How to remain calm and composed under pressure

Regardless of your profession, many people around the world have felt under pressure at one time or another. Yet, somehow great leaders always seem to remain calm during situations that make others fall to pieces.

Conventional wisdom says that the ability to remain calm is a character trait that most of us lack. However, it’s one that any of us can learn.

American philosopher and psychologist William James once said, “the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

So how do you stay calm when you’ve got a huge deadline approaching or a big presentation in front of a crowd? Take a deep breath. In this lesson by Noa Kageyama and Pen-Pen Chen, with animation by Olesya Shchukina, TED-Ed shows us why people choke under pressure, and what you can do to avoid it.

If you’re looking for further reading on persevering under pressure, TED-Ed recommends The Boys in the Boat; which you can download as a free audio book under its nonprofit mission.


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