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How to stay calm & composed when you want to freak out

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I don’t write much about myself because this motivational blog focuses on you and your way to a better life.
But today, I’d like to tell you a personal story to show you how you can stay calm and composed more often.

Most people feel stressed. Some even live with chronic stress, always feeling terrible about their work, their finances, the economy, their relationships…And the list goes on.

I’d like to offer you a new perspective to handle your stress. Let’s see if this can help you.

Am I going to miss my flight?

A few years back I sat on a bus from Galway to Dublin to fly back to Switzerland.

It’s about a 2h30 hour drive. So, I got up in the middle of the freezing November night to take an early bus with enough buffer time to not get stressed at the airport.

I didn’t eat anything and didn’t take any snacks with me either since I wanted to buy a nice breakfast at the airport.

I had seen some delicious-looking sandwiches on the day I arrived and really wanted to try one.

Long story short, even this early in the morning, my bus ran into some serious traffic jams.

And as time went by, we got closer and closer to my departure time.
I was still sitting on this bus, stuck somewhere far from the airport, and it started to seem like I’d miss my flight.

Don’t stress over things you can’t control

Here is the crucial part: I didn’t freak out. I didn’t even stress a little bit.
I stayed completely calm and composed.

As I sat there, it was clear that I couldn’t do anything at that moment.
I could physically feel the calmness come over me. This shift in perspective was like an epiphany.

It was crystal clear to me that the bus wouldn’t go any faster, no matter if I was calm or freaking out.

And just so you know: It’s not like there was nothing at stake here.
I was in Ireland on a personal trip and had to work the next day.

There was no other flight that day. It’s not like missing my plane didn’t matter.

But again, things were out of my control while I was on this bus.

And so I didn’t even check the time. I simply listened to my playlist and looked out the rainy window.
I stayed calm and composed and just waited patiently until we got to the airport.

I only checked the time once we got to the airport.
The second the bus doors opened, I jumped out of the bus and started running with my carry-on trolley.

It didn’t seem likely, but there might still be a chance that I could catch that flight. My gate was very far and I had to run through the whole terminal.

And if you remember, I got up very early and hadn’t eaten anything.

Running through the airport

I got through airport security (which had only short waiting lines) and started running again. 2 or 3 times my carry-on trolley bumped into other people’s luggage.

My legs hurt. My lungs hurt. I was sweaty and slowly started to feel dizzy. When I finally got to my gate, it was completely deserted.

There was no one there except for one last airline passenger officer who was sorting paperwork.

She kindly checked me in and I could board my plane. I dropped in my seat, looking and feeling like a complete mess from all the running.
And the plane took off shortly after.

Stay calm and composed

Never once during this whole ordeal did I stress about missing my flight. It actually surprised me just how calm and composed I was.

But my philosophy was this: I will either catch my flight so there’s no need to stress right now.
Or I will not catch my flight, in which case there’s also no need to stress right now.

If I missed it, it would be a “what’s done is done” situation and I would deal with it then.

Calm and composed

Of course, I would do anything in my power to still catch that flight. Like running through the airport like a crazy person although I was exhausted and hungry.

But while I was sitting on that bus, things were out of my control. Even while I was running through the airport, things were out of my control.

I was already late. Chances were I was running for nothing.
I ran “just in case”. It’s not like I didn’t care if I missed my flight.

I definitely didn’t want to miss my flight! I just kept calm and composed about the situation and didn’t stress out about potential outcomes I couldn’t control.

I ran because running was required. I didn’t yell at anyone, didn’t get upset about people in my way, and I was completely composed on the inside.

Watch your stress levels go down

Think about it: if you give it everything you’ve got and it still doesn’t work out, you don’t need to feel bad.
You know that you tried. You know that you gave it your best.

You don’t have any control over anything else. And so, if you don’t get what you want even though you truly tried, it’s not your fault.

And some things are simply not doable. Sometimes you just have too much on your plate.

Control your stress and don't overcharge your to-do-list

You may be putting put too much pressure on yourself or someone else is breathing down your neck.

If you have a to-do list that’s completely crammed and just looking at it freaks you out, it’s time to make a change.

You can keep calm and composed, too

The only impact stress has is to make everything worse. Because you feel terrible and maybe you can’t even think straight.

If you make mistakes because you feel stressed, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

So, I hope that my airport nightmare can help you stay calm and composed more often, too. Since my epiphany that day, everything has changed.

I hardly ever get stressed because I can either do something about the situation or I can’t. In both cases, stressing out doesn’t change the outcome.

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

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