Do you find yourself under a bit of stress at work? Are you not exactly performing at your best during those times? Do you sometimes have difficulty getting your point across in high-stakes situations?
If you said, “yes,” you’d be like 94% of the working population who report high stress at work according to a study performed by Wrike. And that was done in 2018! We know it’s much worse now!
Being calm increases your performance.
And you probably know 1 or 2 people in your life who appear to be as cool as a cucumber. People wait to hear what they have to say. And what they have to say always turns out brilliant. And they’re super successful in their virtual meetings, too!
You may even have had the same idea, but it doesn’t come out of your mouth quite the same way, does it?
Stress plays a massive role in our performance. The more stressed we are, the worse our performance. You won’t see Michael Jordan freaking out before a big game. He is super calm and relaxed. 🙂
I teach people to be relaxed permanently. Even during very high-stakes situations like standing in front of a hostile audience or being on Shark Tank.
How to be calm during stressful meetings.
Learning to relax isn’t as hard as you think. Here are five tips to help you relax right now.
- Tense your throat muscles and then release the tension 8x. Your throat responds to your fight or flight response by becoming tight
- Breathe deeply into your abdomen. Abdominal breathing helps the vagus nerve release the fight or flight (FOF) your body is in.
- Keep your body open. When you cross your arms, it means FOF is winning.
- Be aware of your emotions with kindness to yourself. “hmm. I’m getting upset here. I wonder why.”
- Don’t focus on the minutia. Sometimes we get caught up trying to be right about something insignificant.
Outsourcing our relaxation.
Going to the masseuse is not an option when you’re in the middle of a meeting. I always hear people say, “I’m stressed out; I gotta get a massage.” Massages are great, don’t get me wrong, but their benefits don’t last long term.
There’s another phenomenon: When people come from a massage and brag about how tight their muscles were! “My masseuse says my deltoids were the size of a baseball!” (beaming with pride)
There are lots of ways we outsource our relaxation. If you don’t mind, I won’t mention them here.
We can take it upon ourselves to be relaxed during all high-stakes situations. This will considerably improve your life and your health.
You can (and in my opinion, should) learn to be habitually calm, so you perform at your best in high-stakes situations. Being relaxded is the precursor to being influential.
If you want to learn how to relax to a degree you never imagined, how to be relaxed and calm in meetings, giving presentations, on job interviews, all of your high-stake situations take The Voice Spa.
You don’t have to outsource your relaxation anymore.
The impact of fight or flight on your body.
You know the times in your life when your mind went blank, your face got all red, and your knees were knocking? That’s fight or flight rearing its ugly head.
Our brains haven’t evolved to distinguish high-stakes situations from real physical danger. When you face an important, possibly life-changing event (public speaking, job interviews, critical meetings, etc.), your body goes into FOF.
When you get home, the impact on your body is relieved somewhat, but not 100%. When your work is incredibly demanding, the effect is exponential. So the tension is just piling up in your muscles.
Remove the tension from your body.
It’s our responsibility to remove the tension from our bodies. All of that tension that sits in our muscles makes us easier to react negatively to the smallest things.
Once you learn to make every muscle in your body relaxed you respond in a thoughtful & intelligent way.
Relaxation exercises have been used by acting teachers for hundreds of years. Tense a small group of muscles and then release. And really focus on that tension and the absence of tension you feel after the release.
How to be calm in your mind.
Are you offended or upset over things people say or do? Do you stew for hours about what you might say back to that person? Do you become upset and quickly react with a high pitch, talking too fast, or taking things negatively?
Along with removing the tension from your body, you want to calm your mind. Observe your thoughts. Try to hover over your brain and listen to the chatter. Perhaps write down what you’re hearing your brain go on about. If it’s negative you can rewrite it!
Don’t be mad at yourself if it doesn’t happen right away–it won’t. Be happy that you realized it and you’re becoming more cognizant.
Tips for being calm as a habit in your life.
- Take a baseline. Measure where you are now.
- Don’t be emotional, be an objective scientist.
- Practice your relaxation exercises 3x/day.
- Be aware of your thoughts.
- Practice your skills from low-stakes situations to high-stakes situations.