rub, tug and massage your ears for one to three
minutes, and relax your jaw and shoulders.
Practice gratitude. “It helps you cultivate
a positive attitude and puts the brakes on the
fight-or-flight response,” says Carter. Count
the things that you feel grateful for, write
them down in a journal or on your calendar,
or visit happier.com and download the app.
Set limits on technology. With the advent
of the smartphone, we can stay busy, and
stressed, all the time. “Research shows that
PAYING ATTENTION to your body’s signals
is very important (tightness in the chest,
butterflies in your stomach, etc.). When
you notice the signals, you can bring your
focus to the sensations of your breath or
the sensations of the soles of your feet
as you are walking or sitting. Doing so for
just a few moments provides you with
the space you need to make a more
conscious choice about what is called
for in that moment of chaos. Without this
grounding, you are far more likely to react
under pressure rather than to respond
Janice L. Marturano
Oakland, New Jersey
I SPEND A considerable amount of time
testifying in court on behalf of children
and adults who have been abused.
Offering testimony in a court of law can
intimidate even the most confident of
people—all eyes are focused on me, the
witness, and I feel a strong responsibility
to present my information in an accurate
and understandable way.
These tips serve me well:
• I always tell the truth.
• I don’t guess. If I don’t know the
answer, I offer to research the facts.
• I take a deep breath before speaking: I make sure I understand the issue/
question and consider my words carefully.
By Steve Fisher
IN OUR JANUARY 2015 Fresh Views we asked
readers how they stay calm under pressure.
The responses ranged from the pragmatic to
the spiritual. Here are some of those responses.
people who checked their email 15 or more
times a day and reduced it to three or five
found that their overall tension and stress levels went down dramatically,” says Carter, a
Take a break. “We see busyness as a sign
of productivity and rest as a sign of laziness,”
says Carter. “But downtime actually eases the
sense of being overwhelmed. It also gives the
brain time to make connections that provide
insights, encourage creativity and help you
• I remember that the moment of
pressure will pass—I can do anything for
a short while.
• I keep things in perspective: How
responsible am I for the circumstances
creating the stressful situation?
• I do the best I can, and then let it go.
AS A BUSINESS owner, in order to stay calm
throughout my day, I schedule “Breathe!” on
my computer’s calendar. This message pops
up every hour and a half to simply remind
me to just breathe. This mini “breath break”
relaxes me, and helps to calm and rebalance me during my hectic workday.
Coconut Creek, Florida
I TRIED TO teach two things to our daughters: You are only under as much pressure
as you allow yourself to be, and everything
continually gets easier and easier, but you
have to let it.
Deadlines are not something to fear, but
opportunities for organizing and goal-setting
accomplishments. We soon learn to be motivated to complete tasks ahead of schedule,
enjoying success instead of failure.
How do you
stay calm under
Connection readers weigh in
I TAKE A moment and ask
myself, “Is there anything I can
do to control this issue?” Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time you
cannot, so you just let it go. Not as easy as
it sounds, but with discipline you will get
the hang of it.
Take stock. What do you need to do?
How much time do you have?
Take inventory. What are your
resources? Who are your key people? What
can be delegated?
Mobilize your resources. Give clear
instructions. Ask them to repeat instructions. Communicate and clarify.
Be available. In person, by phone,
text or email.
Be in control. Smile, talk positively,
stay calm, be patient. Take bathroom rant
or scream breaks, and deep breaths.
Thank people. Praise hard work,
teamwork. Let others hear about how
good your team is.
Stay grounded. A strong spiritual
base will keep you humble and grounded.
Esther Joseph Pottoore
New York City, New York
find solutions.” Ultimately, helping you to
work more easily with less stress.
Walk it off. Feeling frazzled? “Step outside and take a refreshing walk,” says Carlson.
“Research shows that walking can reduce the
risk of coronary heart disease, and it supports
bone health, improves cognitive function and
enhances mental well-being.” C
Chrystle Fiedler is a freelance writer who
specializes in health topics.