maintaining composure, facing your fears

How To Keep Cool: 5 Tips For Maintaining Composure

Remember the time when you got stuck in a shady elevator alone, or the time your boss called you in for a mysterious  and worrying meeting? Were you able to keep your cool or did you allow emotion’s dirtiest solider, fear, to take control of the situation? Chances are you stuck with the latter.  If you have had difficulty maintaining composure in such instances you certainly need to keep reading.

Here are 5 tips for maintaining composure when the opportunity calls for it:

1. Take a deep breath, stretch and physically relax

The first step to maintaining stressful situations under control is forcing your body into a state of calm. In order for the mind to be at peace, the body must first take control. Acknowledge the physical symptoms of panic and worry.  This may include inability to move, increased heart rate and breathing. Stop whatever it is you are trying to achieve and simply breathe. Take a few slow breathes with your eyes closed.  Controlled breathing techniques will not only improve your stress levels, but also allow you to look cool and composed in front of your surrounding peers. People who are worried or afraid, display physical signs including short staggered breathing. Adopt a breathing technique called 4x4x4 in which one inhales through the nose and exhales through the mouth in periods of 4 seconds. Stretch your body and try to relax the tensed up muscles.  I assure you that without this step nothing will be 100 % effective at helping you maintain your composure in time of panic or worry. Here are a few ways to reach instant calmness.

2. Contextualize your fears

Take a step back and ask yourself exactly what is causing you grief and fear. Humans often dramatize things that do not need to be dramatized. Everyday tasks and pressures often have us going haywire. Thus, it is important to ask yourself what the consequences to your fears maturing will be. If it is not the end of the world, then you certainly need to relax. Inconveniences have, and always will be, a nuisance, but they are not something to be raddled up about. Try to justify solving your problems through worry and fear  . If you can justify your physical and mental symptoms for the cause of the situation, then keep wasting your nerves. However, chances are, 99.9% of the time, the results will not out-way the worry.  Therefore, eliminate your view of the problem as something to fear and observe it as a mere obstacle with which to deal. There are a few other ways to remain calm no matter what the situation.

3. Stop that inflow of emotions

It is always easier said than done, of course. Try to eliminate the emotional influence and deal only with facts. Emotions blur our rationality and distort the truth.  Take a time out and think everything over. Relax your body and avoid the negativity.  Bursts of emotions are usually your worst enemy. For example, blowing up over forgetting your phone at home for the day. Or getting upset about personal remark made as a joke. They key is to not be vocal and animated about the situation. Whenever you inner voice tells you to react to a situation physically, ignore it! Instead of yelling, whining or crying – breathe. Acknowledge the fact that emotional reactions are never successful at anything. They do not help you feel better, nor do they solve your problem.  That is why it is best to ignore emotions altogether in times of panic. Avoid any rash outbursts or even subtle passive aggressive actions.  Furthermore, do not take anything that is happening personally.  Stop believing the myth that your bad luck is the reason this or that happened. Stop whining that you are the only person in the world experiencing such things. Take for example world leaders such as Barack Obama and Angela Merkel, who maintain their cool even in the toughest of situations. Emotional self-control is the most important step in  maintaining composure during difficult times.  What is more, do not assume something will end up a certain way. Assumptions and negative emotions are the best of pals and the most cunning of players. Here are other ways to overcome different negative emotions.

4. Share your concerns with your close ones

As cliché lists go, talking out your problems is usually at the top of every one. However, there is a reason that is the case. Talking to someone about your worries or asking for advice is a sound way to relieve some of the tension you are experiencing. When you verbalize your worries a portion of them disappear. It sounds strange, but it is true. When you have shared whatever is weighing you down, a fraction of that weight is instantly lifted off your shoulders. What’s more, listening to the advice people have to give you, assures you that there is solution to the situation. Even if you do not necessarily take their advice, the fact that a solution was on the table is uplifting. If you lack emotional support rely on yourself. Instead of bottling up everything, write it down. Write yourself a long journal entry or email and expel the negativity.

5. Have your poker face on at all times

In other words, act like nothing can faze you. Believe and convince yourself that you’ve seen and done it all. This behavior is some of the best techniques for maintaining composure. Not only do you trick others into seeing you as completely invincible, but you  yourself, began to believe this idea.  It’s the same principle as telling yourself a certain lie 100 times and believing it on the 101 first time. Except convincing yourself that you are strong and able to overcome any adversity is not a lie. It is the truth in its entire glory. This is the key to remaining in control during moments of panic. By acting like you have experienced a particular problem before, you are convincing yourself, once again, that a solution is waiting to be discovered.


Panic is one of the most cunning of emotions. It inhibits our ability to think and act. Learning how to control your mind and body you is the only solution to keeping your cool when the going gets tough. I ensure you that by following these simple and easy tips you will surely maintain your composure the next time an unexpected difficulty comes across your path. Here is another motivational article to inform you even more on the topic of self confidence.

How do you maintain your composure? I would to hear about it in the comments down bellow! 


Photo Credit: epSos .de via flicker

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