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How to Stay Calm in Stressful Situations



There are many ways one can stay calm in stressful situations. It depends on the situation but also on the person in question. Two weeks ago, I was hurrying to my apartment to pick my stuff and catch the last train so I can head home. I wasn’t running, but I was going in quick strides through city’s streets and passages, and when I was a dozen meters away from my doors, I slipped while on a staircase and twisted my ankle rather badly. When I looked at it, I got really mad at myself, but I also got really upset. The reason for this was that I had just moved to a new city, and I had no close friends there. 

At the moment I felt alone and depressed because I thought that I had broken it and what stressed me out was that I didn’t have anyone to call who could pick me up and take me to the E. R. I broke down for a couple of minutes, but soon I calmed down, and started thinking about my situation. I am going to have to call a cab and go to the ATM before that etc. Then I remembered that a friend was going to be in the town that day, so I called her up. Turns out, she just arrived at the train station and was more than willing to help.

The perspective

The first step I had to follow was to calm myself. It is hard to be calm in stressful situations, but you have to manage it in order to make it through. The first step is to check the positive sides of what happened. In my case, as it turned out, I realized that I did not actually break my leg. That was a huge relief and a sign of things turning for the better. That is what you should do too, no matter what the situation is. Perhaps you are moving to, let’s say, Florida where you got a new job, and you are nervous? That’s perfectly understandable; just remember the fact that there are many things you can enjoy in Florida, and focus on them. You simply need to shift your perspective to thinking about the positive sides of the situation, not the negative ones.

Be practical

After you have calmed yourself down, it is now time to take control of the situation. Analyze all of the elements of the situation and think about what you can do with them. I had a camping bag with me, and a rucksack. Since I was about to go to the E. R, I had to do something about my luggage. About 99% of it wasn’t really needed there, so I put all the unnecessary things from my rucksack to the camping bag, except for a jacket, a water bottle, phone charger, and my wallet. That way, when my friend arrived, she took my camping bag to my apartment and we were good to go.

So, let’s say that you are moving to Florida because of that hypothetical job, and you are stressing yourself about dealing with delicate tasks such as preparing breakables for transportation. Again, it is perfectly understandable. That is why you have to think of a way of how to master the problem. There are ways on how you can make it fun and easy, like inviting your friends to come and help you pack.

Don’t dwell on the past

If you want to stay calm in stressful situations, you have to stop thinking about the past. We often do this, especially if something bad happened or is still happening to us. This is simply the way our brain functions. It goes back to those past memories when everything was fine and tries to make us stay calm in stressful situations. It does make sense in a way, but in fact, it is doing us a disservice. There are no useful things from doing this because it distracts us from the present. We are in a situation where we have to act in order to get out of it, and thinking about past is taking away moments that could prove to be crucial in overcoming whatever is the obstacle before us.

How to stay calm in stressful situations? Plan ahead!

There many moments and periods in life where there is a lot of pressure on us, and it is hard to always cope with it. Still, sometimes we have the option to get ahead of things. Obviously, I couldn’t plan on injuring my leg, but there are cases where it is possible to think of a safety plan that can help me to stay calm in stressful situations. For example, you have a business laptop and there are a lot of important documents in it. It would be disastrous if you somehow lost all of them, right? Then you should do back-up on it regularly, and make sure that it is always safe from viruses etc. If you are moving somewhere, then plan all of it well in advance. Consult your friends and family, and check various moving guides and make sure that you are ready for the stress.


The last, but not the least on this list is your health. We live in a stressful world and that is a fact. The world is picking up its pace on daily basis, and we have no choice but to try and catch up. We do this in such a machine-like way that we often forget to take care of our body. A car won’t go smoothly if its engine is not working properly, right? Human beings are creatures of habit, and that is why one the smartest things to do in order to stay healthy, is to develop your own private rituals that can help you to stay calm in stressful situations. For example, you and your favorite coworker can make it your ritual to drink coffee before work.