhythm and smoothness are key (just like with our dance moves).
He says “if we focus on these two dimensions, even for a few short minutes, the production of the cortisol and adrenaline will stop.”
You can do this too, by keeping your breath consistent and counting to 6 when you inhale and exhale. Before you know it, you’ll be breathing your way to a Zen-like state.
Auto pilot: engaged. Stress: reduced
There are a lot of times where autopilot is not ideal.
But in high-pressure situations, it might be just the thing to stay chill. Multiple studies show how golfers will perform much, much worse when a “coach” (or opposing teammate) will tell them to pay attention to their elbows or arm position.
As long as there’s been some preparation, you can do the same during that high-pressure presentation or hectic day and stay calm at work. Instead of fretting, just start doing, and watch the calmness wash over you.
Vent to us
The LTH Tribe is all ears and will give you a great outlet when you’re feeling stressed. Who knows? We might actually offer some good solutions, too. What are some ways you’ve managed to stay calm at work during high stress situations at work? Share with us in the comments.