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How to Stay Cool in a Crisis

Don’t add to chaos, add to its resolution.

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1. Breathe deeply. Panic leads to hyperventilation leads to panic. Slow down. Inhale through your nose and exhale out your mouth. Deep breathing slows the heart rate and brings more oxygen to the brain, allowing for better thinking.

2. Keep a clear head. Focus on the facts, not your feelings. Take stock of your situation, catalog the threats to your safety, and come up with a plan to mitigate them.

3. Stay positive. Studies show that those who remain optimistic are far more likely to survive, so don’t waste brainpower with catastrophic thinking. Instead, channel that energy into positive self-talk or use a mantra to keep your thoughts in check.

4. Stay present. Avoid abstract catastrophic thinking by focusing on the concrete tasks at hand. If you feel your mind slipping into negativity, take a deep breath, and return to your work.