Brainfood: Your Route to the Top - Facing a Predicament

Acknowledge your strengths. Have you been here before? You've probably dealt with something similar, perhaps even worse. Remembering how you coped in the past will give you the confidence to do it again.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Take a deep breath. Breathing has been scientifically proven to relieve symptoms of stress. Breathe in, right down into your diaphragm, then breathe out slowly. Repeat this and you will move to a calmer state.

Let off steam. Take time to vent. Find a supportive friend or trusted colleague and get it off your chest. Once you're done you'll feel stronger and ready for action.

Identify the problem. Hunt down the root cause of your feelings and deal with it. Don't fight unnecessary battles.

Get it down on paper. When we are at boiling point, we can be flooded by emotion. Writing about how you feel is a cathartic exercise and will help you to get things in perspective.

Stop worrying. Decide what you can do about the situation you're in and what is outside your control. Focus on areas you can influence and come to terms with the rest.

Take the long-term view. Remember that nothing lasts for ever. If you keep reminding yourself that the current situation will, for certain, come to an end, you'll be less likely to do something rash and reckless.

Take small steps. If you can't see the route to resolution, break it down and tackle it one small step at a time. Keep going and the solution will eventually emerge.

Make a decision and get on with it. If you take action it will distract you from worrying, give a sense of progress towards resolving the crisis and help you feel in control - all of which will lead to increased calmness.

'The Mind Gym: Wake your mind up', published by Time Warner Books (£12.99) is available in all good bookshops.

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