My thoughts on how you can be the calmest person around when you are under tremendous pressure. #NoListicle
Pressure! Let’s face it, it is the most common and unsettling thing that everyone faces. One way or another, you tend to lose sense of direction, you tend to find easy tasks time consuming, making it difficult to process things in your brain, worst of all, you may blow up at people unintentionally during this time. Yup, been there.
Long story short, when you are stressed or under pressure, your brain releases hormones that spikes your pulse, tenses up your muscles and deepens your respiration. Your so called “fight or fright” mode gets activated. Some people even feel light headed when they experience extreme stress. Your brain starts processing things fast and tries to make sense of it all to ensure you get out of the situation FAST. When its thinking fast, it may seem slow but it’s not. Read up on “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, brilliant book if you want to know about it.
Basically what I am saying is that you are feeling things that are normal and natural, you are not alone. Cognitive Dissonance is quite common during these situations as well.
Ask yourself “What can I do about the situation?”
More often than not, answer is, nothing!
Most of them as a question:
· “Why Me?”
· “Its not my job, why am I being asked to do this”
· “How can I get out of this situation, can I ask someone else do this, can I find an excuse for not doing this”
· “Oh! My, how am I going to do this”
These are important questions, but not something you should ask when you are facing a situation. Note it down and find answers or make sure you don’t fall into this situation ever again. There is a time and place for everything. We have to get out of the current situation before we deal with this.
The right question to ask is:
· “What can I do to resolve this situation, or complete the task etc.,”
· “How can I find help where I run out of depth”
· “What resources do I need to solve the problem”
· “How do I continue to keep the communication going with all parties involved to ensure things are under control”
Look, no one wants to be in this situation, but, when you are in the situation, manage it. Start slow, you will get effective over time.
In my experience:
It was a difficult process to start with. Especially if you are someone who gets nervous when put into pressure situations. However, if you put yourself into a problem solving mode, you will take control of the situation. Here is how I do it:
· Firstly, I look at the situation I am in and say to myself “LETS BREAK THIS DOWN”
· I look at things you can manage, what I need help from others to manage
· Bring together everyone involved, communicate, assess the situation and delegate tasks if necessary (Most effective since people like to help if they think it’s small and manageable)
· Now, stop thinking about how much time you have in hand to manage the situation (Very important). That comes later.
· Get cracking on the tasks that are at hand. It’s all about inertia, once you set the ball in motion, you will get there. Remember — One thing at a time is the key.
· Now, go back and look at the time left / Deadline, by now you know how much time you have left to perform the task at optimum level.
· Speak to the people who you owe the solution to (Customer, friends, family, client, partner, whoever). Set expectations on time and try to negotiate to ensure everyone is on the same page.
· Before you know, you have finished your work.
Do you know why this works?
· Remember “Fright or Fight” — You will manage to send signals to my brain by breaking things down that this is manageable, so relax.
· Our brains release Dopamine when you have accomplished something difficult or a completed a task that you perceived as difficult. This makes you happy, even triumphant depending on the size and complexity of the situation. This is a scientific fact. Once your brain knows that you are going to manage it, it will get rewired to receive this hormone.
· Guess who wins when your brain gets determined to complete the task to get a hit of Dopamine. You are right — YOU
“Winning increases the dopamine receptors in the brain, which makes you smarter and more bold” — Ian H. Robertson
Next time you face a big problem, you are in stress or face a lot of pressure to accomplish something:
· Calm Down
· Break it down
· Think One thing at a time
· Learn to Compartmentalize if required
· Think how you feel if you are going to achieve this
· Remember, no one walked out of the situation not learning from it (Won or lost)
Originally published at medium.com