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How to Quickly Calm Down from Feeling Stressed and Overwhelmed

Updated on March 1, 2013

Controlling Stress

You have a lot of control over yourself. So you have a lot of control over your stress. Calming down is mostly a matter of deciding you want to calm down and then taking the necessary steps. A lot of people don't know how to quickly calm down. They hold on to negative thoughts and emotions creating more stress for themselves and others. Other people can stress you out if you let them or you can stress yourself out.

When people are stressed they often act out and stress out other people. Stress, rudeness and violence can be contagious. Someone stresses you out so you cause someone else to feel stressed and so on. However people don't control how you feel. You can choose not to be stressed or angry. Thinking about things that might happen or about things that happened in the past can stress you out but you control what you are thinking about. If you feel overwhelmed it is because you are causing yourself to feel overwhelmed. You are thinking about too many things.

I quickly calm down by using different relaxation techniques. To make them more effective I practice. I don't wait until I feel stressed and overwhelmed. Practicing makes it easier and more effective. You can practice daily. It is easy to blame other people but you have more control when you accept the fact that you are responsible for the way you feel.


Reduce The Multitasking

Multitasking is usually stressful and not very efficient. Reduce the number of different thoughts going through your mind and the number of activities you are trying to do. You should feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed almost instantly. When people meditate they reduce the number of different thoughts causing them to feel really relaxed. For instance they may focus on their breathing for a little while before focusing their thoughts on something else. They start a task and finish it before moving on to another one.

If you don't want to feel overwhelmed or stressed then focus on one or two things.

Change Your Breathing

If you pay attention you should notice that a person's emotional state changes the way they breath. When a person is angry I can often hear them breathing like an angry person. A panicked person breathes like a panicked person and a calm person breaths like a calm person. The emotional state and the breathing are connected. So it works both ways. Changing the way you breath changes your emotional state. An easy way to calm down is to breath like a calm person.

Focus on your breathing and make sure you are using deep slow belly breathing. Imagine the air filling your stomach when you inhale and leaving your stomach when you exhale. Your breathing should be deep, slow and steady. Deep slow belly breathing is relaxing. People that practice meditation and other relaxation exercises breath that way most of the time. It helps them to feel relaxed throughout they day.

Think About Something Else

You can replace one thought with another. Stop thinking about whatever it is that is causing you stress by thinking about something else. Telling yourself not to think about something does not work but telling yourself to think about something does. Think about the other things that are going on around you or think about something that is not there. A good way to relax is to think about something that makes you feel relaxed.

I can think about a beach I went to a while ago anytime I want.
I can think about a beach I went to a while ago anytime I want. | Source
Walking in the woods.
Walking in the woods. | Source
Enjoying the sights and sounds of the shoreline.
Enjoying the sights and sounds of the shoreline. | Source
A swan I saw while riding my bike.
A swan I saw while riding my bike. | Source

Exercising can help because it gets you to think about the exercise your are doing. It works best when you are focused. You can also go someplace where there are sights and sounds to pay attention to. For instance you can go for a walk in the woods or walk along a shoreline. When you are thinking about what you are doing and what is going on around you it can be very relaxing. You are focusing on the moment.

You can not always get up and go somewhere relaxing but when you can it is a great way to calm down. Later when you can't get away you can use the memory to calm yourself down. I often go to relaxing places and use the memories to help me relax when I am stressed. Taking pictures can help you remember the relaxing moments you experienced.

Tell Yourself To Relax

Telling other people to relax does not usually work but telling yourself to relax does. Self talk works. If you tell yourself to relax or say you are becoming more relaxed then your body will listen. You will feel more relaxed. Give yourself commands like "Relax my shoulders." or say what you want to do like "I am becoming more and more relaxed.". It works best if you practice.

Smile And Laugh

It is not always a good idea to laugh out load but you can laugh on the inside and smile a little. Don't take the situation too seriously if it is not really serious. People get stressed out way too often. Think about how funny the situation is. To me angry people are funny as long as they are not hurting people. I often smile and laugh on the inside when I see people acting out. It prevents me from getting stressed or angry. Thinking about something else is not always an option. You can not always walk away or tune it out. Not taking things seriously helps to keep me calm in those situations.

Think about the situation. If being stress, angry or overwhelmed does not help you or the situation then there is no reason to make yourself feel bad. Don't take it seriously and don't feel guilty.

Put A Stop To It

Sometimes you need to stop whatever it is that is bothering you. Figure out what is bother you and then fix it. This is often the best approach for something that continues to happen to you. Simply moving my desk stopped people from walking up from behind and startling me. It also stopped me from worrying that it might happen again at anytime. You can change your environment to make it less stressful. If a person's behavior is bothering you then you can make it clear to them that their behavior is not okay. Be forceful if you need to be. However that only applies if they are doing something to you. Try to control how people interact with you. Don't try to control any more than that.


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    • profile image

      Lila 2 years ago

      "Put a stop to it", what a great advice!

      I just recently recognised how reliefing this is.

      I will definitely take out a few minutes on every evening from now on to watch a relaxing video like this one:

      I normally was very stressed in the evening because i tended to plan too much for the day.

    • davidlivermore profile image

      David Livermore 5 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I know I get so stressed out about some things, it eats me up inside. Your tips will hopefully help me reduce my stress level. I'm willing to try anything at this point!

      Nice hub, voted up.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      These are excellent ideas. Now to remember to put them into practice.

    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 5 years ago

      Very useful hub, voted up. It does require a lot of determination and willpower to calm down quickly using the methods to lessen the stress. Nice of you to share this, thanks a lot.