Take a tip from the pros on how to cope under pressure

Everyone has to deal with stressful situations in life, some of us are just much better at handling the pressure. If you tend to lose focus and panic in a crisis, thinking like a fighter pilot could help you keep your cool when the pressure is on.

Remember that Southwest Airlines flight when an engine exploded and a passenger died? Captain Tammie Jo Shults did the opposite of freaking out when faced with the midair crisis. When asked about her response, she credited her training as a Navy fighter pilot. Thanks to that and her extensive experience, she stayed calm and fully in control to land the plane safely.

Most of us don’t have to deal with these life or death situations, but psychiatrist Dr. Samantha Boardman suggests using a bit of that fighter pilot training could help us all work better under pressure. They’re trained to follow OODA in a stressful situation: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. This gives them a clear-cut strategy and it’s based on information, not emotion.

So next time you feel that panic spiral start to kick in, try observing what’s happening around you, orienting yourself with what’s most important, deciding on a plan of action, then acting on it. We might not be landing a plane full of passengers, but it could still help us not freak out.

Source: Marie Claire

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