Hacks to Calm Down In Difficult and Stressful Situations

rachael-sullivan.jpg  Family lawyer for many years with a sole practice in family law.

  WWS contributor


Life can be stressful and overwhelming sometimes. But whether you are dealing with deep worry or workplace anxiety, there are coping techniques you can utilize.

Hacks to Calm Down In Difficult and Stressful Situations

Have you ever seen those individuals that never seem to lose their cool no matter how difficult the situation is? Ever wondered about their ability to keep so calm? 

You may be curious to know if they have particular skills or employ specific tactics to help them stay calm in difficult situations.

Well, we all have the ability not to overreact when times get tough. And there are specific things that can help you calm down, stay calm, and relax during a crises or in difficult times.

Let's look at some of them below.


Tips to Stay Calm in Crisis


1. Do Some Physical Exercises


For most people, exercises like running or spending time in the gym is a relaxing practice. When you expedite your energy, it becomes easy to calm down after exercise.

In the same way, yoga is a very popular way to bring calm in your life. By practicing yoga, you learn how to handle stress. It teaches you to enter a meditative state and disconnect from any situations that may interfere with your peace of mind.

So, besides physical exercises, try yoga when you’re feeling anxious and want to calm yourself down. You’ll learn and practice soothing breathing techniques that make you feel more calm.



2. Try Different “Calm Down” Activities


There are some really interesting calm down activities you can use when you start to feel stressed. They’ll help if you are mindful of what is going on around you and you are consciously focused on those activities instead of the things that are contributing to the stress. 

With the activities, you get to calm down without turning to alcohol or any other drugs. In as little as 120 seconds, you can be back to your usual self.  

Some of the helpful activities you can do the next time you start to feel anxious, worried, angry or stressed to calm down include:

  • Freeze. Yes, literally freeze like a block of ice. If anyone is watching you, they’ll probably think you're a bit crazy, but you need to assume the role. Stop doing everything, and just stay still for a moment. It can help you feel like you have stopped the stressful things and you can then think of a solution.
  • Concentrate on your index finger. Do this exercise for a minimum of 20 seconds. You’ll lose yourself in the ongoing examination and slow everything down so you are calmer. If you manage to achieve that concentration, everything else around you, including the stressors, will fade into the background – at least for a while so you can think of and start to plan a way out of the stressful situation.
  • Breathe deeply in and out before you react to a negative situation. It’ll force you to stay your hand and be a little calmer. Don’t act in the heat of the moment.
  • Be conscious of your surroundings. Again, focus on your current surrounding without any preconceived notions or discrimination, but with just the right amount of curiosity. Notice the trees, building, the sun and even the people in your surroundings. It can take your mind away from the troubling situation.
  • Take a minute to understand what is happening. When you start to get the feeling that your anxiety levels are going up, observe yourself like you are looking at someone else.  Focus on your heart rate and whether you are starting to show outward signs of stress, such as sweating. It can give you an indication of how high your anxiety is, and how much you will require to remain calm. The more you observe yourself, the more you will start to notice your reactions and behavior and that will start to give you back control. With more control of your behavior, you can start let go of the anxiety and calm down to stop the bad physiological reactions.


3. Surround yourself with positive people - friends and family.


Do you have a close friend, sibling, or another family member you are close with and can turn to when things get difficult? 

Such friends and family have this way of making you calm down by saying the right things and filling you with hope for better times to come. Go to them and just spend time with them to lift your spirit and calm down.

While some people would prefer to spend time on their own, for others, having someone around helps them relax.

Get to calm down with someone or even a child if that’s the best way for you to cope.



4. Take an Objective Look at the Situation


You may be contributing to your anxiety and angry feelings without being aware of it and what you are doing. Your attitude and outlook on life will determine how you react to a situation.

If someone insults you, for example, you can take an objective look at the situation and see if it’s worth getting vexed about it. If it is not, then you can decide to walk away without a fight.

Walking away from a tense situation is an excellent way to avoid aggravating the situation It’ll help you calm down even when you’re angry. Deciding to fight is giving in to your anger, which will eventually lead to more stress for you. 

Do the following instead of fighting with others all the time:

  • Understand that you do not need to react to everything. Sometimes not reacting at all is the best thing you could do in that particular situation.
  • Find out the full story and truth of the situation before you jump to any conclusions.
  • Take your time to carefully think about about your reactions, next course of action before you take any actions
  • Oftentimes, running away from weighty or troubling issues will only lead to more stress. So, once you have carefully thought about your next course of action, go ahead and confront the troubling situation calmly and look for an amicable resolution instead.
  • Understand that you cannot control other people’s behavior; you can only control your own. If you can solve issues amicably, understand what triggers you, and try to avoid it as much as possible, while accepting you can’t control how others behave despite your best intentions. That’s just how life is, so guard your own peace of mind steadfastly.


5. Set a Plan of Action


You may be in a high-stress job and happen to experience anxiety or frequent bouts of anger.  You may even be going through certain recurring tribulations, and you need a way to cope. It is possible to come up with coping strategies that will help you calm down during such times.

To calm down, you could try these tips:

  • Start a new hobby that allows you to distress at the end of the day.
  • Join a gym, yoga class or take up something you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe your passion is cooking, so you also could join a cookery class or meditation sessions to relieve some of the pent up stress.
  • Learn to view the world and situations more positively. An optimistic attitude is a wonderful way to not take things too seriously and to calm down. Whatever it is you decide, your plan should allow you to stay calm and bring you back to a relaxed state of mind.
  • Finally, get enough sleep every night. Sleeping better at night will allow you to wake up rejuvenated and with more energy to face the day and will give you the capacity to be more productive.



In conclusion


In our fast-paced and stressful world today, the ability to calm down in difficult situations is a vital skill that has a direct impact your mental and physical wellbeing.

While how you cope to situations depends on you as an individual, you can decide to react in a more positive, calm and measured way to the stressors all around you. You can take control of your behavior and how you handle situations.

Consciously choosing to stay calm even in tough situations requires deliberate effort, and the result of which are totally worthwhile. When someone makes you angry, your first thought may be to respond aggressively. But the best action for your own peace of mind and wellbeing could be to just walk away and not react aggressively at all.

Do you have some calm down techniques you’d like to share with us? Leave a comment with your tips on how you cope with stressful situations in the comments section below.

Rachael Sullivan is a family lawyer for many years with a sole practice in family law. She met her husband on Dating Rating and now she enjoys sharing healthy tips for relationships so that it can be as easy and happy as possible because words are powerful and can change everything.