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NigeriaDecides2015 has come and gone; winners have been announced, losers have conceded, but one person most Nigerians will not forget is Professor Attahiru Jega. Aside his role as the umpire, many have come to see him as calmness personified because of the way he handled the televised tantrums of Elder G. Orubebe at the final collation and announcement of presidential election results. I am not talking about Nigeria’s election today and most of us will not be faced with Professor Jega’s type of situation, but everyday situations such as job interviews, public speaking, and family emergencies can be every bit as stressful, if we are not accustomed to dealing with them. But when we learn how to remain calm in times of stress, we would not only experience immediate smoothing inner peace; we would also over time, lead a healthier and happier life. So here are 4 tips to help you stay calm in stressful situations:   1. IDENTIFY THE CAUSE If you want to end any kind of stress or stressful situation with calmness, you need to identify the cause. Identifying the cause will help you decide whether it is something you can easily shake off and let go immediately, or something you need to face head-on. Some of us just react to anything and everything, but remember, we are trying to stay calm. Don’t give immediate response or reaction to every stressful situation, give yourself a few minutes to identify the cause of stress, and analyze it, before you determine your response.   2. CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE Most times, you’re powerless to change the source of your stress; you have the power to choose how you’ll respond appropriately to it, after determining the cause. For example, if it rains on your wedding day, it will be pointless to throw tantrums or to shout at everyone, since you cannot possibly change the source of your stress. So when you are faced with situations that are beyond your immediate control, just find a way to let it go. Yes, it sounds easy, and doing it might be harder, but people have devised different ways of “letting go” for the moment at least. Some people inhale deeply through the nose, count from ten to one in their minds, and then exhale slowly through their mouth, then repeat the breathing pattern until they have been able to calm themselves down. Some other people take their minds off that stressful situation; they think happy thoughts such as their kids, spouse or any other thing/person that brings them happiness, while some simply find a way to move away from the cause of stress if they can.   3. THE BIG PICTURE Sometimes, when your stress levels are skyrocketing, all you need to do is take a deep breath, and ask yourself, will this matter to me next week, next month, or next year? Certain times, we lose our cool based on something that would simply have gone away, if we had given it a little time. Many of us react to things that we have absolutely no control over and things that will eventually go away without hurting us one bit. We simply need to look at the big picture and stop agonizing over things that would not matter the very next minute/day.   4. BE REALISTIC, LEARN PATIENCE Realize that no one is perfect, so demanding perfection from yourself or anyone for that matter will only stress you out the more. I am not saying you should be mediocre, but you can adjust your expectations. Focus on what needs to be done and what you can do, as panicking and over-reacting can only make matters worse. Also learn and practice patience by looking out for methods that work for you. You can practice meditation, or write your thoughts and worries in a diary. This way, you can process them privately and effectively; getting them out of your mind and off your chest. Lastly, avoid swearing and shouting. Though many people think that shouting or swearing calms them down because it releases bottled up anger, swearing actually only works you up more; you would think you feel better but really, all you’ve done is encouraged a destructive habit.       About the author: Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at and tweets @Chrisbamidele.

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This article was first published on 16th April 2015


Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at and tweets @Chrisbamidele.

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