Saturday, 22 October 2011

How to be the calm within the storm

After publishing a blog post on the benefits of remaining calm at work, the next logical step is to share some strategies on how to actually do it. The following tips I’ve pulled together from articles, my own experience and my observations of others. Enjoy!

Tips on remaining calm at work:

1. Aim to remain calm
Perhaps the most important step in remaining calm in any situation is to make a conscious decision to try and do it. Setting a goal means that you’re more likely to monitor your emotions and take steps to control them.

2. Keep work in perspective
When you are facing pressure at work, take a moment to put the situation in perspective. How important is this task in relation to the other aspect of your life? If you were to fail at this task, miss a deadline, what are the consequences? Bear in mind that you’re likely to be supported by your colleagues and your boss if you’ve had other successes at work. Lastly, be sure to remember that it’s only work!

3. Consciously control your emotions
During one of the training sessions at work, we learned about the concept of an emotional “pause button”. We were taught that it’s each one of us who is in control of our reactions and even our emotions.

We were asked to visualize our partner returning home late from work, for the third time this week, when s/he knew we had a dinner party planned. We were then told to pause and visualize that our partner hasn’t been delayed at work, but has actually been involved in a car accident.

Obviously the emotional responses between your partner being delayed at work and being involved in an accident are very different. The point of course, is that we each have the ability to pause and even control our emotional responses. The next time you feel yourself becoming stressed or agitated, choose to pause and remain calm.

4. Exercise
The connection between exercise and stress relief is well documented.

5. Stretch
I have found that regular stretching relaxes the body and the mind.

6. Breathe deeply
Another well researched suggestion is to practice taking slow and deep breaths to calm yourself.

7. Meditate
I’ve mentioned meditating in relation to generating creative ideas, but it’s also been shown to reduce stress.

8. Ask an expert for advice
If you know someone at your work that has an amazing ability to remain calm in any situation, ask them how they are able to achieve it. Chances are good that they’ll b able to expand on my list above.


  1. Very well said. Being an Author, in my opinion i find most of the things done successfully are pursued by remaining calm. Remaining calm also helps one creating various innovative ideas in its mind which eventually will result in success in its business. Thank you for this inspiration and wish to hear more from you on such topics. Appreciative.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thank-you for your comment and sorry for the delayed response. I agree with your comments about innovative ideas and given your interest, you might appreciate my post on creative thinking:


  2. I like meditation.
    Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil. Then, trust your natural responses. Everything usually works out for the best.

    1. Thanks for the comment Pat - I've fallen out of the habit of meditating regularly...but will definitely get back into it.