How to React Calmly in Stressful or Frustrating Situations

It’s difficult to hear the saying, “Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down,” and not immediately feel as though life could be so much easier if you were just a little better at living it. However, don’t be too hard on yourself; the modern world is more hectic than ever before, and who knows who said that quote how long ago!

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you probably know how especially frustrating and stressful it can be. If you’ve ever worked in an office where many coworkers are constantly talking on the phone around you, there’s no doubt that you know this fact all too well. However, you can learn quite a bit by listening to individuals talk on the phone all day—if they’re good at handling difficult responses, comments, and feedback in general. Yet, if they’re not good at these things at all, the situation could quickly become worse; coworkers working in close quarters tend to rub-off on each other, both for better and for worse.

It’s vital to stay conscious of this fact of human nature, and to ensure that you don’t take on any negative traits that you don’t have to. Please read the following list to help yourself feel more calm and relaxed—and to allow yourself to be happier and more successful.

1. Consciously take note of your physical feelings when you’re feeling stressed.

When you start to feel clammy, fidgety, tight, or otherwise “off,” remember this for the next time you’re in a stressful situation; if you’re able to stop yourself from reacting physically, it will often lessen the actual amount of stress that you feel. Visualize the negative physical feelings coursing through your body, but then visualize yourself recovering and feeling relief.

2. Also take note of when someone around you becomes stressed.

Once you become aware of the physical signs of stress that others are demonstrating, it will be easier for you to separate yourself from that stress, and to not take any of the stress on yourself or have any of it rub-off on you. Visualize their negative feeling as a box, leave it on the other person’s lap (or shoulders), think to yourself, “let go,” and slowly exhale while thinking, “gooooooo.” Strangely enough, using this method should quickly calm you down, and you should be able to see and understand the circumstances for what they actually are.

3. Take regular alone time.

Being peaceful and quiet in solitary is inherently a non-stressful activity. Visualize the air around you when you feel calm, and when you think positive thoughts. Pretend that air is a certain colour like purple, and imagine locking that peaceful air in a safe—which you can tap into during any quiet time or alone time in the future. This way, all you’ll need to do is get into the alone time frame of mind in order to calm yourself.

4. Connect with nature.

Notice the breeze, feel it, and experience it. Visualize it carrying away negative emotions, and you will actually begin to feel less stressed as you watch the breeze transport more negativity off over the horizon. In fact, as per Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine, researchers found a decrease in heart rate and cortisol levels in subjects within a forest as opposed to in subjects within a city.

5. Write your worries away.

It may sound corny, but journaling about your negative thoughts really can enable you to finally accept them, and then actually release them. What’s more, oftentimes it’s useful to write down the worst case outcome, the best case outcome, and perhaps a few of the other potential outcomes in between. Usually things aren’t likely to turn out as bad as you initially imagine, and writing down your problems also tends to result in the formulation of solutions as well.

6. Stay fit in both body and mind.

Human beings release endorphins when they exercise, and it can actually be easier to motivate yourself into exercising if you think of the emotional benefit you’ll receive from physically exerting yourself. For instance, if you’re doing yoga or Pilates, envision the stretching, the slow muscle movement, the blood flow to muscles, and then transport all these thoughts and emotions into present reality. This will provide you with more energy and focus—which you can utilize to workout!

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