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On keeping calm

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

No matter how emotionally intelligent we think we are, situations will test us. Try to put these tips into practice when your anger mounts:

Breathe. Shallow breathing shortchanges us of oxygen and makes it tough to respond rationally. Slower, measured breathing helps.

Move around. Try climbing stairs, doing pushups, taking a walk, tapping on your forehead or chopping weeds. Physicality will shift you out of reactive mode.

Drink water. Like moving around, this forces you to focus on a different task. It also requires you to leave in search of a water source. Sometimes, excusing yourself from a volatile situation is the best course.

Finish this sentence. Try finishing “I’m angry because … ,” as many times as you can.

Do a rationality check. Everyone is rational from their own perspective. Enraged because the airline gave away your reserved seat? Maybe you never hit the Submit button. Ask yourself if you’re in the wrong.

— Adapted from “How do you restore your rationality?,” John Stoker, SmartBrief.

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