Astronaut’s Guide to Navigating Stress

In this video from Big Think, astronaut Chris Hadfield explains how to manage your reaction when stress hits.

An essential part of astronaut training is navigating uncertainty and risk. Having worked as an astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Chris Hadfield has firsthand experience negotiating acutely stressful situations.

In this video for BigThink, he shares his toolbox of practices for expertly managing stress.

1) Understand what scares you

While blasting toward the unknown, Chris Hadfield explains that astronauts have to prepare for what’s to come. Unshakable bravery is essential, which means understanding your fears is crucial.

What’s Hadfield’s biggest fear? “When I think I’m at risk for something, but I don’t know what to do,” he says

“The best antidote for stress is competence,” says Hadfield.

Astronauts handle fear of the unknown by training and getting familiar with all the dangers and risks they may encounter. Then they practice responding to those threats over and over again so that instead of being nervous or stressed, they’re ready.

“The best antidote for stress is competence,” says Hadfield.

2) Use your stress as a cue to prepare

Hadfield suggests that we should all pay close attention to where (and how) stress surfaces for us.

For many people, Hadfield included, stress often…