You are feeling the adrenaline rushing through your body and you are feeling uneasy. Maybe you are angry right now because of what someone said to you. Or maybe you are feeling restless because you are anxious and you are afraid to get a panic attack. It is okay to feel how you are feeling but if you want to calm yourself down, these 8 tips might help you.
8 ways to calm yourself down
Feel your emotions
This feels like the opposite of what you want, but hear me out. You can suppress your feelings, but that is not healthy. It is good to feel your emotions because then you can let go. And when you let go of your emotions, you start to feel better. Our society is focused on being happy all the time, but that is not healthy. It is good to feel other emotions too. So stop ignoring these so-called negative emotions and sit or lie down for a while and just feel. You don’t have to do anything else, but if you want you can write some things down if that helps you.
Write or talk about it
When I feel not so great, I always grab a piece of paper and write all of my feelings down. This is something I do when I can’t sleep. If you want you can also talk to someone about it and get it off your chest, but for me, writing works better. I feel so much lighter and more relaxed when I write things down. So buy yourself a notebook/diary and start writing.
Use your senses
This is a great tip for when you are feeling anxious and you think you are getting a panic attack. I’ve been there before and I know how it feels. This is a practice I’ve learned during that time. But I also have to admit that this is something you have to practise. Because when you are almost having a panic attack, it is pretty hard to focus on something to distract yourself from those feelings inside you. But my tip is to practise this and I even think this is a great tip for everyone, even for the people without panic attacks. Because this helps you to stay present and be mindful.
But this tip is about using your senses. Focus on what you see, hear, feel and smell. It sounds pretty simple, but I know even this can be a hard task to do when you are feeling anxious. Just take your time.
A lot of people swear by meditation for several reasons but most of the people are saying that it helps them to feel less stressed during the day. Every morning you take a few minutes for yourself and you start meditating. There are a lot of guided and not guided meditations on YouTube you can use, from 5 minutes to one hour long. If you are new to meditation, start with 5 minutes. But if you do this every day, it will change you. You will feel more relaxed during the day.
Spend time in nature
They say that nature heals people. So go outside and find a park or a wood and just walk around. Walking is already great when you are feeling anxious but walking in nature is even better. When it is cold, take a long walk at the park or in the woods, go home and drink a cup of hot choco. And no excuses, you can go outside when it is raining. Take your umbrella and go.
As I said, walking will help you. I get it if you have social anxiety and you don’t want to go outside., but you don’t have to walk around for hours. Start small and walk around for 5-15 minutes and slowly build it up. Exercising does not always sound appealing but everyone knows it works. When you walk for a while, you start to feel better and suddenly you feel on top of the world but at the same time relaxed. And when you come home, make yourself a hot cup of tea and just relax. Because honestly, the best and most relaxing feeling comes right after when you sit down after a long walk. So enjoy that moment.
When you hug someone, your brain releases a feel-good hormone called oxytocin and this will help to calm yourself down. So if there is someone nearby you can hug, do it. And the good thing is that it won’t only help you, it might help the other person too. You never know what someone is going through.
One of the things I do when I feel stressed and anxious are breathing exercises. This is a great YouTube video that can help you slowly breathe in and out. When you are anxious or angry, you breathe differently and breaths are shallow. Doing breathing exercises can help you to calm down within a few minutes. And the good news is that you can do this everywhere, even at work. It doesn’t have to be that long, just a few minutes focusing on your breathing will help you.
Put things in perspective
Our brain loves to be dramatic because a lot of the time we think of a worst-case scenario when the real situation is not even that bad. Sometimes you overreact and that is the moment to take a step back and breathe. I have had those moments when I was really angry, but after a few hours, I realized it was not that bad and I was just overreacting. It is better to calm yourself down before you react to something. Don’t let your emotions take over. You are in control.