Tuesday, October 15, 2013

5 Simple ways to get a grip

Do you ever have days that you’re so harried and need to get a grip? Usually during times like that, simplicity flies right out the window. Sometimes it feels like it flies out the window right after our sanity.

Snickers had a commercial during the Super Bowl last year that captured the sentiment. The nice guy turned in to a Joe Pesci character when he was not himself. The solution was to have a Snickers candy bar and he would be back to himself in no time.

The fact is, some days are just busier, more booked, or more stress-filled than others; however, we don’t want to eat chocolate every time. (Right?!) Here are five simple actions that can help you slow down and recover during high-pressure days:
  1. Breathe. Use the 10-5-10 technique: breathe in for a slow count of 10, hold it for a slow 5, then release it to a slow count of 10. Slowing blood flow and breathing puts you in control physically. If it doesn’t work once, do it again. It only takes 25 seconds, so do it as many times as needed.
  2. Take a break. Rushed and rattled is no way to make an important decision or engage with others. Walk outside; get fresh air for a fresh perspective.
  3. Be grateful. In the midst of a stressful time, jot down as many things you’re grateful for as possible. Set an alarm for one minute and start writing. This is a fun exercise that changes moods by changing focus and reminding of priorities.
  4. Identify the good. When you need to get a grip quickly, think about something positive about the situation you’re in. It could be a learning opportunity, or a chance to interact with someone you don’t know well yet, or a chance to show your skills in a new way. There’s usually something good even in the midst of stressful situations, so look for it when you need to get a grip.
  5. Recognize an accomplishment. When there’s uncertainty, think of something that began the same way and turned out well. Once you remember working through a similar circumstance, you can focus on working through the current one too.
Everyone feels rushed and ragged once in a while. Use these steps to get a grip so the heightened emotions don’t lead to poor decisions, hurt relationships, or damaged reputations. And, remember, everyone has days like that, so be patient when someone around is having one.

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