9 habits of people who stay calm, even when life gets stressful

You know those people who are always as cool as a cucumber? No matter what’s going on around them, they never seem fazed.

Well, these people probably are a little fazed! They’ve just gotten very, very good at managing their stress and staying calm.

If you’re one of these people, you’ll have your unique habits that keep you so calm. If you want to be just like these people, this is how!

These 9 habits are exactly what you need to stay calm all the time, even when life gets super stressful.

Up first:

1) They recognize their emotions early on

First up, people who stay calm in stressful situations have one thing in common: They have high self-awareness and strong emotional intelligence.

These traits help them recognize their emotions pretty early on – and do something about them!

It’s like if you’re at work and your boss assigns you twenty new tasks to get done by the end of the day. Then a coworker asks you for help with something. Then another coworker tells you about an issue you’re responsible for fixing…

Someone who stays calm in stressful situations can feel the panic rising inside them. They can see the frustration brewing.

Basically, they know they’re getting stressed. So they start doing things to calm them down – before the stress they’re feeling even shows on their face!

2) They believe things will be OK

People who stay calm in stressful situations have a positive mindset. Their outlook on life is that things will be OK in the end – no matter how bad they get.

This kind of attitude is exactly what keeps them so calm.

Say you’ve just been broken up with and you have to sell your house and your car. This is a pretty stressful situation. It’s not a very nice one, either.

A calm person may feel sad and upset about it, but they won’t feel stressed. Because they’ll believe that even though things are bad right now, things will get sorted. And everything will be OK in the end.

The same view applies regardless of whether they’re stressed at work, school, college, in a relationship, or anything else.

They know things will work out – and they know they just have to get through this next bit calmly to reach the other side.

3) They look at the bigger picture

Another habit that keeps people calm in stressful situations is the ability to look at the bigger picture.

When things go wrong, it’s easy to hone in on the thing that’s gone wrong. It’s even easier to get yourself lost in that thing specifically!

Like if your train terminates early and you’re going to be late for work. You could send yourself into a panic and think you’re going to get fired.  

But a calm person wouldn’t do this. They’d look at the bigger picture before panicking. Sure, you might be late to work today, but what are the consequences?

Your boss will see that you’re late. You might miss the first half of your morning meeting. But since you’re never late, you aren’t going to be fired over it.

And you can just ask a coworker what you missed and catch up on any work at the end of the day. No harm done.

That’s the bigger picture.

4) They focus on one thing at a time

Another way to stay calm in stressful situations is by taking things one step at a time.

Like in the example we used earlier. If the train terminates and you’re going to be late, a million things might be running through your head.

You need to find a different train to get on, plan your new route to work, contact your boss, notify the person who’s running the meeting, catch up on missed work, work late, tell your partner you’re working late, etc, etc.

Trying to do all these things at once is just going to make you more stressed. Taking things one step at a time and focusing on one thing first keeps you way calmer.

Like finding out which train you need to get on first. Then planning your new route to work. You can deal with the other things after.

5) They’re always prepared

Calm people are planners – and good ones, for that matter!

Certain people stay calm in stressful situations because they have a plan for everything.

They’re always thinking ahead about what’s next. And they never go into any situation unprepared. They’ve always got a plan A, a plan B, a plan C, etc, etc…

Like if they had a job interview tomorrow. If they don’t get it, they already know what they’re going to do afterward.

Like call to ask for feedback, apply for the other job they’ve seen listed, and speak to their boss about a payrise.

But even though they have a plan…

6) They stay flexible

If you want a better reputation at work say goodbye to these 11 behaviors 2 9 habits of people who stay calm, even when life gets stressful

It’s easy to get your heart set on something. I know I’ve done this many times in my life, hoping I get a certain job or apartment. Or just hoping that something works out the way I want it to!

There’s nothing wrong with that – provided you know that things could always change. And you’re happy (or at least, OK) with the idea of things changing.

When you don’t stay flexible with your plans, change feels so much more stressful than it needs to be. Even when it comes to the simple things in life!

It’s like my friend’s mom. She has to have everything planned out for Christmas Day. When things don’t go to plan, she gets pretty stressed about it. Even if it’s just something small, like the gravy being a little lumpy.

Whereas calm people are OK with going with the flow. They know that despite their plans, things might change. And it’s these thoughts that keep them so calm!

7) They take timeouts when they need them

We all need a break sometimes. But sometimes, we feel like we can’t have one.

When things are super busy, it’s easy to get caught up in the madness and not take a timeout when you need it.

Too many people fall into this trap. I’ve even done it myself sometimes! But the truth is that continuous firefighting isn’t going to help anything. And it isn’t going to make you look or feel calm.

Eventually, you have to stop, breathe, and take a moment to think about what you’re really doing.

Like if you arrived at work and everything is manic. People are rushing around trying to get things done. If you join in – running about and never stopping, you’re going to look and feel stressed!

Whereas if you do the work, but still take moments to breathe, drink some water, have some lunch, and sit down for a few minutes, you’ll look and feel way calmer!

8) They have people they can offload to

Most of us get by with a little help from our friends – and our families and partners!

Having people in your life who you can vent to is probably the best way to stay calm.

When life gets stressful or you’ve just got a lot going on, talking things through with someone you trust eases the pressures. It makes you feel lighter and more ready to tackle whatever comes next.

Which is why calm people are always offloading to their friends.

If they’re having a busy week at work, they’ll book in time to meet a friend for dinner. Or they’ll arrange a date night with their partner. They might even make space to call a friend on their lunch break.

Whatever it is they do, they talk to people. And it’s how they manage to stay sane when things get stressful!

9) They slow down

If something unexpected happens, most people want to sort it out as quickly as possible. But this isn’t the best way to stay calm.

Rushing around and chasing your tail will only leave you feeling more stressed out. And more likely to make mistakes. Which leads to even more stress…

Whereas slowing down calms you down!

It’s like when you see paramedics arriving at the scene. Regardless of what’s happening, they’ll walk towards the person who needs help. They’ll never run.

Why? Because running is the first way to lose their cool. It makes them feel rushed and stressed, which isn’t the right way to deal with a situation that needs your full focus!

Calm people have the exact same attitude. No matter what’s happening, they’ll take their time to think and breathe. They might make faster decisions than usual, but they’ll never lose themselves in the chaos!

Final thoughts

It’s always good to be that person who stays calm in stressful situations. It helps you in your career and if you ever want to lead people one day.

It also just helps you generally in daily life. Feeling stressed has pretty severe consequences for our health and wellbeing. It also just doesn’t feel good!

If you already recognize these habits in yourself, you’re probably doing great. If you don’t, use them as tips!

Start adopting these habits in your daily life, especially when things get stressful. Eventually, you’ll be that person who everyone says is always as cool as a cucumber!

Amy Reed

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a content writer from London working with international brands. As an empath, she loves sharing her life insights to help others. When she’s not writing, she enjoys a simple life of reading, gardening, and making a fuss over her two cats.

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