Sometimes anxiety kicks in when we are faced with stressful situations and remaining calm seems impossible. It might be during a live presentation or when meeting someone for the first time. These encounters may lead to an emotional breakdown that affects our behaviour. The first step to managing these emotions is accepting that they are part of human feelings and that you can control them.

Here are five ways you can stay calm and sail through tough situations;

Breathing exercises

Most of the times when we are anxious, we tend to gasp for breath and our heart rate rises. Learning how to control your heart rate goes a long way in calming yourself during such situations. Breathing exercises are ideal in such a situation as they help maintain a peaceful stance within our minds. So, when in an unnerving situation, try and take long deep breaths and exhale through your mouth. Do this for a while till you feel calm and ready to tackle the moment.

Laugh about it

Laughter is a great way to relax your muscles. Anxiety sometimes results into tense muscles. If laughing about the situation will ease things, then you can have a hearty laugh. Look at it as another hurdle you will overcome, make it humorous till you are in a position to tackle it. Do not take the moment too seriously as this will make you panic.

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Be positive

Try to look at your challenges from a positive angle. Always believe that the situation will turn out great regardless of how you feel at that particular time. Negativity affects how we handle our emotions. Telling yourself you have given up and that the situation is beyond you will send the message to your brain and in true sense, you won’t be able to handle it. However, looking at it from a positive perspective prepares you for the situation.

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Identify the stressor

Knowing specifically what is disconcerting about the situation you are in helps find practical solutions for the specific problem. If you are able to identify your problem, then you are halfway to finding the solution. Sometimes our anxiety comes as a result of the fear of the unknown. When you are faced with such situations, get information on your environment. Know your audience, location, expectations and identify the factor that could be making you uncomfortable.

Get things into perspective

Setting your priorities straight helps you build self-esteem that in the long run gives you confidence over such circumstances. Think beyond that moment and picture yourself surviving the situation. Evaluate your skills and know when and how to use them. Self- confidence helps us through anxiety as you figure out your strengths and find a balance with your weaknesses.

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