Every now and again life doesn’t throw us a curve, it aims a quiver full of arrows. When this happens, we don’t know which way to turn or what to do to remain calm.
Panic sets in. This is followed by a frantic activity or total immobility.
But there are some people, who seem to navigate this onslaught of trials in a calm and peaceful manner. What is their secret?
1. They know every problem has a solution.
When you start from this understanding you are already on your way to dealing with whatever you are facing. Knowing there is a solution means that now you have shifted the focus from a problem to a creative outcome.
You are no longer in victim mode, now you are in creator mode.
2. They stay away from mind circles.
Mind circles are those repeated thoughts that keep going round and round in your head. Thoughts like: What am I going to do? Where am I going to go? Why does this happen to me? These thoughts only add more confusion to the situation and keep you trapped in a victim mentality.
It is best to take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What is the worst-case scenario?” This is a great question because often things are not as bad as they first appear. It will also stop you from repeating hypothetical questions based on imagination.
3. They don’t exaggerate the situation.
Our mind loves to take a situation and blow it out of proportion. In a flash, we can go from a simple fender bender to OMG I could have been killed. Look at the situation for what it is, don’t add to it. Stick to the facts.
4. They breathe.
So simple and so effective at calming us immediately! It is such a natural thing that we forget that we breathe. When a situation arises that gets your blood pressure and anxiety levels up, stop what you doing.
Take several deep breaths, allow yourself to feel the air entering and leaving your body. This takes the focus off what is happening around you and gets you centered so that you will think and act with clarity.
5. They break the problem down into pieces.
When faced with problems we often get overwhelmed by them because we only see the enormity of the situation. As soon as you can after the initial shock, break the problem down into manageable parts.
Identifying ONE thing you can do right now towards a solution. This will help you see that there is a solution and that the solution is not as difficult as you thought it might be.
6. They are grateful.
This can be very difficult in some situations and you may not feel gratitude for a long time after an incident, but it is very helpful. If you can look at a situation and find one thing, however small, to be grateful for it shifts you out of victim mode.
In gratitude, you are returning to your place of power and taking control over the situation. The situation is not leading you, you are leading the situation.
7. They accept what is.
Ultimately it all comes down to accepting the situation exactly as it is.
- accepting what has happened,
- the difficulties it has caused,
- accepting that you might have to do without something,
- that it could take time to fix,
- accepting that you might not be happy about the situation.
In accepting the experience for what it is, an experience, you will be stepping away from the drama within the story and be left with the facts. When you are no longer reacting to the drama of the story, the problem tends to become simpler.
In most situations, our natural instinct is to react. We can react in such a way as to make the situation worse thus adding to the problem or, we can react in a calmer way that seeks to find solutions.
The choice is yours. What is your best advice for remaining calm in the eye of the storm?