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Calm down: How to behave in a stressful situation

Workaholism, an unstable regime of the day and the need to exist in a state of permanent uncertainty are an integral part of the life of business people and the reason they are so stressed. Studies at Yale University have shown that constant stress not only damages one’s health, but also leads to degeneration of brain regions responsible for self-monitoring and decision making. On the one hand, an easy, short-term state of stress is useful, it makes us move more actively and promotes concentration, on the other hand, its excess leads to a loss of control over the situation. H&F figured out what can be done to maintain the necessary balance.

Author of Success Under Stress Sharon Melnik says that we are stressed at times when it seems to us that the situation is getting out of hand. Not everything in the world depends on us, but there is always something that we can change. Melnik advises highlighting those things that you can influence, and concentrating exclusively on them. Everything else can be forgotten.

In a stressful situation, a person usually starts to wind itself up - negative thoughts overlap each other, creating the feeling that the end of the world is near. Psychologist Travis Bradbury advises stopping the flow of unproductive, catastrophic images by simply writing them down. This will allow you to stop for a moment, stop panicking and focus on making a list of your expectations and fears. The words “never”, “forever”, “the most terrible”, “the end of everything” written on a piece of paper look less convincing than when they rush through the head, creating monstrous pictures. The truth is that really significant events in our life happen very rarely and, most likely, your situation is not worth it to worry so much about the consequences.

To shift attention from the cause worrying about something else is possible in many ways. If possible, devote ten minutes of meditation, introducing yourself in a calm, protected place during it. There is research proving that “controlled fantasies” lower the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. If this is not possible, you can simply draw.

The easiest, fastest and an effective way to deal with stress is breathing. In critical situations, you can try two options. The first - the most common - deep, calm breathing with your stomach for several minutes. The main thing is to be able to concentrate on it, briefly forgetting about everything else. To do this, you can try to count the breaths from one to five. The second option is cooling breath. To do this, calmly inhale through the mouth and slowly exhale through the nose.

Under stress increasesblood pressure, the heart begins to beat wildly, you feel hot. There is an acupuncture point, when pressed hard, the blood pressure decreases. It is located on the inside of the middle finger. It is advised to click on it with the thumb of the same hand.

Psychologist Alison Brooks saysthat the advice to stay calm is not the most effective way to deal with stress, because the head cannot "order" the body to stop releasing hormones or not feeling anything. It is better to translate the state of excitement into the joyful emotional excitement that we, for example, experience on a roller coaster. The fact is that at the physiological level in both situations the same thing happens with the body, only our interpretation of this sensation changes.

Many people know, that stress levels can be reduced through regular sleep, physical activity, and frequent outdoor activities during daylight hours. You can also eat "anti-stress" food: cereal bread, cereals, starchy vegetables (potatoes and corn). This will increase the amount of serotonin in the blood. Red meat and greens contain vitamin B12 that tames depression. Omega-3 fats do the same and are found in flaxseed, avocado and salmon. Among the herbs it is worth paying attention to chamomile, valerian, hops, lavender, passionflower. Green tea contains L-theanine, which soothes (this is proven).

Imagine how to this situation Your grandmother reacted. Firstly, it’s funny, and funny thoughts discharge the atmosphere. Secondly, usually with age we become calmer, since we have already gone through a lot, and little can make us worry. Try to apply this point of view to yourself. If the feeling of fear persists, find a child or a cat nearby - playing with them will allow you to relax and see the world through their eyes.

Another way to prepare to a stressful situation - to have their own rituals. It can be a bath before bedtime, a walk with a dog, your favorite music that you listen to during breaks at work. It turns out that such everyday habits improve the body's ability to deal with stress, as it allows at least a small part of its life to be controlled. As soon as you start to worry, remember that no matter what happens, you will still do today what you usually do. This will return you to your comfort zone.

Cover photo: Felix Haeffner

Watch the video: How to stay calm when you know you'll be stressed. Daniel Levitin (January 2020).

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