How to keep your composure (when you'd rather scream)

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keep calm carry on stress tips

We all have that one person in life that can easily drive us up the wall. Maybe it’s a confrontational coworker or classmate, an obnoxious roommate or an overbearing parent. Maybe that person has their own anxiety and their frequent stress quickly becomes your own. Maybe they’re pushy with their beliefs or they don’t let you respond in their one sided conversations. This person could love you a lot or be your worst enemy. Whatever the case and regardless of whether this person has good intentions or not, you have to keep calm, manage your stress and be patient. Self discipline is key to calming yourself down and deescalating stressful situations.  
Of course, the simplest solution would be to stay away from people that make you wanna hit your head against a wall but that’s not always an option. Sometimes we can’t avoid every person we’d like to stay away from. 
keep composure stressed

So here are my suggestions (based on my own experience) for keeping your composure and staying positive around people who are prone to stressing you out.

Ahead of Time

Prepare yourself. If you know you’ll be seeing or spending time with this person, remind yourself beforehand that while you’re not in control of the way others act, you ARE in control of and responsible for your own behavior. Remind yourself that you may get stressed, but you have a handle on your emotions and reactions. 
Affirm. I’ll admit this sounds totally cheesy, but it does work. You can use this tip for when you’re in the stressful person’s company or during any other overwhelming situation but prepare for it ahead of time. Think of an affirmation (or use one below) for patience that you can repeat in your head when you feel your boiling point being reached. Write it down, plaster it on your wall/mirror or in your car if you have to. Then be sure to remember it when the need arises. 
Affirmations For Patience…-I choose to be patient.
-I’m a patient and understanding person.
-I have patience to spare.

In The Moment

Focus on your breathing. Breathe slow, in through the nose and out through the mouth. You’ll lower your heart rate and decrease your body’s natural “fight or flight” response. 
Listen. Pay attention to what this person is talking about. Don’t listen to half of what they’re saying and then spend the rest of the time thinking of something to fire back. Hear to understand, not to speak. 
Acknowledge why. Be objective and really consider why you’re feeling the way you do. Is it worth it to get upset? Can you let it slide? Be honest with yourself. Do they have a valid reason for their words? If they don’t, you won’t do yourself any favors by stooping down to their level. 
Wait. Count to five before responding or if you can, ask to step away and come back when emotions aren’t running high. 
Don’t let your mind wander. Stay focused on the immediate situation. Don’t start thinking of the list of other stressful things you have going on or the past arguments you may have had with this person. One thing at a time. 

And After

If you let yourself act in a way you weren’t proud of, don’t beat yourself up. Apologize and ask for forgiveness for whatever you did or said, whether they acted out as well or not. Remember, this is about taking the high road (if needed), maintaining self discipline and changing your own behavior, not worrying about the actions of others. 
Remember the things you did wrong, think of how you would have liked to handle the situation and promise yourself you’ll try harder to follow through the next time around. Then, keep going.

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Hey! I’m Sarah Rose, a recovering bulimic and former depressed soul. I’m also the gal who runs Discern, Describe—my personal development & lifestyle blog for girls looking to build confidence, find inner peace and have stronger relationships. Sign up for the 7 Weeks to Happiness email series and get weekly mini challenges, trackers & over 20 worksheets here.

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