When you’re ambitious, busy, and under pressure to perform, you can have multiple stressors in your life at one time. Many people worry that the stress of success is too much, but there are healthy and meaningful coping methods. To take your cues from the greats, follow these 12 ways successful people stay calm under pressure:
1. Make a short to-do list
Focus on what’s important, and limit the external noise, by keeping your to-do list to a 3-item high-priority list you can attend to realistically and focus on.
2. Understand your brain’s limitations
The brain can only successfully keep a short list of problems and thoughts together at the same time. Be realistic, go easy on yourself, and don’t expect yourself to carry every solution in your head at once–which brings us to:
3. Have an external organizer
Don’t hold all the ideas for working out your issues in your head. Keep everything in an external organizing system: digital calendar reminders, hand-written to-do list–however it works for you, keep a physical reminder of all your tasks, and you’ll find much less stress weighing you down.
4. Plan ahead
You’ll be much, much more prepared to face challenges when you’ve thought through steps to overcome them ahead of time. Be prepared for as many situations as you can think of; it will absolutely be to your advantage when the time arises.
5. Be optimistic
Part of remaining calm is controlling your own feelings–and it is possible. Find a way to look on the bright side of situations, and you’ll find your outlook will be more positive.
6. Take care of your body
Getting the proper amount of sleep is one of the most important things you can do to ensure optimal cognitive function and mood; sleep well, eat well, and exercise. You’ll feel balanced and calmer.
7. Ask for help
No one can handle everything alone, and truly successful people understand that. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your trusted network or coworkers for assistance when situations are getting out of control.
8. Re-frame negative thoughts
Train yourself to be calmer by tackling negative thoughts head-on. Put each situation in perspective by stopping the alerted, frantic worries, and instead reminding yourself: This can be handled. This is not the end of the world. First, I’ll do X. Then, I’ll do Y… and so on, until you’re feeling empowered.
Put a pause on the crisis. Breathe in, breathe out, and slowly count to ten. It’s an age-old suggestion that truly works. When you give yourself a moment, you’ll clear your mind of worries and give your brain a moment to recalibrate so that you can approach the problem in a calm way.
10. Use positive body language
Your body language has been shown to have a real effect on your brain’s outlook. So, smile and adopt a power pose. Soon, the feeling will be real.
11. Be patient
Understand that not all problems are solved easily, but that they can be solved. The solution is available, but it may take some time. Accept this, and it will no longer control you.
12. Be grateful
This is major in terms of overall happiness: people who are grateful, more than any other factor, are happy and have a positive outlook on life. Like the most successful people, take the time to count your blessings every day–you’ve earned it!