stay calm
You know that guy or gal in your office running around like a crazy person with a Bluetooth in his or her ear and a stack of documents in hand? This individual may appear important — there’s nothing like a frantic disposition to make you look like a mover and a shaker — but as it turns out, top-tier businesspeople are actually very calm. That’s according to Jessica Stillman of Inc., who’s written a great piece for the Daily Muse titled “5 Ways the Most Successful People Stay Incredibly Calm.”

Stillman’s piece draws on a TalentSmart study recently featured on LinkedIn. According to TalentSmart’s data, frazzled workers are getting it all wrong.

“TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control,” says TalentSmart president Travis Bradberry.

How do you do it? Relax, take a deep breath, and read the following five tips.

1. Show Some Gratitude — It’s OK to be a striver, Bradberry says, but it’s also important to be grateful for what you have. It will boost your mood by stifling the stress hormone cortisol, he says, and it’ll make you a more patient, more highly skilled decision maker.

2. Unplug! — If you’re constantly tied to your phone or computer, you’re bound to feel overwhelmed. Unplug, disconnect, and decompress — even if it’s only for an hour a day.

3. Get Some Rest — There has been no shortage of studies about the importance of sleep, and Bradberry is a firm believer. “I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels,” he says.

4. Think Positive — Once you get caught up in negative thoughts — believing you don’t measure up somehow — it’s easy to spiral. According to Bradberry, when this starts to happen, you should take a second and write down all of those negative thoughts. You’ll stop their momentum and emerge more rational.

5. Breathe Deep — Since inhaling and exhaling are things we do every second of every day, this should be easy, right? While some people may be scared off by the idea of “meditating,” all it requires, Bradberry says, is taking a couple of minutes and focusing on breathing. You’ll find yourself more present in the moment, and you’ll train that crazy brain of yours to tackle one thing at a time.

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