Nine Tips To Stay Calm Under Pressure
If you watch and study professional sports people or successful people in many other professions you will come to realize that the difference between being a winner or not or becoming highly successful is, the real winners in life have mastered the art of staying calm under pressure.
Managing to stay calm under pressure is not a gift your born with it is a skill that you need to practice and develop. The three key target area's that you need to concentrate on and learn how to control are,
- Your mind
- Your emotions
- Managing your state
There are many talented sports stars in the world who all posses the same skill levels and abilities in practice, but when it comes to handling the pressure only a few triumph.
If you listen to them talk they will reveal that they will be performing well up until the point when they get close to the winning line or lifting that converted trophy, but the moment they start to think about victory or they ponder on the importance of the situation they have arrived at they fall to pieces.
Lets take professional darts or snooker players as an example, they will be quite relaxed up until they reach the finishing frame or set, but the moment they start to think about the importance of the last leg or frame, the tension rises, the doubts creep in and they suddenly heap a whole lot of pressure on themselves.
This changes their mindset and physiology to fear based, the nerves and adrenaline kick in, their muscles tighten up, their heartbeat increase and they breathing becomes shallow.
They are now in the fight or flight state and all of a sudden they go from playing well to struggling and yet again they cannot cross the finishing line, the same type of thing happen to ordinary people in their day to day lives.
1) Take The Importance Of The Occasion Out Of The Equation
Mental attitude plays a key role in how well you do and perform, most people are aware that the mind influences the body, but not many people know that the body influences the mind so if you want to hit your peak performance levels then you will need to make sure your body is relaxed, healthy and performing at it's efficient best.
Although sometimes a little bit of stress can help you to perform better at somethings the general rule is, if you want to reach your peak performance peaks you need to be in the zone where your in that relaxed alert state of a balanced mind and body.
Far to often we make life a lot harder than it should be because we pile unnecessary pressure on ourselves. In the case of some sports stars, they would probably do far better if they could take the importance of winning out of the equation.
Of course they would still want to win, but to be a winner you sometimes need to hold yourself together and stay controlled both emotional and physically when you reach the point where you come close to victory.
To achieve that in the zone state you need to stay relatively relaxed both physically and emotionally, to maintain that relaxed and alert state and to perform at your peak performance levels it would be better to focus on enjoying the moment and being the best at what you do instead of putting all your attention on the winning and focusing on things going wrong.
That way you will stay more relaxed and it would increase your chances of winning instead of trying to do it the hard way. Top sports stars when they are playing well they perform automatically and intuitively, they don't have to think about it or try.
2) Keep Faith In Your Own Abilities
The moment things start to go not so well and we begin to self doubt or question our ability and as we do things deteriorate for us, our attention will switch from being on what we do want to what we don't want.
When this happens their energy changes from a calm and relaxed positive energy to a fear ingrained negative energy, and when your energy changes so does your actions, behaviours and your outside circumstances.
Our thought patterns change with our emotional shift, so instead of being in the moment and being full of confidence and in the flow we start to come from a place of fear and we focus on failure or things going wrong and they usually they do.
This does not just apply just to sports stars or successful people, the same principal applies to every body and no matter what your goal, hobby or profession the more importance you place on what your doing or the end result the more pressure and stress you will put on yourself.
To be more successful you need to have the right mental positive attitude and approach otherwise you might have all the talent in the world but unless you know the secret to self control and remaining calm and composed under pressure you might never hit your true potential.
3) Stay In The Positive Energy Frequencies
Being in the right energy and physical state is essential if you want to keep calm under pressure, to achieve this you need to take control of your mind and keep your body working at its most efficient best.
To maximize your true peak potential you will need to be in the relaxed flow like state, this means you will need to eat healthy, sleep well and allow yourself to relax because you will need to be at your best both mentally and physically.
You can improve your emotional balance and get into the zone through varies ways, including eating a healthy well balanced nutritious diet because the foods you eat are believed to have a influence on your thought patterns, your energy levels and the efficiency of your mind.
Eating more fruit and veg combined with a healthy balanced diet may help you to stay more positive and relaxed and energized such as
To be at your peak performance and your creative best you need to be free from, worry, anger, frustration and fear. Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially if it is organic can help you control negative emotions.
This does not mean you should diminish eating all the foods you enjoy, just don't overdo the treats because you should not feel guilty if you indulge in a little bit of what you like, so always enjoy your foods especially if they make you feel good.
The key is to listen to your body and see how you feel when your eating it and after you have eating, because balance and feeling good is what your looking for as well as good nutrition.
Only focus on positive things and do more of the things that make you feel good, because when you feel good and your relaxed you perform better. One way to access those feel good positive emotions is to show daily appreciation for all the good things you have got no matter how small they are.
If you search hard enough you will uncover all the good you have, the trouble is most of us have been conditioned to focus on the bad so we become blind to the good, we then blow the trivial bad things totally out of proportion.
4) Excellence Require Continueous Daily Action
If you want to hit your true potential and reach your optimum performance levels then you need to work at your mental attitude as well as practicing on improving your skill levels and one of your goals should be to learn how to control your thoughts, feelings and emotions. You will need a positive mental attitude even when things are going badly.
This will require constant daily effort which will help you to learn how to recognize and prevent any self doubting and self sabotaging when it starts to kick in. There is no point in being positive and optimistic sometimes otherwise you are going to struggle to achieve the results you want.
You should be making an effort to spot and quickly disregard any negative thought patterns all the time as well as programming your mind the correct way.
To reach the levels you want will require a good and strong focus of attention and intent so once you get the positive moment going you will then keep it going so you get the results you are seeking, without putting any pressure on yourself.
You need to create new positive thoughts patterns which will create new positive habits and expectations, then you need to keep on reinforcing these positive thoughts patterns until they become a natural way of thinking.
Your thought patterns need to match and be in alignment with what you want to achieve, whilst at the same time you need to be mindful to any negative thought patterns anytime they do come into your conscious awareness.
Because all it takes is one negative thought which can quickly snowball into an incoming tide of more negative thoughts which will generate more negative energy which will manifest itself as physical sensations of fear, stress tension and nervous in the body and they will destroy your ability to perform as well as your capable of.
5) Release All Negative Resistance
If you start to have any anxious or negative thoughts don't try and force them away, just acknowledge them and then dismiss them and let them sail on bye.
The same applies with fearful and negative feelings, most people think that they have to find ways to stop their negative feelings or they must do something to make them go away, but that approach causes you to resist your feelings which fuels even more anxiety and stress.
The answer to mastering your emotions is to listen to them and then redirect your focus of attention, because when your having negative emotions this is a strong indication that your focusing on what you don't want to happen.
So now you know what is causing the negative emotions, the anti-dote to feeling bad is quite simply, only focus your attention on thoughts that don't make you feel bad. You do not have to obey or listen to thoughts that cause you negative emotions.
It is far better to acknowledge your feelings, if your feeling anxious, embrace your feelings instead of trying to get rid of them. You can do this by saying, " I am feeling a bit anxious right now, how I want to be is peaceful and calm" then just let watch your feelings without do just stay externally focused.
This is the quickest way to regain back control, and remember if you want to be at your best try to enjoy what your doing rather than thinking about what could go wrong, because when you envisage things going wrong they usually do.
The more you monitor how your doing or bad your feeling the more anxious and nervous you will become, what you resist persists, it easy far easier to go with the current than it is to go against it, when you try and stop your feelings you are swimming against the current.
Be mindful to all those what if scenarios and thoughts, the what if thoughts are your mind doing a risk assessment and they activate stress and anxiety, but as there is usually little risk replace them with, " So What".
You can also flip the negative what if's with positive what if's, like what if everything goes well, this will change your energy to positive feelings.
6) Do Not Attempt To Resist Your Feelings
Do not allow negative thoughts to become your dominant pattern of thinking. You have to put things into perspective, it's not the end of the world if you make a mistake, learn to embrace new challenges, have the attitude of " It's not going to kill me so I will do it" and then focus on doing better next time.
Many people allow fear to run their lives, fear is designed to get you to avoid things, but to grow in confidence you have to take on challenges so be prepared to accept you may experience a bit of discomfort otherwise you will develop a fear of the sensations of fear.
Feelings cannot harm you, to combat fear you need to cease being afraid of it, once you stop being afraid of it you will become free of it and then nothing can hold you back.
If you become afraid of fear it will lead to a life of panic, limitations and avoidance, you need to change the way you react to fear, instead of dreading it and fighting with it accept and welcome it, do not react badly to it and it won't stay around for long.
7) Your True Power Lies In The Now
Do not get swept away from the incoming tide of negative emotions and the perceptions of failure. We all experience negative emotions, most people think they have to do something to get rid of their negative feelings.
But avoid falling into the trap of battling with your feelings and do not see your feelings as being bad, embrace them because you don't need to do anything other than observe them and let them rise up through you and away, if you want to be in the zone you need to stay in the present moment.
When your in the now you will do things on auto-pilot and that is where your power lies, negative emotions will take you out of the present moment and out of the zone. If you do start having negative feelings you aim should be to get quickly back in the present moment, this means you must offer no resistance to negative thoughts and feelings.
Every time you get frustrated or you try to suppress your thoughts and feelings your causing a disruption in your energy, trying to stop negative feelings and thoughts will also cause negative resistance.
It is best to accept and negative thoughts and feelings passively, do not react in a negative way to negative emotions otherwise you will only activate more negative emotions and ultimately more negative circumstances.
We are at our performance best when we are in a relaxed state and running on auto-pilot, this is when we are in the zone and we automatically perform intuitively without having to try or think about what we are doing. We also do things better when we perform tasks without consciously trying or making to much effort.
When we start to worry or try to hard or if we become to desperate and impatient we stop running on auto-pilot and we consciously start trying to hard to get things right which leads to more stress, tension and frustration which are all the opposites energy states to calm.
The secret too staying calm under pressure is, don't put any pressure on yourself and don't allow others to heap any pressure on you, just relax, do your best and go with the flow.
When we are running on auto-pilot we do things effortlessly and naturally, but when we become anxious, worried or nervous then we shift out of auto-pilot mode and we start to consciously give to much negative attention to what we are doing and everything then gets harder to do.
Your real true powers can only be accessed in the now, your strength lies when you are free of negative emotions and your body is relaxed, you can be the most skillful, gifted or talented person in the world, but if your in a negative state your emotions will overwhelm you and your talents will desert you.
8) When Bad Things Happen Let Them Go
If you have gone into a negative spiral then the sooner you accept what has gone wrong and you let it go the better, you have to have the attitude of, whats has happened has happened and cannot be changed so there is nothing to gain from dwelling on it, leave the negative past in the past because if you keep digging it up you will also bring back the negative emotions surrounding the bad experience.
There is nothing wrong with learning something positive from your setbacks or analyzing what your doing wrong and assessing how you can improve things, but avoid beating yourself up or telling yourself the why does it always go wrong for me story.
It can take a long time to build up your confidence but you can lose it very quickly, the key is to step in and stop the rot from setting in before the self sabotaging and negativity has time to take hold and gain momentum.
What destroys people's self confidence is when something goes badly for them or they make a mistake and then they allow that mistake to dictate their thought patterns, behaviours and actions. Winners don't allow setbacks to derail them, you have to master the art of staying calm and positive even when the odds seem stacked against you.
Bad things do happen it is part of life, what you have to do is quickly weather the storm and bounce back, otherwise the more you dwell on or allow one negative circumstance or mistake that has happened to affect you the more it will disrupt your rhythm and balance and the more you will fear it happening again.
9) Do Your Preparation Before
Having the best preparation before you take on a challenge or stressful situation can only help you, visualizing and mental rehearsing everything going well can help you to stay calm under pressure as can repeating affirmations like, " I always feel calm and composed under pressure".
Why people feel under confident in situations is often because they picture everything going wrong over and over again in the mind so they get to associate the forth coming situation with something that is to be feared.
It is important to relax your mind and body and keep your stress levels down to the minimum, sometimes a little bit of stress can help to fuel your performance levels but to much stress, tension and fear will stifle your ability to hit your peak performance levels.
The secret to staying calm under pressure is having the feelings and confidence that no matter what happens you will be OK. Doing things that will help you to keep your emotions in check can only benefit you in your bid to remain calm under pressure. Things like hypnosis and meditation are two great ways to keep you relaxed both mentally and physically.
But it's not just your mind that you need to control, keeping your body calm and relaxed so it functions at it's most efficient best is also a must. Fear and stress are also physical states, obviously the best way to stay calm is to train yourself to stop responding negatively to situations.
Because to a large degree we create our own pressures based on how we have handled previous situations, how we have come to habitual react or how we perceive outside events and circumstances.
Learning how to recognize your stress triggers then changing the way you respond will give you a distinct advantage, expecting to do well is also a good trait to have.
The two main things that determine how you feel and behave are, your focus of attention and your physiology, if your anxious or stressed then this is a firm indicator that both of these needs changing.
When people feel challenged or under pressure then fear kicks in, they tend to tense their bodies and breathe shallow and rapid. To compensate for this you need to learn how to respond calmly to fear and stressful challenges.
This means you have to consciously take over your body, control of your breathing by taking slow deep breaths, release any tension and make sure your body is aligned, poised and balanced.
When we become anxious we tense our muscles and go into a rigid posture, if you observe a dog when it feels threatened you will notice it will tense it's neck, the head will go up and they will make themselves big, this is the posture of ready to fight.
Body balance and alignment is essential if you want to be free of tension and feel relaxed and calm. So learn how to relax back down into a nice poised, balanced and aligned posture and release any build up of tension, you cannot perform confidently if your muscles are tight and hard.
Yoga can influence your energy systems and help your energy to flow through your body. Doing regular exercise will also help you deal with any stressful symptoms, it can also boost your mood.
How Meditation Can Help You To Keep Calm Under Pressure
If you want to be calm and composed under pressure, if you want to master your thoughts and emotions and reduce your stress and anxiety then you need to allow yourself time to relax deeply each day.
Meditation has been scientifically proven time and time again to be one of the best methods to calm both your mind and body at the same time.
Relaxation is a necessity if you want to stay energized, relaxed, alert and be at your peak best, if your coming from a negative state then you will attract more negative energy and your life will be a constant struggle.
These days technology can supply you with the tools to help you easily reach states of deep relaxation so this means you don't have to do the hard work anymore.
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