|1. Stop and breathe. Stop what you are doing, breathe deeply with intention and purpose. Keep focusing on your breathing. In and out. When you keep your attention to your breathing you prevent a full take over by the amygdala (panic, black out, sweating, …). You outsmart it because it’s not possible to think at two things at the same time. Keep returning to your breathing when your amygdala tries to take over.
2. Observe the situation. When you feel yourself getting over emotional (flight, freeze or fight situations) start observing the situation. Become a neutral outsider. Look at yourself and the person/audience who is triggering your reaction, from a certain distance. This keeps you out of a downward emotional spiral. In the beginning this is a tremendous difficult exercise. If you aren’t able to do so during the event, take the time to do it afterwards. Replay what happened in your head. Relive the emotions that were involved but this time try to stay out of them by observing. It’s like watching a movie on a big screen. Remember, although you play the starring role, you are not in the movie, you are merely watching it.
3. Say what is going on. Don’t be afraid to tell how you feel or what your are experiencing. Right there, when it’s happening, in the moment. People who dare to say exactly what is going on, are perceived as very powerful. It makes you human. By saying, you clear the tension, for yourself and the others. Humour is also a great tool to help neutralize a situation with hijack potential. See the funny side and understand that everyone makes mistakes.