Post Updated on December 27, 2019
A calm mind is something many of us seek during moments of frustration and anxiety. When something unexpected comes our way, we can only hope that we’ll handle it with grace and dignity. In reality, we end up feeling like we’re running around like a chicken with our head cut off. It’s a cute mental image, right?
If we are not in a calm state of mind, we are more likely to react irrationally and perhaps regret our actions later. Stressful situations put us into fight or flight mode, which means that we might take our frustrations out on another person, start crying uncontrollably, or simply shut down and ignore our problems.
Knowing how to stay calm in moments of frustration and anxiety is important to reduce this negative reactivity and help you become a calmer, more collected person. In this post, we’ll cover three techniques that can help you feel more calm and in control during stressful moments!
How to be a calmer person
Watch the video here or read the full post below!
1. Give yourself a mental break
The first thing to do if something comes your way unexpectedly and throws you off is to remove yourself from the situation instead of immediately responding. Doing something that gets you out of your current headspace is a good way to get perspective on the situation.
Often we feel so overwhelmed because we think we need to respond or react to something right away, but this only adds to the stress. Instead, take a moment to look objectively at the situation before rushing into anything. Whether that’s going for a walk, meditating, watching funny videos, or listening to music, distract yourself so that you can come back to whatever’s stressing you out with clarity.
2. Don’t act upon every thought
Another way to reduce reactivity is to practice meditation. Those of us who are overthinkers or worriers tend to resist meditation because we assume meditation involves stopping our thoughts. In actuality, meditation helps prevent you from reacting to your thoughts. When ideas and thoughts are floating through our heads, our instinct is to react to act upon them right away or add them to our never-ending to-do lists.
Meditation teaches us to let our thoughts come without the pressure that we need to act on them. To be honest, most of our thoughts are not worth acting on anyway. If you’re interested in getting started with meditation, I shared how to make it easier using this app.
3. Get in touch with your senses
The next time you’re in a stressful situation and you feel like anxiety is taking over, try a simple grounding exercise to bring awareness to what’s going on around you. One of my favorite exercises for this is the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 grounding method. Simply focus around you and bring attention to:
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can touch
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste
This is a great technique to distract you from the stressful situation and bring your focus to your surroundings and the current moment.
What calms you down during stressful times?
I hope these three tips help you the next time you need a moment of calm in your life! The most important thing you can do to be a calmer person is to pause when you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Simply create awareness around those moments instead of trying to fix them immediately.