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5 Ways to Keep Your Cool

5 Ways to Keep Your Cool

Photo by Dawnzy58, Flickr.com

Jay Cataldo | Excelle

Tip #3: Get up and move your body

As you’re breathing deeply and repeating your mantra, pacing around for a minute or so will help dissipate the remaining emotional strain. If you’re in the office when disaster strikes, don’t hesitate to walk outside and do a few laps around the building.

Tip #4: If you reach critical mass, use forceful movements to expel the emotions

If you’re unable to stop yourself from slipping into a full-blown rage, then you need to disperse that energy ASAP. The easiest thing to do is to pick up your swivel chair and toss it across the room. But if you’re worried about your job security, you may be interested in a safer and less messy alternative.

When red hot fury overtakes me, I immediately run to the nearest bed or couch, bring my hands up over my head and smash them down like a sledge hammer. As my hands make contact, I make sure to force out a “Haaaah!” as if I were a black belt attempting a world record in brick breaking. Repeat this at least five times, feeling free to sprinkle in the profanities of your choice.

While it may seem a bit silly, this forceful movement acts as an incredible release and is much more effective than trying to strangle your teddy bear. This, along with the vocalization, helps force the rage out of your body as opposed to letting it ramp your cortisol levels through the roof. Not to mention, you get to pretend like you’re Xena the Warrior Princess, which is always a plus.

Note: If you don’t want your coworkers to flee in terror as you pummel inanimate objects, you can make the same movement while locked safely away in a bathroom stall. Put your fists straight up in the air, whip them down in an arc and end with your arms between your legs (you should look like you’re trying to touch your toes). Repeat this at least five times and then take a few deep breaths. This will give you the same benefit as karate-chopping the table in the conference room.

Tip #5: If all else fails, cry your eyes out

Crying is the body’s way of releasing stress chemicals and is extremely therapeutic, so don’t be afraid to turn on the waterworks. In the middle of a stressful workday, one of my good friends runs right to the gym on her lunch-break so she can cry in the shower for ten minutes. She swears that her “shower crying” is the only thing keeping her sane and her coworkers out of the ER.

If you use this sequence each time you start to flip out, you’ll actually be training your brain to react calmly to stressful situations. This means that, from now on, you’ll be less likely to reach the red zone and terrorize small children with your mere presence unless, of course, they happen to take a peak underneath your bathroom stall. ;-)

Until next week,
Jay Cataldo

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