Try to avoid self deprecation when you find yourself in a tough spot,or one which you wish you weren’t in. When you are betting three streets with top set and then your opponent jams the river when the flush hits, as much as you want to scream and yell and throw a fit, don’t do it. Don’t feel sorry for yourself or bemoan your bad luck. Don’t even think about things like that. Focus on how to make the best decision from that point forward. The cards cannot be controlled, so focus on things which you can especially control, like your thought process. If you find yourself uncontrollably thinking about things you know you shouldn’t be when you have a decision to make, try to make a conscious effort to stop. It’s easier than you think to train your mind to be calm at the poker table. You need to convince yourself that it is wrong to tilt, it is wrong to get flustered when you are in a tough spot, and it is wrong to get mad about something you cannot control.
The more poker you play, the easier these inner dialogues will become because you will begin to figure out the important questions in each situation. You will also be less shocked and angry when you are facing a brutal decision because it has happened fifty times before that. It can be easy to think about what you would do in a situation on paper, but being able to think about it when it’s actually happening is harder. The best solution for that is to simply be prepared.