Pam Stevens - The Reluctant Courier

How to Stay Calm in an Emergency

Sandy, for the life of her, could not have anticipated the depth of the pitfall she’d tumble into when she crossed paths with the “waitress incognito” – who later becomes her friend, Barbara. While the odds of encountering an undercover agent in real life are slim (fingers crossed), it’s wise to stay ready for emergencies.

In unexpected situations, many tend to panic and imagine the worst-case scenarios.

Picture this: your boss calls out of the blue, and suddenly, you’re convinced you’ve messed up and are on the verge of getting axed. That’s a guaranteed recipe for unnecessary chaos. Staying composed and taking the required steps during emergencies is crucial. But how can you manage that if you’re in the midst of a full-blown panic attack? Or something similar?

Below are some strategies to maintain composure during life’s tough moments. These techniques can empower you to navigate various challenges with confidence:

1.   Hold Your Horses:

Pause before responding: avoid the urge to react impulsively. Stay composed and inquire within: Will this matter in a year’s time? Often, the gravity of the situation may be less significant than perceived. While that was not the case with Sandi, as her situation was quite stressful, adopting this perspective can temper your emotions, enhancing your capacity to make sound judgments and choices amidst adversity.

2.   Stay Calm

Panic attacks often stem from misinterpreting harmless bodily sensations during stressful moments. This misinterpretation triggers the “fight-or-flight” response, intensifying symptoms like rapid heart rate and muscle tension. This heightened fear feeds into a cycle, leading to a full-blown panic attack. Some people do not experience a panic attack but do encounter anxiety and a restlessness that makes them act without thinking.

Breaking this cycle involves recognizing these sensations as harmless despite feeling uncomfortable. The more composed you’re in an emergency, the better. Do not get overwhelmed.

3.   Talk To Yourself

Experiencing anxiety or anger often involves entertaining irrational thoughts, frequently centered on worst-case scenarios, perpetuating a cycle of “what ifs” and self-sabotage.

When faced with such thoughts in an emergency, it’s helpful to pause and talk to yourself. Ask:

  • How likely is this event going to happen?
  • Is this thought rational?
  • Have I encountered this before?
  • Can I handle the worst outcome?

After pondering these questions, reframe your perspective. Instead of dwelling on catastrophic scenarios, remind yourself of the reality – the consequences your actions, or inaction, may yield.

4.   Make Yourself Believe You Are Calm

The best way to remain calm is to trick yourself into becoming calm or making yourself believe you are calm. Do the breathing exercises in order to put this advice into practice. After taking a few deep breaths, close your eyes and picture a calm version of yourself.

Put your body in a relaxed condition and imagine yourself handling tense or anxiety-provoking situations with poise and focus. When you visualize yourself in a calm state, you can refer back to it when you’re feeling nervous.

5.   Find a Focus Point

When feeling anxious or angry, a significant amount of energy is consumed by irrational thoughts. When in a state of calmness, identify an object like a keychain, a pen kept in your pocket, or maybe a piece of jewelry you often wear.

Intentionally tell yourself that you’ll reach for this object during moments of anxiety or frustration. Doing so grounds you and aids in quieting your mind. For instance, if you’re feeling stressed in class, draw gentle strokes on paper with a pencil.


Staying calm in emergencies is more important than you think. Take deep breaths, focus on what you can control, and make a plan. Remember, panicking doesn’t help anyone. Stay positive, stay cool, and you’ll get through it. Keep practicing staying calm, and it’ll become second nature when emergencies strike. Stay safe!

Here’s another way to stay calm! Get yourself a copy of The Reluctant Courier. Even when you encounter a panic-stricken Sandra on every page (sorry not sorry), the writing will get you the calm you need.

The Reluctant Courier is out now! Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other leading publishing platforms.