We like to look at celebrities. Their lives seem to be so calm and easy. Party all day, party all night. Sports players earn millions of dollars for playing 2 hours for 36 weeks. Singers earn worldwide fame because of they were born with a nice voice.
But deep down we all know it is not the case.
Everyone works differently as well as gets different opportunities. And I think not the least of the factors to one’s success is their ability to perform under pressure.
So, why we admire the lives celebrities get to live, we have to admit that often they were better at staying calm, composed and focused when it mattered.
Here are scientifically-proven ways to stay calm in the times of adversity:
Have you ever done any breathing exercises? What you should do is sit calmly and focus on breathing in and out with your belly (diaphragm) as opposed to your shoulders. But if you have never done anything like this, just focus on your breath and try to keep it as even as possible. For example, four beats to breath in, four to hold and four to breath out.
These exercises are helpful in an emergency as well as daily practice to be calmer.
Keep in mind, that this also constitutes meditation because that’s what it is – a focus on your breathing. You don’t need to worry about thoughts coming in as long as you can come back to breathing. Scientist have proven that it only takes a couple of months of daily meditation for positive gray matter changes to show in MRI tests.
Shifting your focus
Do you know the cliché that when you’re nervous on stage, you should imagine everyone in their underwear. I personally never used this technique but essentially, what it suggests you to do is shift your focus from the worrying thoughts.
Thinking about the audience’s lack of clothing is an example of active shift. There is also a passive form of shifting focus which is basically holding a now popular fidget spinner, clicking your pen, tapping a rhythm with your leg, etc. There are many toys that help you relieve stress and shift focus and this toy helps!
If you find yourself becoming anxious, go to the bathroom, stand in front of a mirror and try to smile. Depending on the circumstances it may take a few minutes but soon you will start feeling much better.
Science proves that even fake smiling helps you feel better in minutes. But keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution. If this is a situation that you find yourself often in, please consider daily meditation or seeking professional help.
Most of us live pretty chaotic lives now and are in desperate need of some stress relief that is not a result of medication. So, it is surely worth learning a few tricks on how to stay calm in stressful situations.