Rachel Kelly
Writer, Mental Health Campaigner, Public Speaker

Key Ways to Stay Calm and Well During Highly Stressed Times

Joel Curtis is a registered Psychologist with Endeavour Wellness and has over 17 years of experience. Joel holds a Masters’ Degree in Psychology from Western Sydney University. Joel owns a number of private practices in Sydney and provides expert content for several national TV and Radio programmes.

Here Joel shares ways to help you stay calm and well during highly stressful times.

Each day we are faced with vari­ous chal­lenges. Some we are em­otional­ly and physical­ly equip­ped to han­dle, while other are out of our com­fort zone. Un­ex­pected situa­tions, high stake exams, in­ter­views, and tests are all a part of our daily routine, but still, they make us feel stres­sed and wor­ried.

From small to big, every per­son ex­peri­ences a lot of is­sues daily. These anti­cipated and un­an­ticipated situa­tions may re­sult in a lot of stress, frustra­tion, an­xiety, anger, and fear. To be suc­cess­ful and happy, you should know how to deal with such events and stay calm. The key here to acknow­ledge how you feel, and why you feel it – is natur­al. Only once you ac­cept your situa­tion then you can work on al­leviat­ing the feel­ing.

When faced with stress, one feels that the weight of the whole world has fall­en on his or her should­er. Here are some ways which can help you stay calm and take con­trol in high­ly stres­sed times:

1. Trust your­self

A suc­cess­ful per­son al­ways makes a plan be­forehand and then sticks to it no matt­er what hurdles they have to face. It re­quires a lot of brave­ry to stand by your plans, so, be con­fident for what is in your mind and try to ac­hieve it. Don’t be af­raid of mak­ing mis­takes be­cause you learn from the mis­takes.

2. Stay Positive

Wil­liam James says, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ab­il­ity to choose one thought over an­oth­er.” If you have some stress­ful thoughts in your mind, try to think of some­th­ing positive that has hap­pened in your life. Con­sid­er your hurdles as op­por­tunit­ies. When you’re suc­cess­ful in di­vert­ing your at­ten­tion to think of some­th­ing positive, it will re­focus your at­ten­tion and help to calm you.

3. Plan Ahead

We are un­aware of the com­ing hurdles in life but we have to plan be­forehand. We know what sort of pro­blems we can face so, we should make plans ac­cording­ly. Take into con­sidera­tion the re­sults of your plans. Plan ahead by using the fol­low­ing strategy, “If X hap­pens, I will do Y.”

4. Take Con­trol

If th­ings are not going on the right path and ac­cord­ing to plans, don’t con­sid­er your­self as a vic­tim. Avoid over-thinking or else it will add to your stress. We know that we can­not con­trol what is to happ­en, howev­er, we can con­trol how we re­spond and react to it.

5. Daily Jour­nal­ing

Writ­ing the negative thoughts on a piece of paper can less­en the stress in the mind. You can write at any time of the day but the best time is be­fore an im­por­tant event or while you’re feel­ing stres­sed. A com­mon prac­tice, writ­ing twen­ty minutes in the even­ing about an­yth­ing that is up­sett­ing you, has pro­v­en to be ef­fective in al­leviat­ing stress and an­xiety.

6. Stay Physical­ly Ac­tiv­ity

Ex­erc­ise is a way to re­lieve your stress. Ex­erc­ise gives phys­ical fit­ness to your body and re­sults in pro­vid­ing your body with the en­er­gy which is help­ful in sooth­ing the ner­ves and balanc­ing the mind. When a per­son is stres­sed, they’re in a fight and flight mode, which makes them an­xi­ous and jit­te­ry. Ex­er­cis­ing or being physical­ly ac­tive dis­pels the extra en­er­gy, help­ing you calm your ner­ves.

  • Exercise results in the release of the brains feel good neurotransmitters known as endorphins
  • Exercise improves the mood
  • Motion provides meditation to a stressful brain

7. Count Backwards

If you’re stres­sed and your em­o­tions are out of con­trol, the best thing you can do is to take a break and start co­unt­ing backward from 10. It will give you a break and makes you able to rea­l­ize that the issue is not that big to con­sid­er and every pro­blem has a sol­u­tion.

8. Focus on Breath­ing

An­xiety, stress, and feel­ings of frustra­tion make us hy­per­ventilate. In­abil­ity to take in en­ough oxyg­en re­sults in feel­ings of lig­htheaded­ness. To avoid feel­ing light headed, take deep breaths to con­trol your breath­ing. This prac­tice is also re­com­mended by psyc­holog­ists to less­en the ef­fects of an­xiety. Keep on tak­ing long breaths until you feel re­laxed. It’s a kind of medita­tion.

9. Ident­ify The Stres­sor

Try to ident­ify the rea­son of your stress­ful con­di­tion and work on eliminat­ing the is­sues out of your life. Once you have iden­tified the cause of your stress and an­xiety you can start work­ing on it by your­self or seek pro­fes­sion­al help to learn to cope with it ef­fective­ly. Howev­er, the first step is al­ways to ident­ify your stres­sor and find a way to deal with it.


Apply the above End­eavour Well­ness sug­ges­tions in your life to fight your way out of li­v­ing a stress­ful and an­xi­ous life. You have the power to con­trol your sur­round­ings and how you react to them and it be­gins with gain­ing con­trol over your own em­o­tions.