April 15


How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed: 6 Tips

By Harry Heijligers

April 15, 2022

How to stay calm when you know you'll be stressed?

When things go wrong...
we often react emotionally.

We may feel angry, sad, frustrated, or scared.
These emotions can cause us to act out later in regretful ways.

We can learn to control our emotions and respond calmly when things don't go right.

This will help us avoid adverse outcomes.
It may even improve our relationships!

Here are 6 proven methods to prepare yourself to stay calm in difficult situations:


What Is Staying Calm When You Know You'll Be Stressed?

Staying calm when you know you will be stressed is one of the best ways to handle stressful situations.

It is managing your mind and body and being able to take charge of your situation rather than letting it control you.

It doesn't mean relaxing completely...

it simply means taking a moment to take care of yourself and put things into perspective.

Why Is Staying Calm When You Know You'll Be Stressed Important?

Staying calm when you know you'll be stressed out is essential because it keeps you from getting anxious.

Stress is often caused by anxiety.
If you're already feeling anxious, you're going to feel stressed.

Staying calm when you know that you'll be stressed out helps you cope with stress better and avoid becoming anxious.

Also, practicing mindfulness can help you cope better with stress.
Mindfulness means paying attention to what you're thinking, feeling, and doing without judgment.

This helps you become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, and it enables you to understand why you're feeling in specific ways.

In addition, mindfulness reduces stress by helping you take control of your emotions rather than letting them control you.

Staying calm has a lot of advantages, especially when you know you’ll be stressed. Staying calm reinforces a very positive reinforcing loop.

Let me explain:

how to stay calm when you know you'll be stressed cycle

Staying Calm leads to Better Focus

When you are stressed, you often get distracted and lose focus. You lose your train of thought. You forget what you were trying to do. You make mistakes. You say the wrong things, and so on. This makes you feel bad. This makes you feel like you're a failure.

Therefore, staying calm when you know you'll be stressed will help you focus. This gives you control over the situation. It allows you to think more clearly. It enables you to think about what you are doing. It allows you to make decisions. It helps you make choices. It enables you to decide which decision is best for you.

Better Focus leads to Better Results

Your focus is your attention on something.

When you have a sharp focus, you will be able to concentrate better on your work and study. This will enable you to think logically and clearly. Your memory will improve, and you will be able to remember things better. Your concentration will improve, so you will be better able to comprehend things. This all leads to getting better results.

Better Results leads to Improved Self-Confidence

When you see yourself doing well, you feel good about yourself.

You start to feel proud of your achievements.
You begin to believe that you are capable of achieving even better results.
You feel good about yourself.
It feels like you're capable of achieving anything if you put your mind to it.
You believe that you can do better. You have more energy. You feel more alive.
You feel like you can do anything that you want to do. You feel like you can take on the world. You feel like you are unstoppable.

Improved Self-Confidence leads to Staying Calm

When you have more self-confidence, you feel good about yourself.

You feel good about who you are. You feel good about your abilities. You feel good about your accomplishments and your strengths.
Your self-confidence helps you to be less anxious. When you feel confident in yourself, you feel calmer and more centered.

And then the cycle starts again. This is a positive reinforcing cycle.

If you want to be calm, feel calm, and stay calm...

then it's time for you learn how to do just that.

Check out this article to learn how!

Take Time to Reflect

When you are stressed..
step back and examine your situation.

Think about what happened.

Why did it happen?

What can you learn from it?

If you're angry, think about why you're mad. Do you feel guilty about something? Are you worried about something else?

Taking time to reflect helps you understand the situation better and allows you to see the bigger picture.

It helps to be aware of what is going on around you.

If you notice something happening that makes you uncomfortable, ask questions.

For example, if you see someone acting strangely, ask them what is happening. This will help you understand what is going on and allow you to intervene if needed.

Think about what you can control.

Say someone cuts you off in traffic. How do you react?

You cannot change their behavior.

You can, however, change how you react.

Give yourself some time to think about the situation. Even if it's just a few seconds. This will give you the chance to control your reaction to what is happening.

You no longer have to let others' actions affect you negatively.

This is, of course, only possible if you are aware of what is happening right here and now.

Don't stop here, though. You reflect on your present situation and how you got here, but also on what might happen in the future. This is called prospective hindsight because you think in advance about what can go wrong and how to react better.


Focus on the Present Moment

When you are stressed…
chances are you worry about what might happen in the near or far future.
Or maybe you are reliving an experience from the past.

In any case, you are most likely not focusing on the present moment.

We worry about whether we'll ever achieve our goals,
whether we'll ever meet someone special,
or if we'll ever be able to afford a house.

These thoughts can lead us down a path of anxiety and stress,
making us feel anxious and stressed out.

Concentrating on the present moment can help us deal with these issues.

Simply focus on the here and now.

Most of the time, the present moment is not frightening at all.

Focusing on the present moment helps you appreciate the little things in life...
like that we're alive today, that we have food to eat, and that we have a roof over our heads.

In addition, being mindful of the present moment can help us cope with stressful situations.

So, when you know, you'll probably be stressed out tomorrow because you need to give a presentation…
you can calm yourself down, realizing that all you have to do is focus on the present moment to calm down.
Remind yourself that you will be fine. Just shift your awareness to the here and now, and your stress will disappear.

Another way to calm yourself down by shifting your awareness is:

Focus on the Positive

Another way to relieve stress is by focusing on the positive side of things.

You know that every coin has two sides, don't you?

So, when you're upset about a problem…
take a step back…
realize that you are focusing on the negative side…
choose to focus on the positive side.
Even better… focus on the feeling you will have when you have solved the problem.

Or, if you're anxious about something…
take a step back…
realize that you are focusing on the negative side...
choose to focus on the fact you're feeling relaxed.

When we are stressed...
our mind tends to focus on negative thoughts.

That's a pity because it's only half the truth.
It's only one side of the coin we see.
We tend to forget the positive aspects of the present moment.

So, whenever we feel stressed…
try to remember the positives of the situation.
It will help us to remain calm.

To prepare yourself for this, try this:
think of a situation in the near future when you know you'll be stressed.
Now, realize that you are worried because you are focusing on the negative side of the situation.
Now, focus on that situation to focus on the positive side.

To help you be more in control of how you feel, you need to...

Accept Responsibility

It's, of course, easy to blame others when things don't work out as planned.

But as soon as you do that,
you will have no motivation to change your perspective.
The cause of your stress will remain.
You will stay stressed.

So, if you want to calm yourself down, accept that you are responsible for how you are feeling.

We can easily forgive mistakes as long as we learn from them.
But blaming others doesn't help anyone.

Instead, focus on taking ownership of your own actions and being accountable for your decisions.

This might seem complicated, especially when you feel like someone else has done something wrong.

To help you develop this mindset…
try asking yourself questions like:

What am I responsible for?
How could I have prevented this situation?
Why didn't I act sooner?

These questions can help you gain perspective and move forward with confidence.

Of course, this only works when you are honest with yourself.


Be Honest With Yourself

Being honest with yourself is key to staying calm and focused when dealing with stressful situations.

Why? Because it will help you to look at how your situation really is…
which, admit it, is probably not as bad as you think.

Start by asking yourself these questions:
What am I feeling right now?
Am I happy?
Is this situation making me angry?
Do I really feel anxious?

You can gain insight into your underlying emotions when you answer these questions.
It allows you to reflect on your current state.

Being honest with yourself can feel challenging.


Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is a powerful tool that helps us to cope with difficult situations.
It can help you to remain calm and focused.

To practice self-compassion, try these three tips:

1. Recognize that everyone experiences challenges and difficulties.
2. Remember that no one is perfect.
3. Realize that there is no failure when there is learning.

By practicing self-compassion, you can learn to accept yourself and your mistakes without beating yourself up.


Staying calm doesn't mean ignoring problems.

It means being aware of what is going on and learning to deal with it effectively.

By following the above six proven methods, you can reduce your chances of reacting negatively to stressful situations.

Let me know in the comments below what's your favorite way to stay calm when you know you'll be stressed.

Share your tips with us!

Harry Heijligers

About the author

Harry Heijligers has more than 25 years of experience as a Project Manager and more than 17 years of experience as an NLP Trainer. He has a Dutch blog about NLP here: HarryHeijligers.com.
If you'd like to know about the Smart Leadership Hut, please check this: Smart Leadership Hut.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Never miss a good story!

 Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest trends!