When calling 9-1-1 to report an emergency, the first thing you should do, according to this article here, is “Stay calm.” It goes on to say, “It’s important to take a deep breath and not get excited.”
I’ll try to remember that when I’m in the kind of situation that makes me want to dial 9-1-1 in the first place.
Unless you’ve undergone extensive military training on how to suppress the physical symptoms of stress under high pressure conditions, those instructions from above are probably inconsistent with everything your body and brain instinctively tells you to do when in an emergency situation.
In fact, if you have the ability and audacity to stay calm while the people around you are stressing out, many will probably look at you as if you’re clueless or careless.
So why stay calm? Why breathe deeply? Why relax, of all times, while trapped in the middle of an urgent problem?
Because a calm and creative mind is more effective at problem-solving than a rash and reactive mind.
After all, if things really are going bad, you don’t need an academy award for how dramatic you can act. You need results.
Self-control (which is not the same as suppressing your feelings, denying your problems, or lying to yourself) puts you in an optimal state for creating the results you need.
When you maintain composure, you can think clearly, communicate concisely, and act consciously.
Freaking out might be a good way to bring a lot of attention to yourself, but it doesn’t necessarily make it easy for others to help you.
Sometimes, when things are going wrong, the best way to show you care is by pulling yourself together and taking a good old-fashioned chill pill.
As Bruce Lee taught his students, “slow down to go faster.”