Keep Calm and Carry On

The ability to stay calm under pressure and control your emotions is directly related to your performance. A study at TalentSmart conducted research that 90% of top performers are highly skilled in managing their emotions in times of stress!



So what are the keys to staying calm and in control? Here are the top tips when it comes to successful people and their “keep calm and carry on” strategies…


They Appreciate What They Have

Appreciating what you have improves your mood, energy and physical wellbeing. Bonus! So on a daily basis get into the habit of having gratitude for all the positive things you have in your life.


They Avoid Asking “What If?”

This thought pattern can put you on the road to more stress and worry. Noone knows what is going to happen in a certain situation, a million things are possible! The more you worry about it the more you will become stressed.


They Stay Positive

Stay positive! Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. Think of something in particular that is positive, anything will do the trick. The idea is to give your brain something to consciously think about. If you are having a bad day, focus on something positive that happened (even if it’s something little). Have a ‘go to’ positive thought so it’s ready and waiting in times of stress.


They Disconnect

Go off the grid from time to time to keep your stress under control. Forcing yourself to go offline and turning off your phone (eek!) can give your body a break from constant stress. Choose a time that works for you and your schedule and try to log-off for a set time every week.


They Limit Their Caffeine Intake

Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline and the “fight or flight” response. When you go into this hyperaroused state of stress, your emotions can overrun your behavior. So keep the coffee and energy drinks to a minimum.


They Sleep

Sleep is so important as it increases your emotional intelligence and manages your stress levels. Stressful projects can often make you feel like you don’t have the time to sleep, but take the time to have a good night’s sleep and things will be much more manageable! Often it’s the one thing that’s preventing you from being in control.


They Squash Negative Self-Talk

Successful people are great at stopping any negative self-talk. The more you think about them the more power they get and therefore your stress levels increase. A good tactic is to literally stop what you are doing when you have a negative thought and write it down. Slow down and breathe (and think of your positive thought!) and read what you wrote, being more clear headed will help you think about what you wrote. I bet the statements were not true when words like “never”, “worst” or “ever” are used.


They Breathe

Breathing helps you to be in the present, and to focus on the task at hand. When you feel stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Or try the 4:4:6 tactic: Breath in for 4 counts, hold it for 4 and breathe out for 6 counts. If you can put away other distractions that is even better. You will be surprised by how calm you feel afterward and how much easier it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have lodged permanently inside your brain!


They Use Their Support System

It’s tempting to try and deal with stress and bad situations alone. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation.


So breathe, think positively, use your support system and get the stress monkey off your back!


Original article from Dr. Travis Bradberry, posted here