There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
- Willia Cather
We have all been through times that have been truly a test of the grit. Work pressure, relationship issues, health issues, and just so many other triggers that can induce serious panic and stress in us. If I were to ask you that how did you exactly feel in such a situation you would probably zero in on the feeling of helplessness right? But if I ask you that how did you wish you felt in such a situation, you would probably say calm and composed.
Anxiety and panic attacks can cost a lot especially during tough times. Maybe you actually ended up making a bad call because you panicked. Suppose you could have approached the situation calmly wouldn’t it have been better and easier to manage and wouldn’t it have been thousand times easier on your mental and physical self?
Although we know the obvious, it is difficult to follow through. Staying calm when the world is all but falling apart could be difficult, but not impossible. Here are ways how you can stay calm even when the going gets tough:
Detach yourself- If you can physically move away from the situation or the place that will be best, but you can also mentally detach yourself from what’s going on. Just pretend to be an onlooker, like whatever happens doesn’t concern you, and when you feel a little calm think of what you would have done in such a situation. This will help you to both dissociate from the stimulus that is causing anxiety and think rationally.
Let emotions take a backseat- The biggest problem during tough times is that we tend to think according to what we ‘feel’, and this multiplies the feeling of stress and panic further. Whenever you find yourself in such a situation, just try to keep emotions aside. Command your brain by saying aloud that ‘Okay I’m in this situation now but I don’t NEED to feel this way. I am going to handle this rationally’. And then think of a logical solution. As someone who has beaten anxiety I used this a lot, whenever I would feel anxious I would ‘step away’ from the feeling associated and challenge the belief of the anxiety by rational thinking. Just take deep breaths and allow the emotions to flow through without getting affected by it, observe these emotions and let it slide like water on a leave. Things would then get a lot clearer and you will be able to focus on the solution.
Find your comfort factor- Some people believe that deep breathing helps them while others like to pray. Find a positive cushion to fall back on, but note that for comfort factors you should not indulge in smoking, food abuse, or alcohol as it just worsens the situation in the long run.
Learn meditation- Meditation is not about sitting still in a calm environment, it is more like training the brain to be under your control. Relaxation techniques help a lot in these situations. You can count from ten to one or use the visualization method where you visualize yourself in a pleasant place- by the beach watching the sunset or atop a snow-clad hilly area.
Draw strength from past successes- When was the last time you were in such a situation, and remember how everything went well in the end. Find solace in some past incidents where you have triumphed over an adverse situation. Remember how you felt back then, how strong you were, try to downsize the severity of this incident even if it is not. Tell yourself you’ve gone through that so you can easily overcome this.
Reach out- No matter how much of a self-dependent person you are, at the end of the day you should always have a group of friends and family you can go back to with your problems. You will be surprised how therapeutic just talking it out feels. A quick note again, this is a two-way street if you are expecting people to be there for you, you have to make efforts to be there for them as well. And you would be surprised how good it feels if you help someone through a difficult situation.
Drink a lot of water- Some of the symptoms of anxiety and nervousness is drying of the mouth, shortening of breath, and palpitation. Keeping your body hydrated ensures you won’t feel dizzy and sick in such a situation. Also, drinking a glass of cold water when you are feeling anxious helps to calm down and loosen that lumpy feeling in the chest.
Practice Yoga- Yoga is not just for those trying to lose weight. It has fantastic physical and emotional benefits as well. Yoga aligns the body with the mind, so you have a thorough understanding of what’s going on inside your mind and body. Also, practising yoga is a form of discipline that strengthens the will power and improves the overall mental health making it easier to take reins of your emotions.
Cry if you want to- Irrespective of your sex, if you want to cry, just let it out. Crying helps to release that bottled-up feeling and clears the mind as well.
You are stronger than you think! Always believe that no matter how tough the situation may be, you are tougher.
Hi! My name is Mulyadi Kurnia. I have interest in the health and wellness sector and has created a site dedicated to this sector since 2011. Starting out as stress and anxiety management website, the content of this site has expanded to include other topics in the health and wellness as well as self-improvement topics; I have also created a free e-book “5 Key Tips to be a Happier You”, downloadable at http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com