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Three Strategies for Keeping Your Cool at Work

Monday, April 23, 2018 | Posted by: Alpha Kappa Psi

Employers want to hire people with leadership qualities and one important aspect of a strong leader is learning how to stay calm in stressful situations. If you’re losing your cool over the smaller issues, no one will trust you when an opportunity to show your leadership skills emerges. So, it’s important to manage your anxiety and your reactions in your work environment. Doing so doesn’t mean shutting down your emotions however. Instead, it’s important to just take a moment and think. Act, don’t react, as they say. Here are three savvy strategies to help you stay cool no matter what comes your way.  

  1. Confront Your Negativity Bias

Negativity bias is actually an instrumental piece of the nervous system that’s helped keep us alive for centuries. Essentially, negativity bias develops through the process of making critical decisions. But, because your body reacts more strongly to negative feelings than positive feelings, negativity bias is actually your body being trained to avoid that negative stimuli. As a consequence, we tend to hold more stress if we’re anticipating negative stimuli and can act this out on others in our immediate environments. For example, when a deadline is looming, we might be rude to our coworkers simply because we fear failure. In order to keep cool in the workplace, it’s important to check -in with yourself and ask how your stress may be affecting your relationships.

  1. Vent When You Need To

Although society trains us to believe that “venting” is something that belongs to the classic “gossipy girl” stereotype, its actually been scientifically proven that venting is a great way to avoid losing your cool. Venting can happen a number of ways. It doesn’t have to be finding a friend to share your feelings with but can simply be drafting the angry email and just not sending it. However, keep in mind that not everyone understands the scientific merits of venting and this action can be misconstrued. You can prevent this issue by choosing the person you vent to wisely and maybe even choosing someone who isn’t your coworker to avoid anything getting back to the wrong party.  

  1. Pick Your Battles

According to the Harvard Business Review, you need to understand where the line is where you go from being an on-the-ball-problem solver to a nitpicky Debby downer. Someone who “reacts” to everything simply isn’t leadership material. Instead, try to take a moment to assess whether or not a situation is first and foremost, your personal responsibility, and then whether it’s actually worth your time and energy. This distance from the immediate issue can help you get more scope and respond in a more productive manner to any battles that may arise.

While we all know it’s important to keep your cool in the work place, it isn’t always the easiest thing. Our coworkers are often the people we spend the most time with aside from our families and maintaining functional relationships with them helps us stay productive and happy at work. What strategies do you employ to stay calm in your daily work stress? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

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