THE INC. LIFE

3 Ingredients to Cope Well with Any Crisis

No one can control unexpected events, but you can control how you respond to them

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BY Jared Carl Millan - 04 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Everybody reacts differently to stressors: some people function well — or especially well — under strenuous circumstances. Some people get choked up, unable to think clearly or act in a productive way. Meanwhile, other people turn into a different kind of person entirely.

Entrepreneurs are no stranger to stressful environments — in fact, it is even an essential component in their daily lives. While we recommend neither seeking nor cultivating such environments in your life, it is essential that you be able to know how to function under such circumstances.

After all, being able to keep your cool during a crisis is a mark of greatness. Here are what you need to help you handle all kinds of crisis in your life:

Emotional intelligence

In your line of work, you will encounter people whose personalities may clash with your own. You may enter into a disagreement with your boss, or handle a particularly annoying client. Sooner or later, such situations will happen, and it is during these times that you must exhibit what is called “emotional intelligence.”

Emotional intelligence or EQ is one’s ability to interact well with other people’s feelings, sympathize with them, and more importantly, understand them. EQ allows you to recognize your own emotions and process them in a constructive way. More importantly, your EQ allows you to build bonds with other people.

So how do you strengthen your EQ?

In an Inc. story, Justin Bariso says, “Take some time to sit down and reflect on your own use of emotions…By first identifying your own emotions and reactions, you become more mindful and start the process of building control.”

A safe haven

Stressful situations take a toll on everyone — both physically and mentally. The way through the challenge, sometimes, is not to charge straight at it but to escape. That’s right, knowing when to retreat is just as important.

Whether it is a friend, a hobby, or a physical location — everyone needs to have for themselves a safe haven in which they can simply relax, unburdened by the outside world.

In a Muse story, Elizabeth Lowman suggests, “Taking a few minutes to peruse a favorite website can give you a great mental escape. So if you need to calm down after a particularly anger-inducing morning, troll through your Pinterest feed, check out the latest Anthropologie sale, or get in a couple rounds of Angry Birds at lunch. Taking that short break to distract yourself or focus on something that makes you happy can ease your stress and help you to return to work in a better mood.”

Preparation

Now, this one is tricky, because there’s no way you can predict when things will start going down the drain. Moreover, there is no use in anticipating a catastrophe at every turn, whether it’s in your professional or personal life; it’s not healthy

However, being prepared for the worst-case scenarios and having a keen sense of their warning signs can give you an advantage like no other.

Preparation means being aware of the facts, weighing the pros and cons of a particular situation.

Being prepared doesn’t mean you must become a pessimist. On the contrary, being prepared is simply acknowledging that bad things can happen so that you can solve the problem, and come out of the situation as a better person.

In an Inc. story, Brenda Barbosa says, “We can't control the weather or other unexpected events, but we can control how we respond to those events.

“By making the necessary preparations, staying informed and doing what's needed to keep safe, you'll feel empowered and on top of things. And that helps keep fear and anxiety at bay.”