Peak Mind Pro: How to Stay Cool Under Pressure

11.17.23 06:48 PM By Peak Mind


magine a peaceful neighborhood. Your house is surrounded by those of your friends and family. You've got an elderly neighbor or two who you help out on occasion. You've also got the neighborhood busybody who oversteps polite decorum and the wily neighbor whose property is an eye sore. It's a wide mix of people all co-existing in various levels of harmony.

Then a house catches fire. It's a crisis, but the neighborhood bands together, working to contain the flames until the fire department arrives.

Whew. That was truly stressful.

Now imagine that EVERY house is on fire. At the same time. 

This is a completely different situation now. Your stress level is exponentially higher. What do you do? 

If you get too overwhelmed, you'll shut down, and if everyone does that, the whole neighborhood is going to burn. 

If you run from one fire to the next, frantically dousing water, you're going to get exhausted...and the fires will still rage because it's not an effective game plan.

Managing stress well while also effectively navigating your to do list are the keys to staying cool when everything's on fire. 

What a metaphor for the end of the year, right? 


Actionable Tips 

When you are surrounded by fires, you must:


1. Keep your cool.

You have to regulate your own stress response. When we get maxed out with stress, our thinking becomes impaired; it skews toward the negative and catastrophic. Sound decisions become hard to make, and creative problem-solving goes out the window. Calm your body and your brain so you can see things clearly. 

These tools can help you reset in tough moments. 


2. Know your priorities.

When you have a lot to do, it's important that you know which homes to prioritize and which to let burn, so to speak. The issue is that high stress makes everything seem urgent and important. 

As a team or organization, everyone needs to be on the same page about values and priorities. That way, when too many competing demands for time, attention, and energy hit at once, everyone can band together to be effective in handling them. 

Take the time to clarify and communicate your team's values.

Use a tool like the Priority Matrix to help sort tasks so you know where to focus your efforts. 

This post was inspired by our newest psych strength training session, How to Stay Cool When Everything's on Fire

In this actionable virtual or in person session, attendees learn how to manage stress and develop effective game plans based on shared values and priorities. They walk away with powerful tools that help immediately.

Reach out to us today to discuss whether this training or one of our others would be useful for your team. 


What people say about Peak Mind:

"Our experience with Peak Mind was ideal. We found their expertise coupled with their confidence and ease speaking publicly to be a perfect fit for our corporate wellness model...Our clients found the workshop to be helpful and useful." - Molly & Tamara, Founders of Food & Mood NYC


Additional Resources

The Building Psychological Strength podcast and blog is your go-to resource for actionable information and practical tips for creating a joyful, effective, and resilient life experience, at and outside of work.  


For more information related to managing stress and resilience, check out these articles:

Peak Mind Pro: Resilience at Work

Peak Mind Pro: Navigate Stress Without Being Stressed Out

Transforming Stress into a Positive Thing

6 Steps for Dealing with Overwhelm

Let's Stress Together: Social Support Protects Against Stress

Becoming Stress Proof


And these podcast episodes:

Cultivating Wellbeing Professionally and Personally

Combating Burnout When You're Tired as F*ck

Myth Busting Resilience

Recover from Stress More Effectively with Jenny Evans



"Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis."
- C.J. Redwine    


Dr. Ashley Smith photo

Written by Dr. Ashley Smith

Peak Mind Co-founder

Peak Mind

Peak Mind Co-founders Peak Mind: The Center for Psychological Strength