Everyone has their own natural response to stress. Some of us are easily overwhelmed while others seem to become more focused.
While scientists have found that your response to stress is partly innate, much of it is learned.
Regardless of how well you currently handle stress, you can become more effective with practice and awareness.
Use these key ideas to become the calmest, coolest, and most collected person you know during a financial crisis:
Identify the problem. What exactly is wrong? It might be obvious that you lost an income or you are in debt, but sometimes it’s not. Before you get yourself all worked up, identify the challenge. You might find there really isn’t an issue. What looks like a problem is actually an opportunity for something greater to happen in your life. You could worry that your business that provides face-face training is closing down because of a lack of demand. But the actual problem could be you are reluctant or intimidated to explore e-learning to reinvent your business model.
Determine if there’s anything you can do. Now that you know the challenge you’re facing, seek a solution. Ask yourself if there’s anything you can do. Understand that your thoughts don’t have the power to change anything other than your own behavior. You could research about e-learning or online courses and its market.
What do you want? What is the new circumstance you want to experience? It’s one thing to know you have an issue, it’s another to know the outcome you desire. You can’t create a solution if you’re not clear on what you’re trying to accomplish. Clarity on whether you want to keep your current clients or offer online courses instead of face-to-face sessions or explore a new market with new course content.
Avoid worry. Rather than focusing on the doom and gloom that may or may not happen, give your attention to solutions. What can you do to create the outcome you desire? While your mind is generating solutions, it can’t be worried. You can save yourself a lot of negative emotions by keeping your attention on finding a way out.
Stay present. Avoid projecting into the future and imagining all the horrible outcomes that may never come to pass. Like closing the business, getting into debt, and losing your car and house. This is how we create worry and anxiety. If you find your mind wandering to negative places, bring yourself back to the present. Look, hear, smell, and feel your immediate surroundings. Describe them to yourself. Solutions could be to negotiate repayment plans for both your business and personal debt instead of ignoring them.
Breathe. Relaxed breathing leads to a relaxed attitude. The solution to many negative emotions lies in the breath.
Relax your body. Stress releases chemicals that cause your muscles to tense. You can counteract this phenomenon by relaxing. Relax your shoulders and the other muscles of your body. Try to be loose like a noodle. Learn what a relaxed body and mind feel like. It will be easier to recognize when you’re experiencing stress.
Stay busy. An idle mind is much more challenging to control than one that is focused on a task. Keep working on your solution. If there’s nothing more you can do, avoid just sitting around and worrying. Find a progressive activity to keep your mind occupied.
Be grateful. Studies have shown that feeling grateful lowers cortisol levels by over 20%. Before you work yourself into a frenzy, list the things that make you feel grateful. Notice how much better you feel. Your life, family, friends, skills, experience, and good health are worth being grateful for.
Relabel your emotions. You’re not worried and stressed, you’re cautious and stimulated. It sounds like a trivial difference, but it an enormous difference.
Even if you’re the most anxious person you know, you can learn to keep your head in a crisis. Your reaction to stressful situations is mostly learned. You can learn to think and behave in a new way.
It’s been said that life is just one crisis after another. It might not be quite that bad, but life is full of challenges. Imagine being able to deal with those challenges more comfortably and effectively.