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20 Top Tips How to Stay Calm Under Pressure at Work

how to stay calm under pressure
(Last Updated On: July 21, 2023)
How to stay calm under pressure is a great concern for many of us. The ability to remain calm under pressure is a huge predictor of success. In this article originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse, I provide 10 strategies that I can start using today. In this article, we unravel the importance of staying composed amid the turbulence of life, unveiling strategies to manage negative thoughts, reduce stress, and cultivate a sense of well-being. Let us plunge into the depths of this enlightening journey.

The tumultuous demands of the workplace can be a double-edged sword, not only impairing your performance and productivity but also taking a toll on your physical well-being. When under pressure, the body releases a cascade of stress hormones, triggering an accelerated heart rate and constricted blood vessels. While the direct link to long-term blood pressure issues remains inconclusive, it is clear that stress does no favors to your health.

The significance of serenity in the face of stress extends beyond health; it profoundly impacts your career trajectory. In the competitive realm of elite athletes, where all contenders boast remarkable physical prowess, victory hinges upon more than just physicality. Many Olympians attest that triumph is equally a product of their mindset, their resolute refusal to be daunted by opponents, and their ability to flourish under pressure.

Within Team USA, each individual crafts a distinctive strategy for navigating the pressure-cooker of high-stakes competitions. Business Insider meticulously analyzed recent interviews with Team USA members, spotlighting the psychological tactics they find most efficacious.

The Importance of Poise Under Pressure

Stress, an unwelcome companion, can wreak havoc on your psyche. But how do you manage its unrelenting assault when the world feels like it is spiraling out of control? The virtues of remaining calm in the workplace are manifold:

1. Enhanced Concentration

Under stress, concentration wavers – an innate response. However, mastering calmness fosters improved concentration and heightened productivity. Liberated from the shackles of incessant to-do lists and looming deadlines, you gain a grounded focus on the task at hand.

2. Fostering Creativity

Stress constricts the flow of creative inspiration, as worry becomes all-consuming. Yet, by taming stress and maintaining composure, creativity flourishes unencumbered by perpetual overthinking. Living in the present, you unleash the carefree facet of your being, allowing creativity to thrive.

3. Inducing Sound Sleep

Tossing and turning in bed, plagued by relentless overthinking, disrupts restful sleep. Mastery of stress alleviates these nocturnal struggles, facilitating peaceful slumber, free from caffeine and sugar dependencies. Restorative sleep confers numerous benefits, from heightened productivity to improved decision-making.

4. Heart Health

Stress exerts a toll on the heart, elevating heart rate, constricting blood vessels, and triggering muscle tension. Over time, stress escalates the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Learning to remain calm becomes an essential facet of heart health, paving the way for a healthier future.

5. Nurturing the Nervous System

The onslaught of stress prompts the body to release cortisol, which, in excess, poses threats to the nervous system governing reflexes, memory, and concentration. Cultivating composure and diminishing stress responses curtail cortisol production, nurturing the health of the nervous system in the long run.

Why is it necessary to stay calm under pressure?

There is a direct link to your performance, with the ability to manage your emotions and calm down under stress.  At TalentMart, research was conducted with more than a million people and found that 90 percent of the top performers are capable of handling their emotions during emotional stress in order to be calm and in control.

There are some surprising studies that uncover the stress of killing can harm one’s physical and mental health (such as this Yale study, which found that chronic mental stress causes a deterioration in the brain area to control).

The complicated thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it is absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains have grown so fast that it is difficult to take action until we experience some level of this sensitive state. In fact, performance is subject to higher activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. Unless this pressure is prolonged, it is harmless.

The highest yield performance

Research from the University of California, Berkeley revealed a reversal of the experience of moderate-level stress.  But it also emphasizes how important it is to control stress. The study, led by post-doctoral associate Elizabeth Corby, found that the onset of mental stress is responsible for improved memory in the growing new cells of the brain.

However, this effect can only be seen when stress is occasionally mitted, with the ability to develop new cells in the brain as long as the stress continues for a few moments.

“I think sometimes the stressful events keep the brain more aware and you perform better when you’re alert,” says Kirby.  For animals, the unanticipated stress in the form of physical threats to their immediate environment is something they experience most. Long ago, this was the case with humans.  As the human brain evolves with complexity, we develop the capacity for anxiety and persistence in events, creating frequent experiences of chronic stress.

In addition to increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress reduces your cognitive performance. Fortunately, although the lion does not chase you, most of your stress is subjective and in your control. Top performers have strategies to deal with the emotional stress that they use in stressful situations.

This reduces their stress levels, regardless of what is happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they feel is sometimes sustained and not prolonged.

20 ways how to stay calm under pressure

Embarking on a journey towards self-mastery, the bounty of benefits derived from taming stress and embracing composure is undeniably vast. But how does one navigate the labyrinth of stress with finesse? Embrace the transformative power of insightful tips to liberate your mind and soul. We have successfully overcome many useful techniques that how to stay calm under pressure, where the following are the top 10.  Some of these strategies may seem obvious, but the real challenge is recognizing when to use them and not actually having to do so despite your stress.

1. Appreciate

Taking the time to consider what you are grateful for is not the only “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, as it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23 percent.

Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that those who worked daily to develop an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, strength, and physical well-being. Probably lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this and is an answer on how to stay calm under pressure.

2. Ask “If so”?

“What if?” The statements ignite stress and anxiety. Things can go a million different ways and the more you worry about the possibilities, the more time you spend focusing on taking actions that will calm you and keep your stress under control. Quiet people know that ask “What if? Just taking them to places they don’t want – or need is an answer to how to stay calm under pressure.

3. Stay positive

Positive thoughts help keep stress in the middle of your mind by focusing on something completely stress-free. You need to give some help to your traveling brain by choosing something positive to think about consciously. Any positive thoughts can make your mind rethink. When things are going well, and your mood is good, it is relatively easy.

When things are going badly and your mind is drenched in negative thoughts, it can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify if a positive thing happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of anything from the present day, reflecting on the previous day or even the previous week, is an answer to how to stay calm under pressure.

Or maybe you’re just waiting for an interesting event to keep you focused. The key here is that you must have something positive that you are ready to capture your attention when your thoughts become negative.

4. Disconnect

Given the importance of occasional stress, it is easy to see how taking regular time off the grid helps keep your stress under control. When you make yourself available 24/7 for your work, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stress.

Force yourself offline and even! Force your Turning off your phone gives your body a break from a source of stress. Studies have shown that something as simple as email breaks can reduce stress levels and is an answer to how to stay calm under pressure.

Technology enables continuous communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It’s extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought leaves you with worry about your job (read: stressed) at any given moment.

If it is a big challenge to disassociate yourself from work-related contact during the weekday evenings, how is the weekend? Choose the blocks where you cut the cord and go offline. You will be amazed at how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by having a mental recharge on your weekly schedule.

If you are concerned about the negative consequences of taking this step, try to do so first when you are unlikely to be contacted, perhaps on Sunday morning. As you become more comfortable with it and slowly start to take the time your colleagues spend offline, slowly expand the amount you spend away from technology.

5. Restrict their caffeine intake

Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-and-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to fight or fight for the hills when a threat arises.

The rationale for a quick response to a fight or flight process is that it’s great when the bear chases you but not so great when you respond to a cart email, is an answer on how to stay calm under pressure.

When caffeine throws your brain and body into this hyperextended stress, your emotions overtake your behavior. The stress that caffeine produces is far from the heart, as its long half-life ensures that it takes its sweet time to break out of your body.

6. Sleep well

I have killed one of these over the years and I cannot say enough about the importance of sleep to boost your emotional intelligence and manage your stress levels, is an answer to how to stay calm under pressure. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, jolting back to the memories of the day and storing them or spreading them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up and are clean-headed.

If you do not get enough sleep – or the right kind of sleep – your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced. Sleep deprivation itself increases stress hormone levels, even without the presence of a stressor.

Stressful projects often make you feel like you don’t have time to sleep, but taking the time to get a good night’s sleep is often one of the things that keep you in control.

7. Squash negative self-talk

A major step in managing mental stress involves shutting down negative self-talk on its tracks. The more you argue in negative thoughts, the more you give them energy. Most of our negative thoughts are just that – thoughts, not truths.

When you tell your inner voice that you believe in negative and negative things to believe, then literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you think, is an answer on how to stay calm under pressure. Once you take a moment to reduce the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in assessing their authenticity.

You can bet that you never use the words “never,” “worst”, “never”, etc. Your statement is not true if your papers appear in the papers even if they look like information, take them to a friend or you. A trusted colleague and see if he or she agrees with you.

Then the truth must come out. When this always seems to happen or never happens, it is simply the natural threat of your brain that experiences the perceived frequency or severity of the event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts that separate you from the truth will help you avoid the cycle of negativity and move on to a positive new outlook.

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8. Refresh their point of view

Stress and anxiety are encouraged by our own faulty ideas about events. It’s easy to think of unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving authorities, and unmanageable traffic as reasons why we’ve been under so much pressure all the time.

You cannot control your circumstances, but you can control how they respond. So before you spend too much time on anything, take a minute to put the situation in perspective.

If you’re not sure when you need to do this, try searching for sources that may not be proportional to your anxiety stress. If you are contemplating broad, precise statements like “everything is going wrong” or “nothing will work,” then your situation needs to be refreshed.

A great way to correct this disproportionate thought type is to list specific things that are actually going wrong or not working. Perhaps you will come up with something, not everything – and the range of these stressors will look much more limited than it initially appears.

9. Harness the Invigorating Prowess of Exercise

Break free from the clutches of stress by invoking the release of stress-reducing endorphins through physical activity. Embrace the revitalizing energy, leaving your mind refreshed and your spirit undeniably calmer.

10. Unlock the Cathartic Potential of Journaling

Silence the relentless chatter of your mind by embracing the therapeutic art of journaling. Pen your worries on paper, granting your mind respite to focus on the immediate task at hand, liberated from lingering concerns.

11. Delve into the Tranquility of Meditation

Embrace the harmonious blend of meditation and mindfulness to quell stress. Seek solace in a quiet haven, dedicating even a mere 5–10 minutes to savor each breath, embracing the serenity that unfolds.

Dr. Hana Patel, a Mindset Coach and GP specialist in mental health, wisely advises: “Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking, or enjoying a meal.”

12. Preserve a Soothing Sleep Ritual

Resist the allure of burning the midnight oil, instead, cultivate a soothing sleep ritual. Bid adieu to work as the sun sets, and immerse yourself in restful activities, both mental and physical, like delving into a book or luxuriating in a calming bath. Embrace the serenity of sleep, granting yourself an extra 60–90 minutes of slumber for happiness and vitality.

13. Infuse Vitality through a Balanced Diet

Empower your body with nutritious food, a balm to stress. Opt for wholesome choices abundant in omega-3 and polyunsaturated fats, known to regulate cortisol levels, the stress hormone.

14. Rekindle Joy with New Hobbies

Embrace the joy of living through new hobbies that spark your interest. Be it cross-stitching or ice-skating, the pursuit of fresh endeavors provides an oasis of stress relief and immediate tranquility.

15. Seek Supportive Connection

Combat the isolating weight of stress by seeking solace in the embrace of your close-knit network. Confide in cherished ones, seeking guidance to navigate challenges and maintain composure. Remember, “A problem shared is a problem halved.”

16. Empowerment through To-Do Lists

In the face of overwhelm, find empowerment in structured to-do lists. Break down tasks into manageable chunks, relishing the satisfaction of ticking off completed items, restoring a sense of control, and easing stress.

17. Embark on Introspection, Identify Triggers

The journey towards self-awareness by identifying stress triggers. Unravel the root causes – looming deadlines, challenging colleagues, or taxing situations – empowering you to proactively address and prevent potential issues.

18. Enrich with Emotional Intelligence

Cultivate emotional intelligence through introspection and feedback. This invaluable skill equips you to adapt effortlessly to diverse circumstances, fostering composure under pressure.

Embrace these transformative techniques, setting sail towards self-mastery, and revel in a life of serenity amidst the turbulence of stress. Let the journey unfold with newfound calm and inner peace.

19. Breathe

Sometimes the simplest way to create stress is to indulge in something you need to do every day: to breathe.  The practice of being in the moment with your breath will train your brain to fully focus on the task at hand and remove the stress monkey from your back. When you are feeling stressed, take a few minutes to focus on your breathing.

Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just breathe in a chair. The goal is to focus solely on your breathing the whole time, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe and go out. It sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two.

It’s okay if you’re distracted by another thought; This must happen in the beginning and you need to bring your focus back to your breathing, is an answer on how to stay calm under pressure.

If concentrating on your breathing proves to be a real fight, try counting each breath in and out until you are 20 years old, and then start again at count You can always start again.

This task may seem simple or somewhat silly, but you will be surprised by how calm you are afterward and how easy it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have settled permanently inside your brain.

20. Use your support system

It’s tempting, yet completely ineffective, to try to handle everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to identify your weaknesses and seek help when you need it.

This means that when a situation is challenging enough for you to overcome, tap on your support system. Everyone in the workplace and/or outside work is in their team, has made the basics for them, and is ready to help them get the best out of a difficult situation.

Identify these people in your life and seek their insights and support when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your concerns will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and will give you a fresh perspective on the situation.

Most of the time, other people see a solution that you cannot do because they are not as sensitive as the situation. Asking for help will ease your stress and strengthen your relationship with those you depend on.

Final thought

Navigating the tumultuous seas of pressure can be a formidable task, especially if you lack the savoir-faire to navigate certain situations. Fear not, for once you equip yourself with the arsenal of stress-combatting tools, you shall reclaim the reins of control.

Now, let us delve into a profound recollection of the art of composure:

1. Foster Connections with Kindred Spirits: Embrace the embrace of your tribe; isolation must find no shelter in your soul. Reach out to your support network, for they shall anchor you amidst the storms of life.

2. Decipher the Source of Your Turmoil: To find serenity, you must unveil the enigma of your distress. Unravel the mysteries that trigger your inner tempest, empowering you to sidestep these perilous circumstances and seize command of your emotions.

3. Embark on the Path of Physical Vigor: Indulge in the rapturous realm of physical activity, as it summons forth the euphoria of endorphins. Graft exercise into your daily ritual, and you shall find an unyielding bastion of calm when confronted with stress.

4. Immerse in the Symphony of Slumber: To attain tranquility, embrace the symphony of a soothing sleep routine. As twilight descends, bid adieu to your electronic tethers, and immerse yourself in restful activities, preparing your body for respite and renewal.

5. The Alchemy of Breath: Do not underestimate the alchemy of breath. It wields the power to transmute anxiety into calmness. When anxious episodes seize you, recalibrate your very essence by embracing deep breaths, a magical elixir of serenity.

In the quest for serenity, remember that composure under pressure is an art, and you are the maestro orchestrating its symphony. The cacophony of stress shall yield to your melodious mastery.

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20 Top Tips How to Stay Calm Under Pressure at Work

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