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5 Mental Habits of People Who Thrive Under Pressure

Dr. Beau A. Nelson, DBH, LCSWSome people seem to deal with difficult situations better than others.

Maybe they’re the only one in the room who keeps a cool head when everyone else gets upset, or the person who seems able to focus on solutions rather than getting mired in the problems. Sometimes they’re the people we go to in a crisis: We trust them to give us wise and level-headed advice when we most need it.What’s different about these people? Are they super-human? What about them allows them to succeed in times of stress and even thrive under pressure?One answer might be personality—and to be sure, personality can affect a person’s stress response—but mindset matters a lot. Some ways of thinking in dealing with an unexpected situation or crisis are more helpful than others.

We know this to be true from studies in the field of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Certain “cognitive distortions” can reduce the ability to cope in pressured situations. In direct contrast, these five mental habits tend to describe people who thrive under pressure.Staying present in the moment – Rather than getting caught up in the fear of the moment or projecting a negative outcome, people who thrive under pressure can be present with the task at hand.

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