12 Super Quick Ways to Calm Down
Updated: Sep 18, 2019
We all face situations that put us in a tizzy, make our blood pressure rise, push stress levels up, or make us panic. The next time you find yourself in one of these situations, just follow one or a combination of these simple steps that will make your stress levels dip down and pave the way to a calmer you.
1. The 2-minute Calming Quick Fix
To calm down in under two minutes, try diaphragmatic breathing. It’s a quick relaxation technique. Start by breathing in through your nose on a slow count of three. Push your stomach out as you breathe in. Breathe out through your mouth on a slow count of six. Repeat a few times.
2. Take time off from a heated situation
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow,” says an ancient Chinese proverb. It’s normal to have arguments with your spouse, parents, friends or co-workers. What matters is how you handle these moments of conflict. How do you stay calm when the other person is pressing your emotional buttons? Firstly, disengage! Excuse yourself by telling the other person you will be back or need some time alone. Step out of the room, hang up the phone, shower, watch TV, put on your earphones and listen to your favorite song, or go for a walk. Allow some time for both of you to cool down and reflect. Then talk calmly and resolve your differences.
3. Always look at the glass as half full
Train your mind to focus on the good stuff, and remember there is always some of that in everyone’s life. Cliché as it sounds, look at people who have lesser than you. For example, just the fact that you’re reading already makes you luckier than the millions who can’t read or are visually impaired! Count your blessings, no matter how small they may seem.
4. "What's the worst that could happen?"
Ask yourself this question. It will make you see things in a different light. Also, when you force yourself to face the worst, you may realize your situation is not as bad as you thought. It may give you a new perspective and the objectivity to plan for the worst-case scenario. This will stop the “worst” from being “terrible.” You can also ask yourself how this will impact you, or be important to you a month, year or 5 years from now.
5. Move your body
When you are in a stressful situation, shrug your shoulders, gently rotate your neck and roll your shoulders in a back-to-front motion to release stress. Or starting from your head, relax all your body parts. Loosen your muscles all the way down to your toes. And integrate exercise in your daily routine.
6. Carry your “soother”
Always keep a picture that makes you feel calm. It can be an image of God, nature or someone you love and feel safe with. Whenever you feel anxious, look at this image and say a positive affirmation. It could be something like, "Life can sometimes gets crazy, but this too will pass. I can handle it."
7. Avoid people who add to your stress
Surround yourself with people who like, value and care for you. Avoid people who are overly judgmental, negative or whiney. And when you can’t avoid them, work on changing your reaction towards them. Be conscious of when they start to push your buttons and move away from conversations that wind you up.
8. Sing and dance
Music and dancing are both amazing stress busters and a great way to calm down. So, keep you “happy songs” handy. If you have some private space or are in your car, sing along loudly. Or listen to soothing, calming music. And whenever you can, dance! Do it with abandon, like no one is watching. In the words of Osho, “Let the dancer become the dance.” You'll be amazed at how good it makes you feel.
9. Take time to relax, meditate, or pray
Find a place where you can be relax, be alone and focus on yourself. Make time to step aside from stressful events, to assess them with clarity and gentleness. Also make meditation a part of your daily routine. Chose a technique that best suits your personality. And whenever you can, pray. To God, the Higher Power or simply to Mother Nature.
10. Cuddle up with a furry friend
Animals, especially cats and dogs, are great stress busters. They give you unconditional love, devotion and commitment, and you can actually talk to them without fear of judgment. They also greatly reduce stress and anxiety levels, and soothe your nerves.
11. Distract yourself
When you find yourself really stressed out, try to immerse yourself in an activity that will distract you. Read a good book, catch a movie, tend to the plants, or take a nice, long shower, play a game on your phone, solve a puzzle or indulge in a hobby. Paint, cook, or play. Do anything that keeps your mind occupied in a positive way. Even two minutes of an activity that requires your full concentration can break the cycle of stress and panic.
12. Eat Calming Foods
Certain foods actually help us calm down. Like oats stimulate feel-good hormones that helps you relax. Salmon decreases adrenaline and hormones associated with anxiety. Chickpeas help regulate moods. While grapefruits help cope with bad nerves. You can also sip a dark hot cocoa to ease anxiety and boost your mood. Or grap a cuppa chamomile tea to gently wipe away your worries.
Finally, whichever methods you decide to embrace, always remember the wise words of the Dalai Lama, “No matter how difficult the situation may become, as long as we maintain a calm mind the situation will not be a problem for us.”