Those feelings of anger or anxiety are creeping up on you. You are “seeing red.” You feel like you are going to explode. What do you do? How can you calm yourself down fast and effectively?
Count to 10 – Sometimes the secret is simply changing your focus. Counting to 10 does that. If you are actively focusing on counting, counting slowly, then you can disengage from whatever is getting you all hot and bothered. Then when you are ready you can reassess and think more clearly.
Smell Something Nice – You might think I am joking but there is a lot of research around essential oils and soothing scents, like lavender or jasmine. Consider carrying a scent in your bag or wearing a scented bracelet and turn to it in moments of stress.
Touch – Touch can be a calming thing. You can always turn to a significant other, a friend, or a child and ask for a hug, or rub up against a pet. Or, if that is not available, or not desirable, then turn to yourself. Rub your hands together for a few seconds. You will be surprised how calming it can be.
Move – Movement is a powerful thing. Getting your heart rate up for a few minutes is healthy. Getting out of situations by taking a walk, or walking up and down the stairs, releases stress. It allows you to burn off steam, regain calm, and refocus.
Breathe – Focus on your breath. Take a few minutes, close your eyes, breathe in and breathe out. Focus on the inhale, getting it as deep as you can, and focus on your exhale, getting it all out. Let it go.
Write It Down – Sometimes it just helps to get it all on paper. It helps to organize your thoughts and put things into perspective.
Guided Meditation – There are so many apps and YouTube videos with guided meditation. They are at your fingertips. Find five minutes and use them.
Practice Mindfulness – Sometimes it is as simple as taking a moment to look around. What is really happening in the moment?
Calming down can be extremely difficult when we are overwhelmed, but give yourself some compassion. You are human. You are entitled to your feelings. You are strong. You will get through. It is all going to be ok.