Stay Calm at Work: Boost Your Confidence and Be Successful

Stay calm at workThink about people in your life who constantly get upset at every little thing. After a while, you probably don’t pay much attention to them. They are going to get mad no matter what you do, so you continue without regard to their reactions.

Stay Calm at Work:
Choose your battles and boost confidence

Think about people in your life who constantly get upset at every little thing. After a while, you probably don’t pay much attention to them. They are going to get mad no matter what you do, so you continue without regard to their reactions. Letting go of the little stuff is important to stay calm, both in mind and in physiology

Letting go makes sense since if you are getting stressed out over every situation you come across, you simply cannot relax.

If you want to learn how to stay calm, try increasing your confidence. When you are confident, you know whatever you are doing is the right thing to do. It is only natural that you will be calm when that happens.

People can learn how to be confident. It does take a bit of out-of-the-box thinking. But, once you take the steps, you will be happy you did. It does require a commitment on your part. That is not always easy for people to accept. Sometimes, they start out with high energy but then the effort to become confident fizzles out.

A large part of success with confidence is your attitude. If you are a negative thinker, you will have a difficult time being confident. This difficulty makes sense since negative thinking will cause anxiety which may lead to panic in situations where you should be calm.

Affirmations are a great way to turn your negative thinking around. You need to constantly tell yourself that you are a good person and that you are confident. It also helps to focus on a particular area where you want to increase your confidence. For instance, if you are not assertive at work, start telling yourself that you are an assertive person. Continue this until you strike up the courage to be assertive. Then, it becomes easier once you break the barrier.

Confidence is about conviction and belief. If you believe what you are doing is the correct plan of action, you have a better chance of achieving what you want. It also requires a leap of faith to help you when parts of your plan don’t pan out as hoped. Just keep your eye on the prize, knowing that you will eventually get there. Confidence will help you significantly in achieving any plan.

An unintended consequence (positive) of your confidence is that it can help others stay calm. When they see that you have the situation under control, they should relax. If they don’t, you can be the one to help them through it. They will appreciate you for taking action.

You are bombarded daily with negativity. The news channels broadcast a constant barrage of negative news. Your coworkers are complaining about the boss or the company. You may even have family members who can’t seem to cope with situations. However, when you learn to be confident, you can tune much of this out, and this by itself can be calming.

Stay Calm at Work:
Take care of your body and breathe

Successful people are intentional about when and what they eat. Your new mantra: Food is fuel! There is probably nothing more controversial in the health and fitness world than what and when to eat. High protein diets, vegan diets, intermittent fasting, so many options! For myself, if I want to optimize for motivation and energy (not rapid weight loss) I consume four, small slow or low-carb meals a day.

To stay calm at work, be intentional about your sleep.  Eight hours of sleep isn’t realistic for most of us, but instead of focusing on the quantity of sleep, you should focus on the quality of sleep (ie: maximizing time in deep sleep). Keep your room dark, quiet, and cool. If you want to monitor the amount of deep sleep you get each night, I’ve personally tried and would recommend these trackers: Whoop, Fitbit, Withings.

Numerous studies have shown that exercise reduces stress, anxiety and even depression. This is because exercise increases the amount of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin, and reduces cortisol, which is the primary stress hormone. Thankfully, you don’t need to become an overnight gym rat to control your stress. You just need to move in a way that gets your heartbeat up for twenty minutes a day. A fast walk around the neighborhood, a yoga session, or after work pickup basketball game would all be great.

Even the most mentally strong people will encounter times when the amount of pressure they feel is turning into acute stress. In these extreme cases, successful people control their breathing, to control their physiology. A powerful and simple exercise I repeatedly turn to—and teach others—is box breathing, which I originally learned about from former Navy SEAL Mark Devine. A short description of the exercise:

  1. INHALE through your nose, counting to four very slowly. Let the air fill your lungs completely.
  2. HOLD your breath to another count of four.
  3. EXHALE through your mouth, to a count of four.
  4. HOLD your breath again for the same count of four.
  5. Repeat from step 1.

This simple practice immediately re-centers your mind and slows your heart rate. I’ve used it in the dentist chair to overcome fear. I've used it to stay calm at work before a big presentation. Actually, I use mindful breathing throughout the day!  If it’s good enough to calm combat stress of Navy SEALS, it’s good enough for me.

Stay calm:
Practice meditation 

To paraphrase the Dalai Lama, if the whole world practiced meditation, there would be no wars. He spoke of the calming effects meditation has on people. Meditation gives you the ability to reflect and focus on what’s important while disregarding what isn’t.

Many of the most emotionally grounded people have strengthened their minds through meditation to stay calm at work. If you’re unfamiliar with meditation, it is not about just sitting quietly or trying to channel some mystical energy of the universe. If you understand how lifting weights can make your muscles grow, meditation is the same thing—it literally grows your brain.

One Harvard study showed that after eight weeks of meditation there was growth in the hippocampus (the area of the brain that regulates emotion) and a reduction in the brain cell volume in the amygdala, the part of the brain that is responsible for anxiety and stress. The great news is that, unlike a physical workout at the gym, doing a meditation mental workout only takes a few minutes, can be done anywhere, and doesn’t require a change of clothes.

If you’d like to meditate for a few minutes each day, my favorite program is called Zen12. It trains your brain through 12 levels of meditation so that your brain learns how to go into deeper and deeper into relaxed states as you work your way through the program. 

Try the first level for FREE! Let brainwave entrainment meditate you>>>

Stay Calm at Work:
Be grateful

To stay calm at work, have an attitude of gratitude. Negative emotion is easily washed away by positive feelings of gratitude. No matter how bad our situation is, if we pause, it’s usually very easy to see how much better off we are than others. Similar to meditation, having a solid gratitude practice literally changes our brains. Research done at the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at UCLA shows that gratitude practices impact the brain at the neurochemical level, and acts as a catalyst for neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and nor-epinephrine–all of which have a major impact anxiety and stress response.

One way to adopt a gratitude practice is to simply spend five minutes a day writing in a “gratitude journal”. Personally, as part of my morning ritual, I think of three things that I can feel grateful for. It only takes a minute, I can do it while still in bed or in the shower or even driving to work. The key is you have to pick things that you can actually feel grateful for.

Stay Calm at Work:
Reframe your thoughts to something more helpful

We feel stress when something we care about is threatened. This is so important, I’m going to repeat it: we feel stress when something we care about—something we value—is threatened. We might feel stress over money because we value money. We might feel stress over a big presentation to our CEO because we care about what the CEO thinks of us (we care about our career). We might feel stress over a five o’clock project deadline because we care about customer service.

Knowing this, when you want to stay calm at work, pause to ask: what is my body telling me? What is it that I care about, that I think is threatened? When you have that answer, it’s easier to thank yourself for the warning sign. Your stress is like a spotlight on something you need to protect. So you can literally just say to yourself, “OK overactive primordial brain, I understand. I care about being a good mom, and if I don’t leave work on time I’ll miss my kids play at school. Now I’m going to work the problem…”

When we feel overwhelmed with too much to do, or angry at someone’s incompetence, or frustrated because our flight was canceled, or disappointed when we failed to close the sale, it is very easy to think: why is this happening to me?

Highly successful people reframe negative experiences into growth experiences. Instead of, “Why is this happening to me” they think “Why is this happening for me?”

  • I just lost this major sale…what could I have done differently? Where was my blind spot? I’m grateful for this experience because it will make me better for the next, bigger deal.
  • I can’t believe my flight is delayed, and now I won’t get home until midnight. Why is this happening for me? It’s going to be a great chance to practice patience. Perhaps I’ll meet someone interesting at the bar. I can live my values and try to bring calm and happiness to some of the other upset passengers. I can invest the extra time in reading my book. ~ parts adapted via

You are what you feed yourself. I'm talking about both the body and mind. Having a negative outlook stems from not being fully confident in yourself. In order to find the positive in your life, start with what's amazing about yourself. Practice these strategies daily to stay calm at work and remind yourself how awesome you are. Get in the habit of regular self-care and stick to it. This will help you change your outlook towards whatever situation presents itself. Baby steps!

Ready for a shortcut to STAY CALM AT WORK?>>>

 Stay Calm at Work and More Brain Hacks