Submitted by ZuMa on
Hi to All,
Just the other day I realized I have to do something about my stress management. It is a very exact problem I am facing - when I am encountered with a very unexpected and stressful situation with another person my body reacts dramatically - my blood pressure shoots, my heart bumps, I am hot and worst of all I cannot speak - my voice breaks in a middle of a word / sentence and I do not have enough breath to finish. I have a very fresh memory just from the other day and do not want to experience it again with such an intensity, luckily I got upset on the phone so the other person couldn't see me breathless, but could hear it.
I would be grateful for some tips or techniques how to overcome or at least eliminate my uncontrollable reactions. It does not happen very often as I work in a very pleasant environment, just I do not want to remain unprepared.
Thank you all for your thoughts.
I think there is applicable advice I the Angry Boss podcast.
Breathe, slowly and a little longer
Delay the call/meeting
You mention this was an unexpected situation, so it sounds as if you were caught off-guard and unprepared.
You could write-down and rehearse saying a phrase for when you start to feel the warning signs of the stress coming upon you so that you can delay the conversation or meeting until you are ready.
For example "I don't have all the facts to hand about that situation right now, please could I call you back (or meet up with you) at xyz time/date to discuss this further?"
Also when you are on the phone and it is not possible to rearrange the call, you could always ask them to hold on for a moment while you get a relevant file in front of you. Use the short time you put them on hold to take a deep breath and think about what you want to say and how you could say it.
Your Brain At Work
I was just reading about effective measures to control unwanted emotions in this excellent book:
The short form is that you have 3 options to diffuse unwanted emotions:
Notice that "just try really really hard to make it go away" isn't one of the things that works, even though that's what most people try. There's a number of studies that they mention in the book and how terrible of a strategy that is. Just trying harder isn't going to work.