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How To Deal With A Stressful Situation?

When you are faced with a stressful situation whether in your business or in your personal life it is very easy to worry, be fearful, get stressed and panic. Some stress is good for you but too much can result in you being unable to think straight, inaction and poor performance.

We have therefore put together some ideas and tips to help you when you are faced with a stressful situation:

Be well prepared. In your business it is a good idea to have a contingency plan for unexpected events (e.g. not being able to use your offices, a computer crash etc.), to have procedures for different eventualities (e.g. a key member of staff is absent from work) and to ensure your staff are well trained to handle stressful situations. In your personal life you can also think about how you will handle stressful and difficult situations and be prepared for such events.

Look after yourself. If you are in good mental and physical shape you will be more able to handle a stressful situation, so it is important to look after yourself on an on going basis, including achieving a good work/life balance, building in relaxation, having fun, eating healthily, exercising and not getting yourself too tired.

Calm yourself down. When you first hear about a stressful event or situation it is easy to panic and get very stressed. Calm yourself down by slowing down your breathing and thinking about how you have overcome similar situations in the past. It may help to move into a different space (e.g. outside the office, away from other people etc.) so you can think things through.

Think positively. When you think positively you will feel in control and confident. Visualise a positive outcome to the stressful situation and focus on past successes and hurdles that you have overcome.

Put things in perspective. When faced with a stressful situation other people may panic and you may be given inaccurate information or the severity of the situation may be exaggerated. Therefore, find out as much information as possible about the situation so you can understand what is actually happening. Also put the situation into context against your business or your life as a whole.

Trust your knowledge, experience and intuition. When dealing with a stressful situation you can panic and forget to utilise all the knowledge and experience you already have. Remind yourself of the resources you have and trust your knowledge, experience and intuition to help you handle the stressful situation.

Make a plan. It is easy to rush straight into taking action but it is critical to first of all make a plan of what you need to do. This will not only help you to ensure that you have covered all angles but will also give you something to refer to as you go along.

Be decisive. People can get very indecisive when faced with these types of situations, which will be very unhelpful. It is therefore critical to be decisive and take decisions in a considered but timely fashion.

Take action. Taking action in itself will calm you and other people down. So once you have your plan, start to take action to resolve the situation.

Write things down. When things are stressful it is inadvisable to have lots of information in people's heads. Write down the plan and ask everyone to write down what they have done. This will help to manage the situation, help people feel in control and will also help after the event to understand what was done.

Ask for help. Faced with a stressful situation you may try to handle it on your own, however, you may want to get some help or someone to talk to. This will provide not only practical assistance but also reassurance.

We hope that the above ideas and tips will help you to handle stressful situations better in the future.

Author: Liz Makin
Published: June 2010

Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.


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