How To Calm Down In Anxious Situations & When You’re Under Pressure
Calmness and composure are like Siamese twins: they both exist together. Staying calm especially in moments of provocations is an attitude worth inculcating. Some people train themselves up to the point that nothing hardly makes them flare up, they already have their temperaments subdued so much so that it would take the entire world to make them act otherwise.
Certain situations try our patience to no end such that we may eventually lose our cool. But with practise and a great deal of patience, we can learn little by little how to put such under control. Some of the situations include but not limited to the following:
Presenting: Presenting or speaking to a large crowd as the case maybe, is not for the faint hearted. Apart from the fact that you need to own whatever it is you are speaking on, you also have to deal with your audience (which quite frankly is the major issue). Cases abound where people who have the best scripts come on stage and have stage fright and then they forget every single thing on the script. To ensure this does nor happen to you, here are some helpful tips to help you:
Practice: Nothing g beats practice. Remember the adage that practice makes perfect right? Great! So ensure you practise and rehearse your script. This should however not transform to cramming the entire script otherwise, you will sound robotic and without life. So practice over and over again. Also, you should have an idea of what audience number you should be expecting. This is to avoid any element of surprise such as the number that greets you when you walk to the stage.
Transfer your Nervous Energy into Positivity: There is no doubt that that you will nervous- this is perfectly normal and natural. Even great speakers and orators still have their moments of fright. The bad thing is letting it overwhelm you so much so that you become a nervous wreck till the end of the presentation. Turn around the energy into positivity- ask them questions indirectly or simply start up a light-humour that is sure to get them more relaxed (and definitely, you too).
Attend Other Presentations: Learning how to stay calm during a presentation means you must have mastered the skills and techniques used by different speakers. How to do this? By attending others people’s presentations. Make out time, attend and pay attention to the speaker from him/she, you may pick up one or things that will help you in yours. For instance, you may attend speaker A’s presentation and like his/ her power stance or the way they communicate with their eyes while you may attend speaker B’s presentation and like the way he/she talks in an engaging manner and the way the audience seem to be listening with rapt attention. The good thing with attending other’s presentations is that you must take something away from it which you can then use to polish yours.
Be Early: If you are going to do a presentation, then you have to be early. Your audience should not be the one waiting for you instead it should be the other way round. Be early so you take your time to look around and know what sort of people and the number to expect. It is even important too that you know what angle of the stage you are supposed to walk from.
These things all matter and you should take them into consideration. Come early, but not too early. This way, you will have some minutes to calm your nerves and get yourself ready. Use the rest room to check that tour hair, make up, outfit etc are all impeccable. Then, you can still decide to run through your script again just before people start arriving.
Drink Water: Drinking water is very important and vital during presentations. If possible, have a bottle of water beside you as you speak. You can take intermittent breaks to drink some. The good thing with this is that it keeps you hydrated and prevents your mouth from getting dry. This is very important especially if your presentation is going to be long.
Never forget the importance of having water with you. Keeping your mouth wet also helps tour conversation to be seamless. Your words flow freely because there are no impediments to your speech.
Smile: Nothing beats having a smile on your face while presenting. Your audience tend to like and remember you more if you were nice and friendly rather than making it look like it is a war zone. Smile and greet your audience members warmly. However, that does not mean it should be all smiles and no seriousness (obviously not).
Be serious when you are tabling your points and explaining it to them so that they understand what you are saying exactly. The trick is to know when to smile, laugh and when to get back to being serious. Try to strike a balance in all of them and you will have a seamless presentation.
Another situation that is similar to presentation in making us feel very upright is when we are angry. Someone has actually described anger as temporary madness. This is because at that point, you lose most if not all sense of reasoning and then all your actions are based on your feelings at that present time. With anger comes a lot of other negative emotions which is why one needs to be very calm at that time to avoid doing something that the person will regret later.
Staying calm however is not easy, it requires a great deal of patience, self control and more patience. Thankfully, it is not something that cannot be achieved. Below are some tips to help you stay calm when you are angry:
Go for Walks: Going for walks have been identified as one of the most effective ways to manage anger. Walking helps clear your head and distracts you from the object or subject of your aggression. When you take walks, you see the trees, birds and nature generally. You ponder things in your head and it helps you breath more easily. Instead of shouting and getting angrier, you can go somewhere quiet like a park or a quiet restaurant or sit out or even a garden.
At this stage, chances are that you are not half as angry as you were before. You can now analyze things over in your head. What exactly is making you angry? Should you be angry? Is the anger worth it? What can you do to change the situation? Remember: when you are angry, it is you who suffers more not the person you are angry at. So remember this the next time you are moved to being angry. Just be calm and find a way around it without tempers flying.
Control Your First Impulse: This is very important. The moment you are angry, so the opposite of the first thing that comes to your mind. If you wanted to stand and shout, kindly sit down and be quiet. Essentially, do not do the first thing that comes to your mind because then, it is probably not the right thing to do. Imagine being so angry that you throw things or hit out at something or someone.
So essentially get a grip on yourself and do not do anything rash. Remind yourself that it is absolutely not worth it and in the end, the anger will subside. The moment you recognise that people or things will always get you upset, the better prepared you will be to handle any situation.
Address the Issue:This should be the next thing you so after you have calmed down. Call the person and have a mutual and amicable conversation with the person. Work things out like adults and in no time, everything will be fine. It is only after you have allowed the situation to linger that it causes bad blood between you both. So be sure to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
If it is something or a particular situation that is causing the anger, look for ways that can make it better. If it is work for instance, find ways to manage your personal time and work time to avoid a clash between both of them. If it is a situation you cannot help, then just remain calm and go through it. Getting angry does not solve any situation. If it did, all we needed do would have been to get angry and all will be well. Sadly that is not the case, just realize that anger is an emotion you can very much do without.
Think of Positive Things: While this may not sound very helpful, positive thoughts have been said to help maintain temperamental balance overtime. Usually, when one is angry, the thoughts are not pleasant or good ones. They are usually vengeful, aggressive and everything not nice. However, when you replace them with good and positive thoughts, to counter those present feelings, it becomes much better to manage.
For instance, if your spouse annoys you, instead of thinking of that present situation, replace it with good old times where he or she said or did something nice to you. Reassure yourself that the situation is only on the spur of the moment and is not likely to be a daily occurrence. With this in mind, you will train your mind to look past the present situation and into the future.
Having seen two (2) situations when people lose their cool, the next situation is bullying. People that have been bullied before will agree that it is one of the most awkward and dicey situations. People who have been bullied before will agree that is is quite traumatic and there may be times you feel like fighting back or showing the person that you have some venom as well.
The bad side to this however is that it will be counter productive because then, there will be no difference between you and the bully. So in order to remain calm in this situation, here are some suggestions you may find helpful:
Do not Show Fear: Do not show that you are afraid of him or her because that is exactly the reason why they are bullying you. Instead, remain calm and they to understand why he or she is being a bully. Could it be because of a traumatic experience they bad while growing up? Are they from broken homes? Sometimes, bullying is a way some children try to feel normal and get a sense of belonging (albeit in the wrong way).
So when you see them approaching, toughen up and meet their stare. Let them know you have a mind of your own and will not stand to be controlled. This way, the bully will even take some steps backwards to actually ponder on if you can be bullied or not.
Seek for Help: Sometimes looking for help is not a sign of cowardice. It is far better to seek for help and be fine than to try solving it or suppressing it on your own. Do not be shy about what people will say when you come out today you are being bullied. Chances are that most of them were also bullied during their own time in school so think nothing of it.
Avoid Them As Much As You Can: If you can please do. Try to keep out of their way and avoid anything that will make you both cross paths as much as you can. However, there are situations that make may make it imperative that you both must see. Now, you must remember that most bullies are actually cowards and may not be able to do half of what they are claiming they can do. Therefore, when situations, become unbearable, you may need to stand up for yourself and square it out once and for all. The very day you do this, you will realize they will leave you alone. This is because they now know that you are not a pushover.
Most of the time, staying calm can be quite tough but if we really mean to, we can do it. Just realize you owe it to yourself and the people around you.
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