Be it personal or profesional, be prepared. If you are taking a trip, take a map, we've all been there relying on the satnav. Have an alternate route and familiarise yourself with it. Don't wait for the traffic announcement and wish you had. The actual hold-up could only be a few minutes, your stress response, hours.
If it's profesional, be sure to have procedures in place. Ensure you have a memeber of staff or colleague, that can fill in when somebody calls in sick, or help when you need help. Have access to equipment to complete the job being undertaken, in case the equipment you are using fails.
It's all about contigency plans, the event will probably not take place, negate the stress before it's onset.
Write it down.
With preparation, hopefully you've nailed it, there is always the time when that won't be enough. Stop what you are doing, get a pad and draw it out, or write it down. If you have a team, ask them to do the same. Discuss what you've put down on paper, as a collective move forward. It takes the pressure off eveyone, including yourself.
With the travelling scenario, stop and look at the map, be sure you know where you are and where you're going.
Panicking and getting stressed, will only lead to the situation worsening and more difficult to resolve. Slow your breathing and breath deeply through your abdominal area, concentrate on it, centering yourself. Take a step back from the situation, focus on similar situations you've dealt with previously. Take a break, go for a walk getting some fresh air, clear your mind and re-address the situation.
Have confidence in yourself, in your ability, ustilise the experience and intuition you have. Concentrate on using the abundance of knowledge you have gained; you've done this before. Ask for help if you haven't, it shows confidence and your level of stress will be greatly diminished. If the circumstances are different, apply learned knowledge from a similar situation, to this one.
Being overly stressed, leads to indecisiveness, which is extremely unhelpful. Think about things, plan, carryout the steps of the plan. Don't become distracted, or de-railed from it. This can happen, due to your thoughts, or somebody else's thoughts influencingyour progress. Change you decision when you've reached a logical point, do you think it's working or not?
Negativity is the enemy, positivity, makes you feel like you are in control of a situation, boosting your confidence. You can get through the situation; you've done it before, The desired result will be reached, negotiating any obstacles in your way. Remember, the important thing here, tackle the obstacles as they've been realised, not before.
Maintaining a level of fitness helps dramatically. Situations are easier to handle when you are in a healthy place physically and mentally. We've mentioned the effect of exercise on the brain, body and mind already. A healthy work/life balance, allowing yourself time to exercise, relax, have fun and getting away from your stressors, will help in achieving this.
Take a step back from the situation, look at it from the outside, in. There is a possibility things aren't as bad as they seem to be, the problem might have been exagerated. Talk to people involved, gather as much information as possible and make decisions based on that information. You should also attempt to put the situation in context, how much impact will it have on your life.
Check your posture, are you bent over your desk? Straighten your back, maximise the amount of space your lungs have, to expand and contract.
Plan and implement it, don't keep going over it. You will calm down and the people around you will calm down, the situation becomes diluted. You can now act on it as it happen, you are no longer thinking about it.
Ask for help.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help, it's a great resource if it's available. Most of us like to complete the task ourselves, sometimes soldiering on with a problem, causes more stress than having to admit to someone you require help. You are wasting precious time, not thinking straight and getting nowhere.