10 habits of people who remain calm under pressure (even in challenging situations)

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Ever look at someone who’s cool as a cucumber in a chaotic situation and wonder, “How do they do it?”

Well, they’re not superheroes or mutants with special powers. They’re regular people, just like you and me, but with some habits that help them stay calm in the storm.

Curious about what these habits are?

Let’s take a deep dive:

1. Staying in the Moment

Ever find yourself thinking about a million different things at once?

You’re not alone.

It’s easy to get caught up worrying about the past or stressing about the future, especially when things get tough.

But people who stay calm under pressure, they do things a little differently.

They stay in the moment.

This habit is all about focusing on what’s happening right now, rather than what might happen or what has happened before.

It sounds simple, but it’s easier said than done, right?

Here’s their secret: mindfulness. They pay attention to their surroundings, their feelings, and their actions in the present moment.

This doesn’t mean they ignore the future or forget the past, but they don’t let those things control them.

Practicing mindfulness can be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to focus on your breath, or really paying attention to how your morning coffee tastes. You could even try a mindfulness app or a short meditation.

The goal is to train your mind to focus on the present moment and not get swept up in worries or fears about what might be coming next.

So next time you’re faced with a tough situation, try to stay in the moment. Take a deep breath, look around you, and focus on what you can control right now. You might be surprised at how much it helps. 

2. Breathing Deeply

When things start to get a bit hectic, it’s common for our breathing to become shallow and quick. But this kind of breathing can actually make us feel more anxious. It’s part of the body’s “fight or flight” response.

Here’s where deep breathing comes in. By consciously taking deep, slow breaths, we can help our bodies understand that there’s no immediate danger. This helps to reduce stress and promote feelings of calm.

How to do it? It’s simple. Take a slow breath in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Try to make your exhale longer than your inhale – this is known to have an even greater calming effect.

The best part about this habit is that it can be done anywhere and at any time. Whether you’re about to walk into a high-pressure meeting or you’re stuck in traffic, take a moment to breathe deeply.

So when you’re feeling the pressure, remember this habit. Pause, breathe deep, and let the stress melt away.

3. Thinking Positive

There was a time in my life when I was faced with a challenging situation, and it felt like everything was going wrong. It was easy to get caught up in the negativity and to focus on all the things that were not going my way.

But then I remembered a habit of those cool-headed folks who stay calm under pressure: they think positive.

Instead of getting stuck on what was going wrong, I started to focus on what could go right. I started to see the problem as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a disaster.

Every morning, I would wake up and remind myself of the positive aspects of my situation. Instead of thinking, “This is too hard, I can’t do this,” I would tell myself, “This is challenging, but I’m capable and I can handle this.”

And you know what? It worked.

My situation didn’t change overnight, but my outlook did. And that made all the difference. By focusing on the positive, I felt more in control and less overwhelmed by the pressure.

So if you’re feeling stressed or under pressure, try to shift your mindset to the positive. Look for the silver lining or the lesson to be learned. It might just help you stay calm and navigate through your challenging situation more effectively!

4. Planning and Prioritizing

When we’re faced with a big task or a stressful situation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But those who stay calm under pressure have a habit that helps them handle this: they plan and prioritize.

Instead of looking at the problem as a giant, insurmountable mountain, they break it down into smaller, manageable hills.

They make a list of what needs to be done and then they prioritize those tasks.

According to the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts. This means that by identifying and focusing on the most important tasks – that crucial 20% – we can achieve the most significant results.

Applying this principle when planning and prioritizing can help to focus your efforts where they will make the biggest impact. This can make a daunting task feel much more manageable and reduce feelings of stress and pressure.

Break it down, make a plan, and prioritize your tasks. You’ll be able to tackle your challenge in a more effective and calm manner. 

5. Getting Enough Sleep

It’s easy to underestimate the power of sleep, especially when the pressures of life, work, or family are bearing down on you.

But those calm individuals we admire? They understand something crucial – sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity.

When we’re well-rested, we’re better equipped to handle stress and think clearly. It’s like giving your body and mind the downtime they need to recover and prepare for another day.

It’s not just about physical rest, either. Sleep is also important for our emotional well-being.

I believe we all deserve that feeling of waking up refreshed after a good night’s sleep. We all deserve to give our bodies and minds the rest they need. It’s not always easy with our busy lives and endless to-do lists, but it’s important.

So, if you’re reading this after yet another long day and you’re feeling the pressure mounting, remember this: you deserve rest. Prioritize your sleep like you would any other important task.

Next time you’re faced with a stressful situation, make sure you’re tackling it with a rested mind and body. You might be surprised at how much easier it feels to stay calm under pressure when you’re well-rested. 

6. Exercising Regularly

I used to hate exercise. The very thought of getting up and moving was a chore. But then, things changed when I started to feel the pressure of my day-to-day life getting the best of me.

So, I did what those calm individuals do: I started exercising regularly.

Now, I’m not saying I suddenly became a marathon runner or a gym fanatic. Far from it. I just started to move more. Some days it was a quick walk around the block, other days it was a yoga video I found online.

And you know what? It helped. A lot.

Exercise is proven to reduce stress hormones and release endorphins, our body’s natural mood lifters. And trust me, when you’re feeling those endorphins, it’s much easier to stay calm and focused, even when things are tough.

So now, no matter how busy my day gets or how much pressure I’m under, I make time to move. It might be a quick stretch between meetings or a dance-off with my kids in the living room – it all counts!

The next time you’re faced with a high-pressure situation, remember this: your body is your ally. Get moving and let it help you reduce that stress and stay calm!

7. Eating Healthy

When things get tough, it’s so easy to reach for comfort food, right? A bag of chips here, a chocolate bar there. It’s quick, it’s easy, and let’s be honest, it feels good in the moment.

But those who stay calm under pressure? They know that what they put into their bodies matters.

Eating healthy isn’t about following the latest diet trend or counting every calorie. It’s about fueling your body with food that makes you feel good and keeps you going.

And I’m not going to lie to you – it’s hard. It takes effort and planning, and sometimes, all you want is that piece of cake. But here’s the raw truth: how we fuel our bodies affects how we handle stress.

When we eat well, we’re giving our bodies what they need to function properly. We’re steadier, clearer, and more equipped to handle whatever comes our way.

So next time you’re under pressure, remember this: what you eat matters. Reach for something nutritious instead of that quick sugar fix. Your body – and your stress levels – will thank you for it!

8. Connecting with Others

When we’re under pressure or facing a tough situation, it’s easy to retreat into our shell and try to deal with everything on our own.

But those who stay calm under pressure know the value of reaching out to others.

They’re not afraid to lean on their friends, family, or even a trusted mentor for support. They understand that sharing their worries and concerns doesn’t make them weaker, but stronger.

Social interaction can reduce the effects of stress. The researchers found that positive social contact with friends and family helped people manage their stress better.

This shows that connecting with others isn’t just about emotional support. It can actually have tangible benefits on how our bodies handle stress.

So next time you’re feeling the pressure, remember this habit. Reach out to a friend or loved one. Share your worries, ask for advice, or even just have a chat about something totally unrelated to take your mind off things. 

9. Remembering the Good Stuff

When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s easy to forget about the things that are going right. But those who stay calm under pressure? They make a point to remember the good stuff.

I started doing this during a particularly tough period in my life. Every night before bed, I would write down three good things that happened that day.

Some days, it was as simple as getting a parking spot right in front of the grocery store. Other days, it was something bigger like a loved one’s good health report.

Doing this helped me shift my focus from the problems I was facing to the positive aspects of my life. It didn’t magically solve my problems, but it did help me handle them better.

By remembering the good stuff, I was able to keep my spirits up, even when things were tough. It reminded me that there’s always something to be grateful for.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by pressure, try this habit. Take a moment to think about the good things in your life. It can bring a sense of peace and help you stay calm amidst the chaos.

10. Taking Breaks

Nobody can go full steam ahead all the time. We’re not machines. We’re humans, with limits and needs. And one of those needs is rest.

Those who stay calm under pressure understand this. They know that it’s not about working harder, but working smarter. And part of working smarter is knowing when to take a break.

It’s easy to feel like taking a break is a sign of weakness or laziness, especially when there’s so much pressure to be constantly productive. But in reality, taking a break can make you more productive in the long run.

Taking time to rest and recharge is not just good for your body, but also for your mind. It gives you the chance to step back, clear your head, and come back with fresh eyes.

And there you have it – the 10 habits of people who stay calm under pressure. They’re not superhuman or immune to stress. They’re just regular folks who’ve made these habits a part of their lives.

Remember, staying calm under pressure isn’t about never feeling stressed or anxious. It’s about managing those feelings in a healthy way. And with these 10 habits in your toolkit, you’ll be well-equipped to do just that!