Whether you’re an athlete, own your own company or just a dumb procrastinator, poise is a prerequisite to peak your performance. When you’re composed, sufficiently practiced and self-assured; strong enough to move mental mountains, you are poised for success.

Here are a few tips to help you keep you cool in stressful situations:

  1. Slow down

If possible, don’t react immediately. Instead, be patient and collect as much information as possible.

  1. Just Breathe

Just take a few deep breaths and focus fully on them to calm down a bit.

  1. Accept it

Allow yourself to say that you’re anxious or angry. When you label how you’re feeling and allow yourself to express it, the anxiety and anger you’re experiencing may decrease.

  1. Visualize yourself calm

By creating a mental picture of what it looks like to stay calm, you can refer back to that image when you’re anxious

  1. Change your focus

Leave the situation, look in another direction, watch a movie, walk out of the room, or go outside.

  1. Relax your body

Practicing progressive muscle relaxation can help you calm down and center yourself.

 

  1. Write it down

If you’re too angry or anxious to talk about it, grab a journal and write out your thoughts.

  1. Please EAT

If you’re hungry or not properly hydrated, many of these techniques won’t work. That’s why it’s important to slow down and get something to eat — even if it’s just a small snack.

 

  1. Stay positive

Let go of negative thoughts and refocus your mind on something positive, no matter how small.

 

  1. Develop a coping strategy

To better cope, develop a ritual you enjoy. Perhaps you’ll choose to meditate in the morning. Take regular walks or sign up for an exercise class. Short exercise can break can increase stamina.