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These 8 tips from a top psychologist will help you stay calm in stressful situations

Published on:16 September 2020, 18:45pm IST
Stress is such an integral part of our daily lives that most of live with every day. But if you are overwhelmed by stress then here’s help.
Anuja Kapur
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Don’t let stress create an upheaval in your life; rather, learn to stay calm. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Stress is a common phenomenon experienced by everyone—adults, teens, and even children on a regular basis. The question that raises a concern here is that how does a person deal with these nerve wrecking moments.

While stress causes some people to break down, others with a calmer outlay are mentally strong enough to last through the added pressure, failure or disappointment. Ongoing stress and anxiety can sabotage your confidence, give you a knotting feeling in the stomach, and impact your general well-being.

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So how can you manoeuvre the rough waters of stress while staying calm? Here are a few tips that can help you out:

1. Think of the glass as half full
To begin with, people don’t always appreciate what they have and are preoccupied with what others have. Keep a positive attitude and appreciate what you have—and you will see a different side of yourself, full of life and new opportunities.

2. Use a realistic approach
Stress can be triggered by a problem that may seem impossible to solve. Learning how to find solutions to your problems will help you feel more in control thereby lowering your level of stress. However, changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible.

Stress management
Don’t let stress get the best of you. GIF courtesy: Giphy

We have to accept that there are events that you cannot control. You don’t need to be over-obsessed with the fact that the problem has no viable solution. Rather, give it your best shot and try to concentrate on the elements you do have control over.

Also, read: Stress management 101: Here is how deep breathing can help you feel calmer

3. Be assertive, not aggressive
Much of our stress is self-imposed.Remember you just have to be assertive and not aggressive whenever under pressure. Assert your feelings, opinions, and beliefs instead of becoming angry, defensive, or passive.

4. Give rest to your mind and body
Learn and practice relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or tai-chi for stress management. These techniques help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and your heart rate. Try and exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.

Stressful situations increase the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body. Physical exercise can be used as a substitute to metabolise stress hormones and help reset your body and mind to a calmer, more mellow state.

Stress management
You can’t avoid stress. But you can ensure that you deal with it better. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Exercise produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers, leading to improved sleep and diminished stress levels. World Health Organization recommends that healthy adults should target to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week.

5. Consume healthy and well-balanced meals
Light and healthy meals keep you on your toes and provide that feel good factor. They work as a great confidence booster. Stock up your kitchen with healthy food options for a wholesome diet instead of junk food that lowers your energy. Try to consume more of dry fruits and nuts, soya chips, wholewheat crackers, fruits, and vegetables.

6. Manage your time effectively
Set limits appropriately and learn to say no to requests that can create excessive stress in your life. A common cause of stress is having too much on your plate and too little time to execute. Regardless of the time situation, many people still agree to take on additional responsibility.

Learning to say “no” to additional or unimportant requests will help to reduce your level of stress, and provide you enough time to rewind for a new day.

7. Say no to toxicity
Don’t rely on alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviours to reduce stress. Avoid, or at least reduce, your consumption of nicotine and any drinks containing caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and so will increase your level of stress rather than reduce it.

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8. Look for social connections
Seek out social support during the unprecedented times. Keep in company with the people you enjoy being with. If you are feeling unwell, take a little me time. Do not feel that you have to carry on regardless. A short spell of rest will enable the body to recover faster. Just sharing with someone, about how you feel or what you are going through can be helpful. Talking can work by either distracting you from your stressful thoughts or releasing some of the built-up tension by discussing it.

People who keep calm under pressure situations recognise that nothing lasts forever, so this shall pass too. Rather than allowing hardship to turn them into bitter people or helpless victims, they choose to use stressful circumstances to become stronger and better.

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Anuja Kapur Anuja Kapur

Anuja Kapur is a renowned Psychologist, with a specialisation in criminal psychology and victimology.