Calm people go to a happy place in their head
The project is due, but something has gone wrong. Your child’s ‘tude has been especially sassy today. Or maybe the grocery store clerk is just moving too. Darn. Slowly. No matter what the trigger for your stress is, Columbia University clinical psychologist Laura Markham, PhD, recommends summoning a memory that makes you feel calm, secure, and happy. This visualization technique allows stress and tension levels to drop immediately, and any pain you’re feeling in the moment to lessen so that you can stay calm and relaxed. The more you use this technique, the less stressed you’ll get. “As you practice thinking about your happy place again and again, unprocessed memory is now linked to the happy place,” says Markham. “Not only do they keep you from getting frazzled, but they keep you from getting as triggered as often.” Learn how to fix 10 sneaky sources of stress at work.
Calm people don’t work as much, but get more done
It turns out the relationship between work time and productiveness is not completely linear, according to The Economist. Data from the OECD shows that more productive workers spend less time at the office: While Greek workers spent over 2,000 hours a year at work on average, Germans only worked about 1,400 hours, and their productivity was 70 percent higher. Sometimes fewer work hours encourages you to produce higher-quality work. So if you’ve already put in a long day and there’s still more to do, it might be better to pick it back up the next day after some rest. Try these 36 tricks to reduce stress at work.
Calm people manage nerves by getting excited, rather than relaxed
Have you ever been told to “relax” prior to making a big speech, taking an exam, or performing in some other potentially stressful situation? While calming yourself is definitely a good first step, research from Harvard Business School shows that you may perform better if you reappraise your anxiety as excitement. In a study measuring students’ performance on a set of difficult math problems, students who were told to “try to get excited” rather than to remain calm scored significantly higher.