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5 Tips for staying calm under pressure

5 Tips for staying calm under pressure
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Stress is unavoidable in the modern world. We move fast and are often trying to do more than is possible and within a time frame that is crazy! To some degree, we have limited control of external factors that can possibly cause us stress, but what we do have under control is our relationship to stress and our choice of how we respond to it. There are several key areas that if considered and put into practice can reduce our stress quite significantly.

Thoughts

Becoming aware of your thoughts and developing an ability to choose which ones you feed, is one of the best gifts you will ever give yourself. All of us have what is called a monkey mind; a mind that left unchecked will cavort and mischievously play all day long. This is the nature of this part of our mind. But what we also have, which many people do not realize, is an ability to observe this behaviour and through doing so, we come to recognise that this freewheeling and repetitive monologue is not the whole story.

There are lots of ways that you can learn to watch your thoughts rather than be controlled by them, practices like meditation and yoga encourage you to focus into the moment and just deal with what is going on now, rather than mindlessly wonder or worry about what is ahead.

Time out

Taking time out is another great way to reduce stress and look after yourself. Again the mind will often tell us that we need to keep going, that we need to finish this, that and the other before we can really stop. This is often just a mental ploy to keep us hooked into the idea that happiness and relaxation is always some way ahead of ourselves and not right where we are. Pausing, even just for a minute or two and consciously coming back in the present moment to appreciate what is right around us, is a great way to break patterns of anxiety, stress and overwhelm.

Eat up!

Eating well and exercising are age old but timeless tips for wellbeing and stress reduction. It is all too easy for anyone who is chasing their tail, to eat on the hop and rely on fast food that has little nutritional value. The relaxation gained by choosing to take the time to prepare your own meals and prioritizing sitting down to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling dinner, is immeasurable.

5 Tips for staying calm under pressure

Exercise

Similarly with exercise, it can be so easy to jump in a car and rush here, there and everywhere when even just a short walk can interrupt increasing stress levels and help stress hormones such as adrenaline to be discharged from your body. With both healthy eating and regular exercise, it is very easy to believe that you don’t have time, and initially this may really feel true.

However if you commit to changing your patterns and make half an hour available each day for some form of exercise like running or stretching, you will start to feel the benefits really quickly and ultimately will save time as your need to worry and stress over situations will reduce.

Prioritise

The last tip for today is to prioritise doing what you enjoy. Life does pass by very quickly and as we realise again and again, none of us know how much longer we will have in our lives. Take some time to reflect on what it is in life that gives you pleasure and make a promise to yourself that you will create opportunities and time to support these interests or activities.

It doesn’t matter what this is, it may well be different from anyone else that you know but it’s very important that you let yourself have regular times in your life where you simply do what you love to do.

 

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About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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