Poise is the ability to keep your cool in challenging situations and maintain your equanimity. It’s important to have poise under pressure and challenging situations, which so many of us don’t.
If you’ve ever found yourself getting flustered, frustrated or anxious in stressful situations, it might be time for some self-reflection.
You see, when we lack poise and equanimity our reactions tend to escalate quickly out of proportion with the actual situation. We can become too nervous or anxious about what could happen, leading to irrational fears and doubts about our abilities and the future.
Overreacting tends to escalate quickly into a full-blown panic attack and other negative emotions like frustration, anger, resentment or depression.
Ways to Maintain Your Poise in Challenging and Stressful Situations
Here are the 7 ways to maintain your poise and stay calm in difficult, stressful or challenging situations.
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Read these simple techniques several times, so you remember to use them when under stress or in a challenging situation.
Try Mindful Breathing
Do you ever find yourself getting too anxious or nervous and starting to breathe rapidly, getting out of control? One of the first steps to maintaining your poise and equanimity is to consciously and intentionally regulate your breathing.
When you’re anxious and under pressure, your breathing tends to become rapid and uneven. At the time we breathe out, we are pushing our anxiety and nervousness out of our body.
When we breathe in, we can feel more relaxed and centered.
When we breathe consciously and intentionally, we can reduce our levels of stress and anxiety. Many people find that if they pause and take a few deep breaths they can calm down and return to their normal level of poise.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
Many of us find ourselves becoming too flustered when we’re speaking up in meetings or giving presentations.
You might find yourself speaking too fast, rushing through your words or saying the wrong things, losing your train of thought and not being sure of what you’re actually trying to say.
This is likely because we’re nervous, anxious or in a rush.
There are a few things you can do to help. First, slow down, pace yourself and don’t be afraid of sounding stupid.
You might be rushing through your words and not being sure of what you’re saying, but you’re not sounding stupid. Next, take a breath, pause, and make sure you’re actually saying what you want to say.
Visualize Yourself Being Successful
Success is relative and there’s no point in worrying about what might happen if you’re unsuccessful. The only thing you can do is try your best and let the outcome unfold as it will. But what if during your presentation or meeting you start to worry about what might happen?
What if you start to get anxious about the outcome?
While there’s nothing you can do to change the outcome, there are a few things you can do to not let those anxious thoughts and feelings impair your performance.
One way you can maintain your poise is to visualize yourself as if you are already a success. What would success look like for you? What would success feel like? Once you’ve visualized yourself being a success, you’ll find it easier to stay calm and collected.
Know Your Body’s Physical Signals
Many of us tend to get too anxious or nervous without realizing it. You might be breathing too rapidly, sweating or shaking. All of these are physical signals that you might be getting too anxious.
If you’re aware that you’re breathing too rapidly or that you’re sweating excessively, you can take a few moments to slow down or pause.
You can also gently stretch or rub your muscles to break up the build-up of tension.
Being aware of your body’s physical signals can help you to maintain your poise. If you’re trembling, you might try to break up the build-up of tension by gently rubbing your muscles. If you’re breathing too rapidly, you can take a few moments to calmly breathe slowly.
Learn from Past Experiences
If you’ve failed before or experienced a lot of failure in the past, it can make you feel anxious. Being afraid to fail again can make you feel even more anxious.
One thing you can do when you’re anxious is to try and remember or learn from your past experiences.
In your mind’s eye, re-play your past successes and failures. See yourself succeeding and see yourself failing. How did you react? What did you learn?
In your mind’s eye, replay any embarrassing moments or situations you may have encountered. What did you learn from them? What can you do to not repeat those same mistakes in the future?
Related: Stress Management Techniques for Managing Stress.
Stay Focused on the Goal You Have Set for Yourself
Being too anxious and worrying about what might happen can cause you to lose sight of your goal.
When you’re anxious, your thoughts tend to zoom through your head at a much faster speed and you have a lot of thoughts and emotions racing through your head.
If you start to worry about the outcome of your performance, you might find yourself becoming anxious and panicking, which will make you feel even more anxious and lose sight of your goal.
To maintain your poise and not let your anxious thoughts and feelings impair your performance, try to stay focused on your goal.
- What’s your goal and why is it important?
- What would happen if you didn’t achieve your goal?
Try to stay focused on your goal and not get distracted by your anxious thoughts.
The ability to keep your cool under pressure is an invaluable skill that can help you succeed in your career and personal life.
If you lack poise, you might find yourself getting too nervous or anxious about the outcome of a situation and lose sight of your goal.
We have covered here several ways you can maintain your poise and not let your anxious thoughts and feelings impair your performance. Reread the article, and try to implement these ways in your life.
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