By Elana B. Multi award-winning writer, advertiser, public speaker, and internationally published author.
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Question: What are some ways I can calm down quickly when I’m feeling overwhelmed?
“Sometimes I don’t realize how much stress is building up until I suddenly feel overwhelmed and frazzled. How can I quickly calm down when I’m feeling like I could snap due to stress?”
Answer: There are many ways to calm down quickly when you suddenly feel stress rattling your nerves to the point that you feel overwhelmed. The following are seven quick and easy ways to regain your calm so you can deal with whatever situations arise.
1. Take a Walk
Exercise can be a great stress reliever. Walking is a great start. It helps you blow off steam and releases relaxing endorphins. Taking a walk when stressed can bring you the health benefits of exercise, and it provides the bonus of getting you out of the stressful situation. This calming exercise can provide you with time to think, and it can help you gain perspective so you can return to your work feeling calmer, more optimistic, and in a new frame of mind. If you need moral support, walking with a good friend can be a nice way to find social support. (learn more about the benefits of exercise here.)
If you are a stay-at-home Mom (domestic project management leader), arrange for a sitter to come a couple times a week for one hour to give you walking, exercise, and alone-time. If you are the boss…trying to juggle too many projects, keep home life running on track, still have time for a social life, and feel like something has to give…you are right. What will give first is your health. Start with the relaxing walk, take calming breaths, and then remember that giving up a little control by delegating is one of the true signs of a good leader.
2. Meditation, Yoga, Qi Gong or Quiet and Relaxing Alone Time
Find a calm, quiet place. If you are unable to do that due to where you are, put head phones on to tune out sounds. Close your eyes and take a calming, soothing breath. Do this for a few minutes. Then relax your neck and let you head gently drop forward. Take a couple of deep calming breaths. Move your head back and let it gently relax back (these two moves should be done daily; however, if you have a neck injury, or any health problems that could be complicated by this relaxing technique, check with your physician beforehand), or try yoga, or Qi Gong.
Try Angry Birds, unless you are like me and that becomes obnoxious. Shoot hoops. Play Solitaire. Go to a sport park and swim or hit some tennis balls with a friend or against a wall—preferably a wall designated for such use.
4. Read Something That Helps You Relax
As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. If reading a self-help book or articles helps you relax, do so. If you prefer to read a comedy or a cartoon, keep an App on your phone for easy access, or keep handy whatever reading material helps you relax.
5. Take a Mental Break
This does not mean have a breakdown; although if you let the tension and stress go on too long, someday you very well may have an overload meltdown. Some ways to take a mental break include: visual imagery, Qigong, yoga, or Pranayama. These therapeutic practices tend to calm people, as well as relax muscles, slow your heart rate, and they can even lower blood pressure.
Many relaxation techniques help people attain a state of increased calmness and can help reduce levels of pain, anxiety, stress, and can help control anger. There are many health benefits that can be achieved with any of these techniques.
6. Stress Management Classes
If you are still overwhelmed, despite having tried numerous ways to relax and calm down, try stress management classes. Your healthcare provider can point you in the right direction, or you can look up stress management classes in your area. There are also online stress management classes.
7. Listen to Relaxing Music
Music is a very effective stress management tool. The problem is that when stressed, many people forget to turn on music. Listening to music can have a tremendously calming effect on the mind and body, especially slow, quiet, classical music.
There has been research on the effect music has on people. It has been used for hundreds of years to restore harmony between mind and body. Many people if unable to find a quiet peaceful place, listen to music on headphones. Some of the potential benefits include:
- Reducing stress and anxiety in hospital patients before and after surgery
- Reduce the sensitivity to chronic pain and post-operative pain
- Relieve some of the pressure of depression and can lift the stifling weight of anxiety
- Reduces emotional distress and boosts the quality of life among the elderly
Certain music is great for meditation as it helps the mind calm down and initiates the relaxation response; however, not all peaceful music works on everyone. Know what type of music is soothing to you and have it available.
The sounds of nature are produced on CD’s for relaxation purposes. For example, the sound of water can be soothing for some and stimulating for others. The sound of leaves rustling is another example of sounds of serenity for meditation or relaxation.
Because music has the potential to influence us both psychologically and physiologically, it is an important area of therapy for stress management. Music therapy can make use of biofeedback, guided imagery, and other well-established techniques to play an important role in the treatment of people with stress-related disorders; however, when using music it is good to get the advice of a good music therapist. Heavy metal and hard rock are not geared toward stress-minimization or relief, so for most people, calmer or classical soothing music is more suitable when anxious, distressed or frustrated. Upbeat pop music can help as well if someone is feeling down or depressed. Since music is a personal preference, discovering which music soothes you the most is what is important.
Important for Helping the Mind Relax:
When we are under stress, our system is on overload and we start to shut down. Listening to music can help the brain by improving learning and memory skills. So turn on some soft music, close your eyes and relax.
Key to Success
The key to success for those who are overwhelmed is to be certain to make time to relax. So use these tools. If you are still feeling overwhelmed, anxious, uptight, angry or depressed, reach out to your healthcare provider, a family member, or both. One of the biggest obstacles for those suffering with overwhelming stress and/or depression is feeling alone. Remember, no one is ever completely alone. We are on a planet with over 7 billion people. Reach out. You will find people who care.
About the author: Elana B. is a multi award-winning writer, advertiser, public speaker and internationally published author. The first book in her new children’s to young adult series is set to launch soon. Sneak peek…Too Terribly Busy.
If you would like to learn more about the educational, adventure filled stories, or have questions on how to win a free signed copy, go to our contact page or sign up as an E.B. book member and receive discounts and freebies on books, plays, movies and more. Or write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
References to other articles for help reducing stress: