If you’re in a suddenly stressful situation, freaking out is likely to make things worse. It can be hard to control, but staying calm, particularly if you’re in a position of leadership during the event, can make a huge difference.
From Ryan Holiday’s excellent book “The Daily Stoic“, he shares:
There is a maxim that Navy SEALs pass from officer to officer, person to person. In the midst of chaos, even in the fog of war, their battle-tested advice is this: “Calm is contagious.”
Especially when that calm is coming from the man or woman in charge. If the men begin to lose their wits, if the group is unsure of what to do next, it’s the leader’s job to do one thing: instill calm— not by force but by example.
If you’re stressing out, others are apt to follow suit in that regard too.
Walk, don’t run
It’s similar to a practice I learned years ago about dealing with emergencies indoors. If you need to hurry to the kitchen because your child is crying, a brisk walk is a much better idea than trying to run. Running will save you perhaps a second or two, but will greatly increase your chance of running into something or falling down, either of which could make the situation worse.
It’s one of the reasons that you don’t often see paramedics running. Beyond the danger of it, walking quickly will help maintain a sense of calm, which can help the entire situation.
Keeping calm in a tough situation is always a good move.