9 Strategies for Staying in Control When Things Go Wrong

January 15, 2016

Surely it has happened to you at some point that gray clouds would not let you see the sky or that the storm will never let you enjoy the sun. As the saying goes, “when it rains it pours,” and this is totally how it is, for misery is always accompanied by an unbearable feeling, horrible, that you would not wish on your worst enemy.

You must know that not “everything” is bad. You have the affection of the people around you and the strength to go out and push forward. Even if you think that you have lost that strength, your heart keeps beating and your brain thinking; thus, it can help you avoid obstacles.

Losing your calm is the last thing that you should do, because if you are relaxed, it will be easier for you to keep “a cool head” and think about the best option for you.

Hold onto your inner peace during the worst moments of your life with the following tips:

1. Identify the signs that your body is giving you

When you feel tension it is because your body is offering you warning signs. It is important to pay careful attention when you have contracted muscles, for example, or when your heart is beating more quickly, your breathing is accelerated, or your body temperature rises and you sweat excessively.

We do not all experience the same signs, which is why it is important that you recognize them as soon as they show up.

2. Breathe deeply

Knowing how to control your breath is important for keeping your cool in any situation, especially when you feel like the world is crumbling around you. While under pressure, stress levels increase, and this is why breathing is the most obvious outer sign.

This is because the body is preparing the fight or flight mechanism. Close your eyes and breathe really slowly. Hold the air in your lungs for five seconds and then let it out very slowly. Repeat this simple exercise as many times as you need to and you will slowly start to notice changes in your body. You will feel more relaxed.

3. Look for things to do 

When you have a problem, it feels like everything revolves around it, but focusing all of your energies on what’s wrong can make it worse. When facing difficult situations, it can sometimes be better to keep your mind occupied with other things, because no matter how much you turn the subject over in your head, the only thing you will achieve is greater worry, despair, and depression.

Do whatever you like, such as listening to music, reading a book, watching a movie, going out for ice cream, or watering your plants. Don’t ignore the problem, and if you can take meaningful action, by all means do so; but if it’s something that can’t be solved, try not to let it consume you. 

Reading by the Fire

It is also good to keep your body active with some kind of exercise; in this way, negative energy that is building up will be eliminated through movement. Try swimming, boxing, jumping rope, dancing, riding a bike, or going out for a walk. There is no reason in the world that you should stay at home staring at the ceiling and twiddling your thumbs.

4. Chew gum

It may seem strange to you, but this is a very interesting technique for relaxing. What do people often do when they are bored, depressed, or worried? They eat a lot. So if you do not want to stuff yourself with everything in the refrigerator, chew sugar free mint gum. This will keep you satiated and help you to reduce your anxiety levels.

5. Play

We could include this activity in point number four; however, there is an exception in this case. The idea is that you will enjoy yourself like when you were a kid, with someone who is no older than six or seven. Who? It can be your child, a niece or nephew, a godchild, a sibling, a friend’s child, or a neighbor.

You have to pay attention to how they let loose at the park, how everything attracts their attention, the things they laugh at… and imitate it as much as possible. After this activity, you will feel tired, for sure, but you will also experience peace of mind, good humor, and happiness. Most importantly, you will forget your problems while playing.

Father Playing with Kids

6. Have a better sense of humor

Laugh at things that happen to you, even if it makes others think you are crazy. Try to find the funny side of bad things. It is not easy to do, but it is not impossible, either. Laugh at yourself each and every day.

7. Take your time

When your body is tense, your heart beats faster. You cannot think clearly about what is happening and you want to act without analyzing the situation. Do not expect to answer questions in your mind or other people’s questions in those moments. It is better to take the time necessary to think and give an answer later.

8. Talk to an “outside” person

This may be a therapist or a person that is not related to you or your particular problem. This has to be someone that you can feel good talking to but who is not pulled into the subject. An outside point of view can help you to find solutions that you had not thought of until now.

9. Think about how others would act

If you admire someone, maybe a family member or a celebrity, imagine how that person would successfully get out of a situation similar to yours. How would they act? What would they think? What would they say? Do the same thing: act, think, and speak in a similar way.