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How Mentally Strong People Survive Stressful Situations Without Emotional Breakdowns

How Mentally Strong People Survive Stressful Situations Without Emotional Breakdowns

Have you ever had an emotional breakdown?

I had. It was about two years ago. At this time I worked in a job I absolutely hated and I accidentally deleted a document that I worked on for more than five hours when it happened.

The moment I deleted the file, my hands started to shake, I sweated all over my body and the only thing that I wanted to do was to cry and to throw my freaking laptop out of the window. The only reason why my boss didn’t call the ambulance was because I was able to hold back my tears until I was on the toilet.

In case you think that five wasted hours are not a reason for a meltdown, you are already mentally stronger than I have been at this time. If you, however, understand the pain I felt, you most likely don’t handle stressful situations the way mentally strong people handle them.

Don’t worry. I had to read countless personal development books until I was finally able to survive stressful situations without bruises, strokes and heart attacks. After reading all those books and studying psychology at the university, I realized that mentally strong people who have no problem with stressful situations have ten things in common.

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They don’t see things worse than they are

Whereas people who are very bad at handling stressful situations regard every problem as a reason why the world could end tomorrow, mentally strong people don’t make a problem bigger than it is. I am sure you know those people who freak out as soon something doesn’t work the way they want.

A person who is good at handling stressful situations would never see things worse than they are. A certain dose of realism is way better than too much pessimism.

They are better at accepting reality

The biggest problem that I had when I had my emotional breakdown was that I was still in denial about what happened. I refused to accept the fact that five hours of work got flushed down the toilet by clicking on the wrong button.

If I would have simply accepted what happened, I would have been able to move on within seconds, instead of regretting what I did for the next couple of hours.

They know that stress can be positive

During my psychology studies, I learned that stress can be an extremely positive state of mind. The big problem is that people who can’t deal with stressful situations interpret every indication of stress as a negative condition that should be avoided at all cost, without seeing its benefits.

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Mentally strong people know that stress can be a huge motivating power that can lead to more motivation and a higher level of success. If I wouldn’t put myself under stress by setting a deadline for this article, you wouldn’t be able to read this now.

They interpret stressful situations as opportunities to learn

For most people, stressful situations are a pain in the ass. They fear them, they try to avoid them and they try to put an end to the stress as soon as it arises. This behavior is great if you don’t want to leave your comfort zone, but it is terrible if you want to grow and learn.

The reason why you end up being in a stressful situation is most likely attributed to a mistake you made. A mentally strong person knows that the situation in which he maneuvered himself into offers a great opportunity to learn from mistakes, and to grow as a person as well.

They enjoy the process of becoming stress-resilient

In the same way as you become more confident around men or women, the more of them that you approach, the more likely you are to become more stress-resilient, and the more stressful situations you survive.

Whereas a mentally weak person is afraid to go through this hellish process, a mentally strong person knows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that makes him more resilient for the next stressful situation he has to face.

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They use techniques to calm their minds

What do people who are bad at handling stressful situations do when they are faced with one? They freak out, they break down and they cry for their mothers.

What do mentally strong people do in the same situation? They meditate. The reason why some people can deal with stressful situations and others can’t has nothing to do with God-given powers or a genetic predisposition.

They simply have tools and techniques, such as meditation or autogenic training, that help them to cope with situations that other people can’t cope with.

They are not too proud to search for advice

Sometimes the reason for stress is your inability to handle a situation on your own. And do you know what? That’s absolutely fine. We all reach points in our lives where we need help from other people.

Unfortunately, some people are too stubborn and too proud to ask others for help. Thank God there are also people who know that it is easier to deal with a stressful situation if you master it together.

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They know the difference between real problems and ego problems

When I think back to the day when I had my emotional breakdown I have to admit that I wasn’t faced with a real problem. Yes, my document was gone forever and I had worked for five hours without any reward, but was that really such a big problem?

Nobody except me knew it and I was sure that my boss would never fire me because of such a little mistake. The only reason why I suffered so much was because my ego was hurt. While most people think that a stressful situation is a huge problem, mentally strong people detect when it’s only their ego that is a bit hurt.

They are able to read the symptoms

Prevention is better than cure and the reason why mentally strong people can prevent stressful situations from happening is because they can read the symptoms. You need a certain mental and emotional strength in order to develop a high awareness for the signs your body sends out.

You can handle stressful situations way better if you rethink the way you do things as soon as your heart starts to race and your hands start to shake.

They learned to control their emotions

The most important skill that allows mentally strong people to survive stressful situations without emotional breakdowns is that they learned to control their emotions. A lot of people are victims to their own emotion who have no clue how to control them.

If you can learn how to control your emotions, the next stressful situation you will face will feel like a walk in the park.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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