Training To Cope Under Stress

We know 2020 has been tough, both in our personal lives and our careers. From self-employed to small business owners and marketing managers, we have all been hugely impacted by this year's events.

When we're put under pressure, we change our behaviours. That may mean losing sight of our goals and objectives and start to make judgments which wouldn't have been made before. The truth is though, even when we have good days, we know bad days are coming. A good morning can be overshadowed by a bad afternoon, and one email, phone call or Zoom call can take you from cloud nine to down in the dumps fast.

Stay Neutral

It may seem impossible at first, but the best way to cope with stress is to train your mind to stay neutral at every event. That means not getting too high when things aren't going in your favour, and not getting too low when nothing seems to go your way.

Keep yourself controlled and intact; keep your mind on the objective of the day and don't let yourself become overwhelmed and change your behaviour because of it. That message is the same in the good times and bad.

Sometimes staying 'neutral' can be confused with being 'emotionless', and showing no empathy towards people when times get good or bad. That's not the case, though. It's about keeping control of your actions, being wise enough to know that your emotions shouldn't govern your next steps, and allowing yourself to adapt to the changing environment without losing the plot.

Practice Practice Practice

You don't have to wait for your next stressful moment to practice neutrality. Use it when you win your next customer; when things start going your way. Stay controlled, keep your eye on the objective and don't get too big for your boots. Likewise, when those moments come (and they will) when you feel you can't even get out of bed, practice your mind to overcome it. Write in a diary about how you're feeling and the steps you need to take to carry on with your day or control the new situation as best you can. It's hard to stay neutral, it's not natural, not human, but the benefits of it can't be overestimated.

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