3 ways to calm down quickly

3 ways to calm down quickly
3 ways to calm down quickly

You have probably already found yourself in a situation where emotions take precedence over events. This feeling of overcoming overwhelms you and suffering, despair, a wind of panic, anger or even fear gradually win you over. Unfortunately, these feelings very often cause difficulties which can be translated at best into simple discomfort, at worst by real blockages. Faced with these strong and intense emotions, knowing how to calm down quickly remains possible by following these few avenues that you are going to discover now.


Method 1 of 3: Use immediate techniques to calm down

Calm Down Quickly Step 1

Step 1. Immediately stop what you are doing

Stop the situation that is causing these negative emotions to rise and you will adopt one of the best ways to calm down. Concretely, interrupt the discussion with the person responsible for your tensions by specifying that you need to take a break. If you are accompanied, politely apologize to those who are not involved. You will move away from the stage in order to come to your senses and understand the reasons for your nervousness.

Calm Down Quickly Step 2

Step 2. Focus on how you feel again

When you feel nervous, anxious, furious, an attack or flight reaction will be triggered. Your sympathetic nervous system will activate certain hormones including adrenaline. This hormone will increase your heart rate, speed up your breathing, contract your muscles, and compress your blood vessels. Take a break away from the area of ​​tension and focus on how you are feeling. This action will allow you to keep the situation under control and will decrease the automatic process that will take place as a result of this tension.

  • This automatic physical reaction occurs when your brain is stimulated by a situation such as stress. The brain activates mechanisms created by these stimuli. Studies have shown that it is possible to interrupt the process by redirecting your attention to your feelings. You will thus stop the immediate natural process by creating new reflexes.
  • Don't judge yourself harshly, just be aware of how you feel. For example, if you were really angry with what the other person was talking to, your heart rate will probably have increased and you will feel a few hot flashes in your face. Be aware of these physical manifestations, but do not view them as good or bad.
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Step 3. Breathe

When stress affects your sympathetic nervous system, the first step is to breathe in order to calm yourself down. Take deep breaths and focus on them. You will reap a lot of benefits from it. Your oxygen will return to a normal level, regulate the flow of your brain and decrease the lactic acid circulating in the blood. This technique will help you calm down and you will be more relaxed.

  • Do diaphragmatic breathing, not thoracic breathing. If you place your hand on your abdomen, just under your ribs, you should feel your belly expand on the inhale and return to the starting position on the exhale.
  • Sit or stand, always straight, or lie on your back to open your chest. Placement of the body too relaxed, such as curled up, will prevent deep breathing. Inhale gently through your nose for a count of 10, your lungs and stomach will expand with air. Breathe out calmly through your nose or mouth. Repeat these deep breaths 6 to 10 times, they will have a purifying effect throughout your body.
  • Pay attention to the rhythm of your breathing. Avoid any distractions and worries that you may be feeling right now. If you cannot concentrate, count in your head or repeat a word or phrase during this phase of breathing.
  • Imagine, as you breathe in, a beautiful golden light representing love and tolerance. Feel this heat rushing through your lungs and moving towards your heart, then reaching your whole body. As you breathe out, imagine this stress coming out of your body and you will free yourself from this weight. Perform this release technique 3 or 4 times.
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Step 4. Release your muscles

When stress and other negative emotions arise, muscle tension sets in. You can feel like a ball of nerve. The progressive muscle relaxation technique or Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), developed by an American doctor, Edmund Jacobson, can allow you to release tension. This method triggers the relaxation process by focusing your attention on a first group of muscles, then a second, and so on. While this visualization requires a little practice, it works effectively on stress and all forms of anxiety.

  • You will find free guides online describing and implementing this approach, in the form of short videos of a few minutes.
  • Sit in a quiet and comfortable place and prefer soft, subdued light.
  • Lie down or sit comfortably. Instead, wear loose clothing.
  • Start by focusing on one part of your body. You could start with your toes or forehead and focus your attention on the muscles in that part.
  • Contract every muscle in that area as much as possible. If you have chosen to start your session with your head, raise your eyebrows, imagining enlarging the space between them and your eyes, which are themselves wide open. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then release. Close your eyes until they are slightly ajar. Hold for 5 seconds, then release.
  • Change muscle zone and continue this alternation of muscle contraction and relaxation. For example, purse your lips firmly for 5 seconds, then release. Continue smiling and hold for 5 seconds, then release.
  • Continue by moving from one muscle area to another area of ​​your body, such as the neck, shoulders, chest, arms, stomach, buttocks, thighs, legs, feet, and toes.
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Step 5. Find something to distract yourself from

Look for distractions, if you can, to avoid getting locked into your negative emotions. If you mainly think about what is upsetting you, you risk replaying the event in your head and not being able to get out of this spiral. This behavior will inevitably lead to anxiety and depression. Even so, distractions are a short-term solution, but they will help you get out of the stressful situation and help you calm down. You will more easily come to your senses in order to resolve the situation more easily.

  • Chat with your friends. Bond with people you care about and you'll find it easier to get over your annoyances. You will feel more relaxed. Studies have shown that a rat without contact with its congeners will more easily develop an ulcer than another rat living in a group.
  • Watch a comedy movie or mainstream TV show. “Secret story” for example is watched by viewers who, for some of them, wish to distract themselves with lighter situations in order to forget their worries. Avoid dark, sarcastic humor that could make you more worried.
  • Play soothing music. Select songs that are about 70 beats per minute. Classical music or "New Age" are musical genres in which you will find this calming rhythm. Anger and faster rhythms increase anxiety states.
  • Look at images that will give you dynamism. Humans are biologically sensitive to images showing young animals such as puppies, infants or even very young children. Stop on pictures or videos of adorable kittens, then a chemical phenomenon will occur and bring a feeling of happiness.
  • Reproduce the same behavior as a dog shaking himself right after a dip in water. Shaking your whole body vigorously somehow reprograms you and triggers new sensations.
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Step 6. Adopt self-relaxing behaviors

Know how to use calming reflexes and you will be able to reduce your stress or anxiety. This practice directs your attention to these relaxing actions that produce well-being.

  • Take a hot bath or a hot shower. Scientists have demonstrated the relaxing effect of heat on our body for a large majority of people.
  • Use relaxing essential oils like lavender or chamomile.
  • Have fun with your pet. Take care of your dog or cat and you will feel a relaxing effect while lowering your blood pressure.
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Step 7. Give and receive hugs as often as possible

A person who is the object of physical attentions of tenderness and love will manufacture oxytoxin, a hormone capable of combating anxiety and stress. This hormone will promote good mood. From the simple caress received from others, to the act of love, through warm physical contact, all these gestures will produce this well-being. Take care of yourself by practicing self-massage or by caressing yourself and you will also act on your anxieties of all kinds.

  • Place your hands above your head. Feel the warmth radiating from the surface of the skin and pay attention to your heartbeat. Breathe slowly and evenly. Concentrate on the movements of your chest as you inhale and exhale.
  • Hug yourself. Hug each other with a firm hugging of your arms above each other, your hands almost touching behind your back. This pressure of the arms and hands will produce heat and promote appeasement.
  • Take your face in your hands. Use your fingertips to massage your jaw muscles or those around your eyes. Then run your hands through your hair to perform a hair massage.

Method 2 of 3: Take it a step further for a long-term effect

Calm Down Quickly Step 8

Step 1. Control your eating habits

The body and the mind are intimately linked. An action on one will have consequences on the other. Food is the best example.

  • Cut down on caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that should be taken in moderation. Excessive consumption will make you more nervous and anxious.
  • Eat foods rich in protein. Proteins act as fuel. You will feel more energetic over time by consuming a minimum amount that will keep your blood sugar at the right level. Protein intakes from poultry and fish should be favored.
  • The complex carbohydrates in the fibers have an action on your brain since they will make it possible to produce serotonin, a hormone that promotes relaxation. Consider eating whole grain bread and pasta, brown rice, beans and lentils, vegetables and fruit.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of sugar and fat. You might feel more stressed and you will have a harder time dealing with the annoyances of everyday life.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant which will initially put you in a relaxed position. However, it promotes the onset of depressive symptoms and can make you nervous. Your sleep cycle will be disrupted and you will become irritable.
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Step 2. Exercise

Physical exercise produces endorphins, a natural chemical phenomenon causing a feeling of well-being. You don't have to become a bodybuilder to experience these calming effects. Studies have shown that moderate practice like walking or gardening can make you more relaxed, happier, and more relaxed.

Combine meditation and gentle exercises like Tai Chi and Yoga, you will get positive effects on anxiety and depression in particular. These practices decrease pain and increase the feeling of well-being

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Step 3. Practice meditation

Meditation is a very ancient oriental practice. Scientific studies have also demonstrated the relaxing effects and the feeling of well-being derived from this practice. Meditation facilitates your brain's connections with outside stimuli. You may encounter several variations, but "mindfulness" meditation remains the most well-known practice.

You don't have to leave your home to learn to meditate. There are guided meditations available for download in MP3 format such as David Servan-Schreiber's

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Step 4. Find out why you are feeling upset

The elements of stress suffered on a daily basis are often unconsciously. In many situations, a major stressful event is not the cause of the discomfort, but rather small difficulties which, adding to each other over time, make you irritable.

  • Try to differentiate between your primary and secondary emotions. For example, if you have to join a friend at the movies and they ultimately don't show up, you will probably feel hurt. This reaction will be qualified as a primary emotion. You might then feel frustration, disappointment, or anger. You are then in the phase of secondary emotions. Identify the source of your feelings and you will come to understand why you are reacting this way.
  • Very often several feelings come over you at the same time, at the same time. Take every sensation you feel and name it. Once you have named your emotion, it will be easier for you to process it.
  • The annoyance arises most of the time because of events not going in the desired direction, as if there is only one possible way. However, you cannot control all situations and steer them systematically in the direction you want.
  • Don't judge these emotions. Identify them and try to understand them.
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Step 5. Avoid awkward situations as much as possible

Of course, you will not be able to eliminate all the events that are intense in negative emotions. Confronting them is part of human nature. However, if you manage to reduce or even eliminate stressors, you will live more serenely.

  • Try to turn the problematic situation in your favor. For example, if you are worried about being stuck in traffic during rush hour, look for alternative solutions, such as leaving your workplace later or earlier.
  • Look for the bright side of the situation. Accept to take advantage of an apparently negative situation. This will give you the energy to continue and you will feel more peaceful. Instead of suffering, turn the situation in your favor, then use it in the future.
  • If people around you are upset, try to take it into account and find out why. Analyze what is bothering you. Do you feel the same as those around you? Understanding the reasons for these negative behaviors can help you avoid having the same feelings. Remember this: we are all human beings with our good days and bad.
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Step 6. Express your feelings

Any emotion should not be viewed as unwanted, including anger. On the other hand, the behavior to avoid would be to repress and not accept them, instead of trying to understand them.

  • Admit your emotions without being in the dark, feeling sorry for yourself, being angry or even accusing those around you. Rather accept that as a human being you are influenced by your emotions. Let your feelings speak without judgment. Act on these emotions by analyzing the causes.
  • Once these emotions are admitted, look for answers. For example, your anger will be quite understandable if your work on an important project has not been given due recognition or if your partner has been unfaithful to you. However, it is up to you to choose whether you prefer to let your anger explode or rather use techniques that allow you to quickly regain your calm and control your emotions.
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Step 7. Spend time with people who soothe you

Studies have shown that an individual can easily transfer their emotions to others. Thus, anxious people can communicate their negative feelings to you. On the contrary, rather calm and serene relationships will rub off on you.

Seek out the contact of people supporting you. Do not stay isolated or judge yourself too harshly, as you may increase your feelings of stress

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Step 8. Consult a professional

Don't wait for the problem to get worse before consulting, as a number of people do. A therapist is able to intervene upstream to teach you how to deal with your anxiety and stress. Your life will be even more enjoyable.

Many structures have services that take care of these disorders. Get in touch with medico-social establishments, hospitals, clinics, therapeutic institutes, support groups or professionals working in private practice

Method 3 of 3: Manage critical situations

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Step 1. Use the “STOPP-ing” method

This easy-to-remember English acronym will help you keep calm in many circumstances. This method is broken down into 5 steps.

  • "Stop" to "stop" your immediate reaction. When faced with recurring situations, you react the same way, systematically, and it becomes very difficult to get out of these automatic thoughts. Often times, they are harmful to your emotional balance. Stop what you are doing and wait a while before acting again.
  • "Take" for "take" a deep breath. You will use the technique of deep breaths developed above. These few breaths will allow you to stay calm and you will feel better afterwards.
  • "Observe" to "observe" what is happening. Ask yourself and focus on the situation. What reactions do you see and what impacts do you feel on your body?
  • "Pull back" to "get out" of this situation. Imagine a large photo in front of you and observe it. From simple observation of the facts, do your thoughts seem to be consistent with this objective unfolding or are emotions taking over? Is there another way to perceive events? How do the other actors on the scene react to your reactions? How do you want those around you to react? Does it really matter?
  • "Practice" for "apply" what works. Analyze the consequences of your actions for others and for you. Which method works best? Adopt what will help you the most.
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Step 2. Be sure to consider primarily what concerns you

It is common, but wrongly, to take full responsibility for events. This behavior inexorably leads to anger and annoyance, as it is almost impossible to control everyone's reactions. However, you can control your own reactions.

  • For example, imagine that your co-worker, known for his excessive behavior, starts yelling at you about some problem. This situation remains difficult to accept and upsets you. Either you act automatically and probably violently, or you mark a time of pause favorable to the reflection on the real situation in order to evacuate the emotional dimension.
  • If you react automatically, you might sound like, “Joe is really mad at me, but what can I do? I hate this situation”. Even if the reaction of your colleague is easily explained, you will not be able to keep your calm.
  • A more appropriate response might be: “Joe is yelling at me. I don't like it, but I'm not the only one to fall victim to his sudden howls, because he gets carried away just too easily. He may have personal issues to deal with, or he is an angry person by nature. However, I don't think I'm at fault. These screams are unwarranted in this precise situation and that is not my problem”. Even if this situation affects you, you will detach yourself from this deleterious climate by quickly taking a step back and staying calm.
  • Take into account above all your well-being without eliminating all compassion. So you could still bring up the subject with your supervisor by talking about your colleague's angry and overly excessive behavior. This feedback on past events will allow you to firmly anchor in you the idea that it is impossible to control everything and that you are not responsible for it. At the same time, you will rework the technique described above. You will be more efficient afterwards.
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Step 3. Move away from subjects that might upset you

The best way to stay in control of the situation is to discuss topics with which you feel comfortable being on the same footing as your interlocutor. If you feel able to have a productive discussion, you will be on the right track. On the other hand, if your exchanges seem to be reduced to two monologues, try to direct your interlocutor towards a subject more open to discussion..

  • Changing the topic of conversation might make you uncomfortable. Still, think about the relief, even momentary, that you might derive from taking away the tension and stress generated by this difficult exchange. Don't be afraid to take this initiative and come up with a response that might sound like this: "Finally, we don't quite agree on this point, but let's talk about the basketball game last night."
  • If the other person continues the discussion on the topic you dread, apologize to them by withdrawing from the discussion. Use the personal pronoun “I” so as not to blame the person with whom you are talking, by telling them, for example, that this subject makes you uncomfortable and that you prefer to withdraw from the conversation.
  • If you cannot extricate yourself from the situation that is embarrassing you, you can mentally extricate yourself from the discussion. Imagine yourself in a peaceful place. This technique will be used as a last resort, because you are no longer paying attention to what is being said. Be careful not to shock your interlocutors, they might find this sudden passivity inappropriate.
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Step 4. Drive out negative thoughts

Too many negative thoughts will take a toll on the way you think, learn and remember. If you are constantly bathed in this negative environment, your brain may systematically trigger this state of mind in you and make it a habit. Declines in morale in everyday life are nonetheless normal if they remain occasional. So be vigilant about the place they occupy in your life and especially if you perceive them as invasive.

  • The situation will become problematic if you take ownership of other people's anxieties. The sufferings of your environment will become yours and you will hardly find any way out to avoid the annoyances and frustrations that you gain.
  • As with any other emotion, negative atmospheres are contagious. It is enough to listen to the complaints of your interlocutor for 30 minutes so that your level of cortisol increases, the stress hormone which will slow down your thinking and will put you in a precarious state of calm.
  • Detect the moments that could lead to these negative thoughts. Frustration is normal in difficult situations. Momentarily let go of those negative feelings to help you cope. Nevertheless, look for long-term solutions in order to face the next tensions as well as possible.


  • In order to get out of a complicated situation, you can always find a good excuse to have to go to the bathroom or some other quiet place. You won't be bothered by other people nearby.
  • If drinking tea relaxes you, then pour yourself a good cup. The tea contains a substance called theanine, which will boost your morale and soothe you. Limit the caffeine in tea by selecting drinks that are free from caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that will have a negative impact if you already feel tension.
  • When positive events arise, memorize them mentally. If you find yourself in a tense context, then visualize these scenes of happiness. For example, the day you learned of your admission following an exam or your cat lying quietly on your lap and purring.

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