Keeping Cool, really?!

I have been with friends and colleagues recently who are simply at the end of their rope. The tiniest thing can set them off – and they say and do things they later regret.

So, how can we ‘cool our jets’ when we have a ton of pressure on us? Recently on a Southwest Airlines flight to south Texas, I ran across a great synopsis by a business psychologist which I thought was intriguing. I have added my own thoughts to a few nuggets from Sharon Melnick’s article. Paraphrasing four key points:

1. Before you start your day, Set A Horizon Point. This is your focus, your intention, and what you want to personify. If we have that anchor, it helps to ground us when the earth begins to literally move under our feet . When we have that ‘ideal point’ as our vision – we actually perform better. We act as if we are already there!

2. What do we really control? In reality, the situations we encounter are chock full of components we will never control. You have heard me say in the past – we really only have control over 3 things: OUR attitudes, OUR behaviors, and OUR choices. Our ABCs. No ones else’s. So, we have to get a grip on this – and realize that if we worry about everybody else’s stuff, we are going to make ourselves crazy. We need to stay in our sandbox.

3. The 3-legged approach to stay centered: Inhale. Breathe. Exhale. Sounds simple – yet, in the heat of battle, it is amazing how we simply fly off. Stop. Breathe. This will give us time to think and regroup. When under pressure, most of us immediately jump to the personal nature of how this affects us. We take it very personally. One book I have used for over a decade, The Four Agreements, is a book I would recommend for anyone struggling to not take things personally. And yes, not taking things personally is one of the agreements. So breathe..and remember it is not all about you!

4. Finally, we need to change our frame. Often when things are going south, we have a tendency to get sucked into the negative. Believe me – I get it. We need to think of the most positive experiences, people, and memories in our life! Remember, we are a composite of ALL of life – which means the frosting and cherries on top, too. So, when things are going a bit awry, remember the good stuff AND as my mother always told me, know that ‘this too shall pass’.

What do you think? Do you have thoughts to share on how to set the reset button and cool down?