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How To Stay Calm Under Pressure - Mindful

Establish a pre-performance routine

Whether it’s taking a few deep breaths, doing some light stretching, or having a quick phone call with someone you trust, spending your last few minutes doing something active before a big event will prevent you from spiraling into worry, so you can perform confidently.

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How To Stay Calm Under Pressure - Mindful

How To Stay Calm Under Pressure - Mindful

https://www.mindful.org/how-to-stay-calm-under-pressure/

mindful.org

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Key Ideas

Learn to be ok with discomfort

If you know you have a high-stakes event coming up, become familiar with feeling pressure and learn to work through it. 

For example: If you need to give a presentation to coworkers, rather than practicing on your own, try out your speech on a couple of friends. 

Establish a pre-performance routine

Whether it’s taking a few deep breaths, doing some light stretching, or having a quick phone call with someone you trust, spending your last few minutes doing something active before a big event will prevent you from spiraling into worry, so you can perform confidently.

Shift your attention away from worries

... and to the task at hand. 

Mindfulness can help you regain a sense of calm and focus your attention, so you can avoid being caught off guard by your anxiety. You can see it for what it is, and choose to direct your attention elsewhere. 

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Visualize the destination

Take a moment to visualize the calm after the storm: the work is done and done well, and you’re celebrating with your team. 

Positive visualization can alleviate pressure and help...

Motivate yourself with a reward

People who know their hard work will be tangibly rewarded tend to perform better than those who don’t

Whether it’s a vacation, something you’ve been wanting to buy, or dinner at your favorite restaurant, pick a reward that will keep you going and pretend it’s already yours.

Focus on your actions

Craft a routine or system for getting the work done. Focus on your daily actions and carry out your plan with discipline and determination.

A routine can help prevent panic and distraction, allowing you to focus on the task at hand.

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High-pressure moments as a (fun) challenge

Most people see "pressure situations" as threatening, and that makes them perform even less well. 

But, "when you see the ...

One of many opportunities

Is this high-pressure situation a good opportunity? Sure. Is it the only opportunity you will ever have for the rest of your life? Probably not.

Before an interview or a big meeting, give yourself a pep talk: "I will have other interviews" (or presentations or sales calls). 

Focus on the task

Instead of worrying about the outcome, worry about the task at hand.

That means developing tunnel vision. When you keep your eye on the task at hand (and only the task at hand), all you can see is the concrete steps necessary to excel.

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Mistake Of Every Productivity System
Mistake Of Every Productivity System

Productivity systems rarely take emotions into account. And feelings are a fundamental and unavoidable part of why humans do what they do.

We need to think to plan but we need to feel ...

Rile up those emotions
  • Get Positive. Monitor the progress you’re making and celebrate it.
  • Get Rewarded. Research shows that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things.
  • Get Peer Pressure. "When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real."