How To Keep Your Composure In The Midst Of Chaos

Maintain Your Composure

Obstacles present themselves each day. We’re constantly presented with a choice either to maintain our emotional state or to become rattled. Whether it’s a traffic jam on the way to work, an employee that calls in sick, or a child that has broken your front window, two possibilities exist. Which do you routinely choose?

Try these tips for maintaining your composure in the midst of chaos:

  1. Be defiant. On some level, composure is the result of defiance. It’s the refusal to be intimidated or to view a temporary result as a failure.

  2. Take responsibility. Something powerful happens when you choose to take responsibility for a situation: you have the power to change things. When you have power, you’ll feel less stress and worry.

  3. Stay present. In times of turmoil, keep your attention on your current task. Keep your mind in the present moment. Keep your mind on your work, rather than on the possible negative outcomes. To stay present when your mind tries to wander, focus on your breathing and your senses. Make a mental list of the things you see, hear, smell, and feel.

Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.
— Shunryu Suzuki
  • You can only think about one thing at a time. Use that fact to your advantage. Negative thoughts about the future lead to anxiety.

  1. Focus on solutions. Unsuccessful people are masters at concentrating on their challenges and making them more intimidating than they really are. Keep your thoughts on the solutions.

  • This requires practice. The more you practice, the more adept you’ll become at this skill.

  1. Realize that becoming upset limits your options. Fear and anxiety limit your ability to see all of your options. The most elegant, and often simple, solutions will elude you. You’re at your best when in a state of equanimity.

Chaos is one type of obstacle. Use chaos as an opportunity to build your emotional resistance. You can control your thoughts and emotional response in every situation. Focus on maintaining your composure throughout the day.

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