How to Be Calm in Stressful Situations
How to Be Calm
No matter how hard you try, there is no way to avoid stress. Whether that stress comes from work, from personal relationships or from facing your fears, there is no denying the impact that stress can have on both your physical and mental health.
The best thing you can do in the face of any type of stress is to try to stay as calm as possible. Unfortunately, this truly is easier said than done. Trying to retain a sense of calmness in difficult situations may seem impossible—but it isn’t.
You can learn how to be calm in these scenarios, you just need to have the right tools ready to face them—and if you want to stay calm in a stressful situation, there is nothing better than meditation.
Here is your complete guide on how to use meditation to stay calm, and how you can apply and use these tactics in your everyday life.
The First Step… Understanding You Are in Control
The first and most important step in learning how to be calm in the face of difficulty is to understand that you are in control. If you can do this, everything else will come later.
Imagine facing a very serious and very stress-inducing situation such a fear of flying and knowing that you can calm yourself down from the sweaty palms, raced heart rate and paralyzing anxiety that comes with the flight.
You can overcome this because you are in control.
We, as humans, actually have control over our stress responses, we can actually control those feelings and even the physical manifestations (i.e. sweaty hands) that come when we are in stress. Most importantly we can be calm in these situations. And by calm, I am actually clam, not just pretending to be calm or telling others you are calm.
You have to not only understand that you are in control, but really believe that you are in control of these situations if you want to learn how to be calm and how to get your life back. Once you know that you have the option and believe that you can change the way you react, you can start using meditation and other breathing techniques to help you learn how to be calm no matter what comes your way.
Using Meditation to Learn How to Be Calm While Stressed
It is so important to start with believing that you can control your stress, simply because so many people don’t believe that they can do anything about their circumstances. Once you understand that you can regain control of your life, it will be much easier to take action and start doing things that will bring about real, positive changes.
Meditation can help calm your mind and body. It can help you reduce feelings of anger and hostility and teach you how to notice things around you without forming judgements. It will change the way you see things and will change the way you process stress-inducing situations.
The best part is, meditation is very simple. Anyone can do it, you just need a quiet place, 15 minutes of time and you can easily implement regular meditation into your routine.
- Sit in a chair or on the floor in loose, comfortable fitting clothes. Find a position where you can stay for 15 minutes without lots of readjusting.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes. The first few times you meditate, you may not be able to go that long, but you should work your way up to being able to meditate 15 minutes per day.
- Scan your body and look for areas of tension. If you notice any tension in you body imagine it floating away and being replaced by feelings of calm.
- Take one, big, deep breath in through your nostrils, pulling your breath from your abdomen. Then exhale slowly and let the breath out.
- Keep your focus on your breath, focusing on each breath in and out. Don’t let your attention go anywhere else but your breath—if you feel your mind wandering.
- Become aware of the thoughts and feelings that you have, but observe these feelings without judgement.
- Continue this breathing exercise for the full 15 minutes. Give yourself a few minutes when you are done to sit or lie in silence before you resume your day—there is a great deal of power in silence, especially when it comes to easing an overworked mind.
That is all you need to do. Meditation is really that simple.
Some people prefer to meditate as part of their morning routine, while others prefer to meditate in the evening. No matter which way you prefer, the most important thing is to find a time and a space for meditation that fits your lifestyle—so you can make it part of your everyday routine.
How to Be Calm in a Minute: Staying Mindful Amongst Stress
Meditation is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal and one of the best ways to learn how to be calm when things start getting you down. However, we don’t always have time to sit down and meditate.
This is why you can start practicing mindfulness and working on being more mindful during your stress-inducing situations.
This is not only going to help you find a sense calmness amidst the chaos, but it is doing to help train your mind and help you think differently about situations when they come your way. If you are able to practice mindfulness in stressful situations you can reduce your stress symptoms and regain clarity in the moment.
A short mindfulness break doesn’t have to be long, it just needs to be enough to help you regain your normal frame of mind and to truly be mindful of what is going on around you. While it may only be a few seconds, or a few minutes, it can completely re-center you and change the way you are looking at the stressors ahead, whether you have an overwhelming workload to tackle, a public speech to deliver or an important meeting ahead of you.
Here’s how to take a mindfulness break:
- Put both feet flat on the ground in a stable and symmetric position. Focus on how you are connecting the weight of your body, the feeling of your feet on the ground. This will help you be more mindful of where you are and what you are doing in the moment.
- Let your negative emotions flow freely. Whether you are scared, angry, confused on panicked, holding these feelings in is never going to help. Let go of these feelings, address that you are feeling this way, and let the feelings flow throughout your mind and body.
It is normal to try to “block” feelings that bring stress upon us, but the more you hold it in, the worse it will get. You must be mindful of what you are feeling, not just why you are feeling it.
- Take a deep breath in. Breathe slowly and deeply and be mindful of these breaths and how they are flowing throughout your body. Try to breathe through your nose to help find calmness amidst your stress—breathing through your mouth can actually trigger the flight or fight response and will only make things worse.
- Enjoy the silence. Staying quiet is a great way to stay mindful when you are overwhelmed with strong feelings. You are controlling your speech, meaning you are in control, and you are spending less energy as you sit and regain your clarity.
- Look around you and be mindful of where you are and what you are doing. Sometimes, just taking the chance to really observe and take in what is going on around you with a calm mind can help you look at things differently. Don’t worry about the stress of the meeting, be mindful of the fact that you have a good job, a career to be proud of and an opportunity in front of you.
These small mindfulness breaks can go a long way in transforming how you handle stress and how you bring a sense of clam to your chaotic moments, right when you are in them.
This is an important lesson to learn because there are many times when you simply can’t take the time to do one concentrated meditation session. Meditation is one of the best ways to learn how to be calm when stress is getting you down, and when you simply don’t have time for real meditation, taking these small mindfulness breaks can help you get through whatever is challenging you.