Stop Drop and Roll: How To Stay Cool in a Crisis

Keeping calm in the face of a crisis is no easy task. A crisis, by definition, is stressful. Have you ever wondered how some people seem to keep their heads screwed on straight no matter which situation they’re facing? We wondered the same thing! It seems that there are some people on this planet that remain calm no matter what. Some people may call them unemotional; we choose to call them rational.

Stop, drop and roll may work in a fire but what if you are faced with a gun-wielding stranger demanding your wallet? Different crises call for different reactions!

Stop and Think

When faced with an emergency, it is quite normal to throw yourself into a fit. We suggest doing just the opposite. Rather than screaming at the top of your lungs, force yourself to remain calm. Not only will you alter your emotional state but you will avoid curious stares from onlookers.

Once you have stood your ground, inhale through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Let your exhale last for five to seven slow beats. Breathing in this manner will lower your blood pressure and gradually decrease your racing pulse.

When your breathing is under control and you have slowed your heart rate you will be better able to think with your head rather than your instinct. Rationalize the situation and weigh your options. Remember that it is hard to behave rationally when your brain is in full flight mode.


Now that you’ve weighed your options, it may be time to move. If you’re facing a situation that you can’t talk your way out of, do what you need to do to see another day. For instance, if you are, indeed, faced with a gun-wielding maniac, the smart move would be to give him what he wants. If, however, you are facing a missed deadline at work, you have other avenues to explore such as taking responsibility or blaming your cubicle mate for the mistake.

Make a Plan

Many people find that they are better able to react rationally in a crisis situation when they have a plan. Obviously, planning for every bad thing that may happen to you is impossible but you can plan for major crises quite instantly. For example:

Car Accidents: prepare an emergency car kit for your vehicle that includes things like jumper cables, extra clothing, flares, bottled water, a few granola bars and a flashlight.

Fire: make an emergency evacuation plan for your family and hold fire drills every three months.

Muggers: we just wanted to throw this one in. Either take a great self-defense class or plan on giving up your wallet.

The web is a great place to find information on all manner of emergency situations that you may find yourself in. Search for a while and you’ll come up with many more ways in which you can prepare for an eventual crisis. You’ll find, in your search, that it is often suggested that you are always aware of your surroundings. If you are directionally challenged, there are a few sites to add to your mobile device’s list of favorites: Google Maps, Citysearch, and USAcops are all great sites to have fast access to. Keep this in mind: a crisis is only a crisis when we make it one. Think about it.

Tina Sanchez is a corporate trainer who also writes for the Aviva Directory, a website search advisor with lists of sites from dieting tools to self help guidance. You can search by state, such as South Dakota or by categories, like online revenue.

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