During a crisis it is a very normal reaction to panic. The problem is that if we let it, this panic then escalates and turns into stress and severe panic and before we know it, we’re in a heap on the floor wondering where we went wrong.
Many of the greatest survival stories couldn’t have been possible if they hadn’t learned to stay calm under the pressure of the crisis.
They didn’t necessarily go into the crisis with the understandings of how to remain calm or get out of the situation but they allowed the time to understand it.
The tips below will help you to keep calm in a crisis.
Slow It Down
It can be easy to try and rush into things and get things done straight away but you need to slow it down. Don’t react straight away. Take a step back and think about the situation calmly. Only then will you be able to make clear decisions.
I know, you’re in a crisis, it’s not exactly easy to think positively but if all your thoughts are on the worst that could happen, then it is impossible for you to remain calm and then impossible for you to make clear decisions. Any time the negative enters your mind you must fight it with something positive. It could be something you’ve done (small or big, it doesn’t matter!) or something you’re going to do. The decisions you make in moments of crisis are critical, so it’s important that your negative emotions don’t influence the process.
Never Say “What if?“
When somebody starts a sentence with “what if?” I usually know that it’s going to be something bad. “what if the car brakes down“, “what if we lose a child“, “what if they forget the ketchup“. I’m trailing here but you get the point. (Okay, I made the child one up!)
During any crisis, “what if?” is the worst question that you could ask anybody, including yourself. It brings panic with it and instantly puts bad things into your mind that you need to process. And these things, are not always things that are going to happen either! Keep your mind on the facts and work towards a solution.
Contact Someone You Trust
You should never be too stubborn or too proud to ask for help or advice during a stressful time. Many of us can talk better to those that are close to us than we can to those that we don’t know. By talking the situation through with somebody that you know, you may also be able to arrive at a solution that you hadn’t already thought of.
Watch Your Temper
Losing your temper about any situation doesn’t solve it, any usually makes it worse. People won’t come to you if you lose your temper as it looks like you don’t have a handle on what’s going on. You need to acknowledge the fact that you are getting angry, step back, and think about the solution.
Don’t Carry the Emotions of Others
You have your own emotions that you’re carrying around so don’t allow yourself to get caught up with carrying those of others too. Emotions spread like a virus so it’s easier to take them on than you imagine.
Sometimes it can be good to try and put ourselves into the shoes of others but we can’t do it to everyone during a crisis. If someone is getting angry around you, don’t intervene and don’t let their anger change how you feel.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
It doesn’t matter where you are or what relaxation technique you use, the important thing is that you breathe properly and focus.
One very simple breathing exercise is to:
- Inhale deeply through the nostrils for three seconds
- Hold your breath for two seconds
- Long exhale through the mouth for 4 seconds
You Can’t Control Everything
It is easy to focus our attention on things that aren’t even in our control but this does nothing but causes distress. You don’t have to spend your time thinking about being the one to stop the crisis, and that’s OK. Other people will be doing their part but understand that they might do things differently than you.