How to Keep Your Cool at a Kill-Me-Now Work Meeting

5pm meetings, meetings about a meetings...These tips will help you stay calm through any annoying work powwow -- so you don't do anything that will get you fired

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have experienced work-related stress. Maybe you have regular meetings or colleagues or clients who cause you stress, or maybe the stress comes on unexpectedly. Regardless of the circumstances, using stress management tools can have a real impact on how effectively you respond in a difficult situation. Here are three tips for better stress management:  

 

Breathe!

Inhale deeply from your abdomen and exhale slowly from your mouth, letting the tension go with your breath. Breathing this way provides rich oxygen to your brain for better memory recall, and to your body for greater energy. Deep breathing will help you to respond in the best way possible.  

Release tension with your hands

When you inhale, ball up your hands into tight fists. Exhale slowly and loosen your hands, stretching them out. Practice this technique with your hands in your lap and under the table to keep it subtle.  

Drink some water

Though you might think you need a margarita, drinking water will actually do the trick by helping you to calm yourself. It’s a simple way to keep your cool, and it also helps you to pause and avoid saying something without thinking it through.

 

These simple tools can help you to stay in the present and be responsive, as opposed to getting all fired up and negatively anticipating how the rest of the meeting will go. Remember to remain calm, breathe deeply and take your time before responding. Your good example may even inspire others to do the same!

Jane Ehrman, M.Ed, CHES is a Mind-Body Coach at the Cleveland Clinic.

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