Not a member? VIEW PLANS

Practising Deliberate Calm in Times of Uncertainty

Health & Wellbeing

Uncertainty is the natural fear and risk surrounding what we don't or can't know.

The automatic part of our brain, also known as our subconscious, is divorced from our rational thought. This automation includes things like emotion regulation, hormone and neurochemical production, all of which cause us to behave and feel in certain ways in response to a stimulus.

The primary goal of our subconscious is to mitigate risk and keep us safe. You can imagine then that when we come across something unknown, that is why our initial response can sometimes be fear or avoidance. It is a very natural state of being.

Control before the Calm

Deliberate calm is recognising the role uncertainty plays and accepting how we naturally respond to stimuli but not letting it control us or be externalised in unhelpful ways. When we are in heated situations, everything starts to feel urgent, so we seek to damage control by reigning in whatever it is that we may have influence over.

When time is of the essence, this is an appropriate response, but that is not always the case. Sometimes the best thing to do is to stop, process and try to practice calmness. Someone who is deliberately calm realises that fear offers potentially valuable information and isn't unhinged by it.

So if our response is automatic, how can we learn to control it?

Developing Deliberate Calm


The first step is to pause, take time and consider the impact of your words and actions. Is there something you can adjust in your body language, tone or messaging that better communicates what you want to say without dredging up the emotion behind it?

Sometimes our emotions can come from a negative internal monologue, so try to pause, find out why that voice exists, what useful things it has to say, if any, and move forward with or without it in confidence, knowing it was either untrue and unfounded or that it was true but you now know how you can improve.

Be Prepared

Next is to be prepared. If you know a difficult conversation is coming up or a project roadblock is approaching, prepare yourself. Not only for what you might have to say but for what you might have to do to calm yourself. Look to techniques like short meditations or visualisations to invoke deliberate calm, or breath, an incredibly potent way of invoking calmness.

Don't continue to ask yourself 'what if for every possibility. Ask yourself what you will do 'if'. Set up a contingency plan if you feel as though it is necessary, even if you don't use it. It is like having a safety net to let yourself feel secure.

Think of the Worst Case Scenario

This is an extension of being prepared. The idea is to catastrophise and build it out deliberately. What are the real consequences for failure in that scenario? Generally, in the context of an office space, things will go on even if we suffer from failure. So is there anything you can do prior to help mitigate the damage of that worst-case scenario?

Inversely and just as likely, what is the best-case scenario? If you absolutely smashed expectations, how would you and those important to you feel? And even further, what would happen if you didn't participate at all? Looking at all this potential energy out there and realising that each has the capacity to manifest.

Go premium