1) Don’t ever take anything personally: It’s tough. Someone says something so against your beliefs to the point where you want to tell them no, and that they’re so wrong. Or you may be passive aggressive and say “Yes-but.” I think the key to negate any needless stress is to not take anything personally — realize that everyone has a perspective, and most of the time it may not align with yours. Let’s not forget one of the most overlooked principles: to each their own.
2) Become aware of your burst emotions: What are burst emotions? The person who cuts you off on the road without using his or her blinker. The person who bumps into your shoulder without saying excuse me. The senseless opinion from a moron that made you visualize you punching their face in. Do you feel that inside of you? Do you hear that voice that is telling you to react — to scream, rant, complain, or whine? How many times have you acted out of burst emotions, and how many times did it prove unsuccessful? How many times did you respond to a troll on Twitter or on a blog? What did you accomplish? Think about it.
3) Pause: Before you do anything, just breathe and pause for a few seconds. Think it over. Relax. Let your emotions simmer so you can recollect yourself. Think about what you want to accomplish at that moment. Do you want to blow this situation out of proportion, or do you want diffuse it? Then make your choice and live with it.
4) Find the purpose: Ever since I started practicing self-awareness, the one question I always ask myself in every situation is, “What is the purpose?” Or sometimes, “What is the goal?” With that in mind, I have complained, argued, and fought less with strangers, friends, family, whoever. The simple reason is that if it has nothing to do with helping me achieve my goals, better my life, or remove needless stress, then what is the point? If it adds needless stress, causes problems, or influences me to lose sight of what’s most important, then what good is it doing?
5) Never assume: A smart teacher once taught me that if you assume, you make an ass out of u-and-me (ass-u-me). It’s one of the few principles that ever stuck with me, simply because the delivery was flawless. When something frightening happens, people have a tendency to immediately assume the worst case scenario. Or if we see something, we assume it associates with this and this. Most of the time, we’re dead-wrong. I find it best not to assume, take a breath, and unfold the situation yourself.
If there is one tip you could give someone to keep a cool head, what would you tell them? Share it in the comments below.