Staying Calm Under Pressure
Staying Calm Under Pressure Is Not Always Easy
Staying calm under pressure is easier said than done for many people, especially when you are a parent. Each day our kids throw a new challenge our way from the explosive nappy action to riding to school on their own to sitting their first exam. In order to teach our children to stay calm under pressure, we need to know how to do it first.
Life is getting busier every day and with the assistance of modern technology, we are spending more hours working than playing. Naturally, as our workload increases so too does the pressure associated with longer hours in the office and home, with some days even 24 hours doesn’t seem enough. Learning how to stay calm under pressure, especially when dealing with children who are being difficult or struggling themselves.
Here are 6 ways to stay calm under pressure:
- Put things into perspective. It is easy to dramatise a situation when you are feeling stressed or anxious. Often this is a default reaction in our brain to create drama. When something doesn’t go right, first analyse the situation and put it into perspective and allow this to decide your stress levels.
- Understand what triggers you. When the pressure is on, our bodies have their own way of handling stress, turning the calmest person into a sweaty, nervous mess. Learn how your own body reacts to stressful situations and create techniques to work with them, not always fighting against these effects as this often makes them worse. Anxiety often starts with unwanted thoughts but the reactions in the body can be anything from a racing heart to pain in the shoulders to fast breathing.
- Teach yourself to self-soothe (just like you did with your baby). This is a little like meditation and involves deep breathing to assist the body to stay calm under pressure. When you are feeling irritated because your child is having their fourth tantrum today or your teenager has backed chatted again, taking a few deep breaths before responding allows the body to reduce the stress levels, clear the mind and prepare your response.
- Take your time before reacting. This works closely with the breathing. When a situation is in high alert, and the kids have almost tipped you over the edge, most of us respond too quickly to end the situation. By taking a few extra seconds to think about your response, allows your body to calm down a little before dealing with the stressful environment. This response comes from the pre-frontal cortex which requires a little extra time to take over the emotional part of the brain.
- Try to avoid negative people. Easier said than done but the more you surround yourself with negative people, the more your energy moves from positive to negative. If you are in a negative frame of mind, your reaction to a difficult child will be defensive and this never ends well, especially when dealing with teenagers. Being around negative can set the mood for the day, so doing a little thought work on yourself is recommended if you need to be around negative thinking people.
- Have automatic responses ready to go. Our children are often smarter than us and usually quick with their responses. Having a few automatic responses puts you ahead of the situation and hopefully gives you the upper hand to deal with the situation. The brain goes in into coping mode when we are under pressure, meaning the emotional brain takes charges and the critical thinking brain runs and hides. Automatic responses allow the conscious mind, where we make decisions, to catch up and take over.
Staying calm under pressure when dealing with a little challenging child or a difficult situation is possible with a little practice.
How do you stay calm under pressure?