How to Keep Calm When Things Go Wrong


No-one goes through life without hitting problems, upsets and sometimes the odd crisis as well. It’s only to be expected that you’ll have to deal with situations and events that go wrong, but you can have a big influence on the effects of these problems if you learn how to stay calm. You won’t know for sure how you’d cope with a disaster if you were unfortunate enough to be involved in one, but people generally hope they would be able to help. Whether the problem is large or small, there are some general strategies to follow to avoid making a mountain out of a molehill.

Assessing the situation

Before you start panicking and imagining the worst, have a proper look at what’s happened, and see if there is a simple solution. For example, say you arrive home to discover some kind of blockage that means you can’t flush after visiting the bathroom. It would be easy to start imagining drains backing up, the toilet bowl overflowing and water damage to your home. None of these thoughts will help you, so if you find yourself starting to think about what might happen, bring your focus back to the situation as it is. If you have a look online, you’ll find plenty of helpful tips on what to do when the toilet wont flush. Most of the time the solutions are straightforward and easy to sort out yourself. If you don’t want to risk tackling a problem yourself, or you know you lack the skills, call a professional in straightaway, explaining what has happened. If you need to do anything while you’re waiting, they will let you know, but otherwise you can relax.

How to stay calm

It’s often the case that people cope with big problems and serious difficulties quite well, but something relatively small can cause a meltdown. Emotions are generally not very helpful when you’re trying to deal with a problem, so if you feel you are going to be overwhelmed by your feelings, try to divert your attention for a moment, and practise some deep breathing exercises. Focusing on your breathing for a minute or two will calm you down and put you back in control. Learning to use breathing exercises is a valuable skill that will come in handy in a variety of situations. Feeling nervous before a pageant, or stressed about your role, can all be helped by focusing on the breath. Slowing the rate of respiration while simultaneously increasing the amount of oxygen going into your lungs helps you both physically and mentally.

It can be a very satisfying feeling, knowing you handled a problem effectively or kept your cool during a crisis. It’s good for your self-esteem, and will make the whole experience far less stressful. Whether it’s a domestic problem like a blocked toilet or a broken washing machine, or a crucial event in your life like an audition or competition, the ability to keep calm will stand you in good stead.