De-StressedGood things come to those who work hard. Is this a statement that you agree with? If yes, this might be the reason why you are not consumed by stress and anxiety. Of course, we are all faced with hardships at some point or another. However, those who believe in good things come to those who work hard are more likely, especially in negotiation or mediation, to overcome it than let it consume them.

Tim Judge, University of Florida psychologist, has studied people who feel like they are empowered and in control of their future; he has discovered that those people perform better on important work tasks. The reason the Empowered perform better is because they do not let anxiety intimidate them in stressful situations. As a mediator or negotiator, it is important to have the ability to manage your emotions and keep calm in stressful situations. In addition, when empowered people make mistakes, they bounce back and give it another try in a different, more effective, way.

Travis Bradberry, in his article, “How Successful People Beat Stress,” has offered some advice on how to overcome stress and anxiety:

  • Expect the Unexpected. When a situation takes a turn for the worse, there are two ways to deal with it: let it affect you negatively or let it affect you positively. In mediation or negotiation, the outcome can never be certain from the beginning. The Empowered are positively affected when a negative situation occurs because they are adaptable to change and can always see the “light at the end of the tunnel”.
  • Focus on What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t. In other words, don’t focus on things that are out of your control. If, in mediation or negotiation, the opposing party is not being flexible with a shared decision, try being more understanding of why. The only thing in your control in a stressful situation is how you respond to it. When the opposing party doesn’t do what you had originally anticipated, consider it an opportunity to create change, rather than failure. Focus on the positive.
  • Avoid Negative Self-Talk. The more you dwell on negative thoughts, the more power you are giving to them. Instead of thinking negatively, try thinking about what positive outcomes you would like to achieve from a mediation or negotiation. Give more power to positivity, instead of negativity.
  • Express Gratitude. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis found that people who expressed gratitude daily improved their mood, energy and had significantly lower levels of anxiety. The simple act of expressing gratitude gives you a more positive outlook on everyday experiences, which will make someone more likely to respond to a stressful situation in a more positive manner.

In mediations or negotiations, which tend to be stressful situations, it can be easy to overwhelm yourself with stress and anxiety; it may even limit your performance. However, anticipating for the unexpected can greatly decrease levels of anxiety. For example, you can write down a list of things that you think may go awry and then think of positive ways to respond to that situation. Anticipating things that are out of your control will better prepare you to adapt to any changes that may occur, instead of consume you with negativity.