Calming yourself during a stressful or chaotic time isn’t always easy. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Epictetus, the great Greek Stoic philosopher, once said, “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not.” With that in mind, here’s a list of 5 methods for how to calm nerves and anxiety regardless of your situation.
Release pent up energy
If you need to feel calmer, then it’s a good idea to locate what’s bothering you. It may be immediately apparent, or it could be sneaking up on you unawares. Try to locate the source of what’s stressing you out.
Once you’ve found out what it is, try to release that energy in a healthy way. Studies have found that releasing anger through violence like punching walls or screaming your lungs out, actually harms the mind and body in the long run. This is because the release of the energy feels good, but to get that feeling again, you must be angry again. It’s an addictive cycle that convinces you to choose rage.
So instead of punching holes in the drywall, try going for a run or perhaps doing an intense workout at home. Do something strenuous that pushes you to your limits, but maintain discipline and know when enough is enough. Physical activity releases serotonin which soothes tension and makes you feel happier. Being aware of how to calm down when wound up will help you settle on the right exercise for you.
Write it down
Keeping a journal is a great way to offload recurring thoughts that serve no purpose. By writing something down, you’re extracting it from your mind and putting it on paper. You’ll feel less of an urge to have similar thoughts in the future because it’s gone—it’s been dealt with. So go crazy with it. Get everything you’re feeling down and write until you’re calm.
This is especially helpful if you’re too emotional to talk about it with a friend or you don’t know how to calm yourself down from crying. You need to get it out of your system somehow or another and writing is the perfect tool to do that. Transform your nervous energy into creativity. It doesn’t have to be a work of art either. Forget about spelling and grammar. If you really want to craft it into something profound then that can come later. In the heat of the moment, just get out what’s on your mind and don’t stop. The therapeutic benefits of writing know no limits.
Keep crystals handy
There are so many crystals that are absolutely perfect for calming yourself down. And nowadays, you can use them in a vast variety of ways. Whether you want crystal jewelry, a natural cluster, or something unique like a lamp or coaster, you can find crystals in all shapes and sizes. Check out these stones if you want something to instantly ease your tension:
This sky blue crystal is one of the best stress-relievers you can find for calming yourself down. Simply gazing at its icy exterior is enough to melt away any tension you’ve been holding onto. It forges a connection with higher realms of consciousness and, once this connection is made, it becomes difficult to ever truly lose control over your emotions again.
Amethyst is one of those stones that can do everything. It activates the crown and third eye chakras, sending peaceful vibes down your body from top to bottom. If you’re looking for something that can show you how to relax your mind to sleep, then the search ends here. The purple-hued gemstone is known as “Nature’s Tranquilizer” because of its serene effect on energy. That should say it all.
Whether you prefer stone or jewelry, you can allow amethyst to help you calm your thoughts and move on. If you’re looking for more innovative ways to include amethyst in your life, our Amethyst Healing Water Bottle will make you feel calmer with each sip.
Often said to be a protection stone, it's this quality that makes it so good at calming. If you feel safe and secure, then there’s no reason to worry. Black tourmaline keeps you in the cozy state of bliss and is a fantastic worry stone to hold onto when you feel an anxiety attack coming on.
Another worry stone, malachite is a luscious green calming machine! Get it if you want to stop negative thoughts and feelings from overtaking your life. It’s known as a stone of transformation, so if your lack of calmness comes from an abrupt change to your life, then malachite is the gem you need.
Knowing how to calm down when wound up is a great skill to have. To get started, follow the advice of the stoics. Don’t lose your cool at something that’s out of your control. It’s just insanity. If something cannot be changed, no matter how disastrous it is, then simply acknowledge that it’s happened, find the best solution, and move on. Emotions are natural and you certainly shouldn’t suppress them. Rather, the opposite. Feel free to express them in their full capacity: cry, scream, shout or laugh, but don’t let them linger. Give them life then let them go. If you harbor negative emotions, then you permit them to pop back up without warning at a future date.
Live each moment, aware of the eternal present. There is no such thing as tomorrow. When the clock ticks over to midnight, it’s just today again. Keep this in mind when something negative happens. You’re not in the past and you’re not in the future. You’re only ever in the Now. Ask yourself seriously: are your worries and nervous tension stemming from the present moment—this very second? If not, then why are you worried? Is what you’re worried about even likely to happen, or does it just feel like that now? Has it already happened? If so, then why does it affect you now? All worries and disruptions come from the past or the future. It’s impossible not to be calm if you’re mindful of the present moment.
While on the topic of worries, you might find it beneficial to practice visualization when you feel discontent. Surround yourself with love and light. Radiate that same love to everyone around you. Visualize yourself calm and in control with everything going exactly how you want it to. Whenever you feel anxious, remember this image and relax into it. Take on the role of your imagined self.
There are countless different types of meditation. While one may work wonders for you, you may struggle to see the benefits of another. If you already know a technique that works well for you then that’s a good place to start. Meditation can bring peace and tranquility to the mind, body, and spirit instantly if you’ve practiced enough.
Firstly, admit to yourself that you’re angry or scared or worried or whatever negative emotion it is that’s making you feel unsettled. Don’t judge yourself. There’s no need to feel silly. Just let the emotion go and instead bring your attention to your breath. Feel your lungs fill with oxygen and then deflate. This practice by itself is immediately calming.
Tony Robbins claims that stance alone can increase confidence because it transforms the way the subject feels about themselves. If they stand taller and with their shoulders back then they will naturally feel more confident. The same can be said when you want to feel calmer. Let go of that tension in your shoulders, lift your head up, and take a slow, deep breath. If you’re nervous or angry, your breath will likely be shallow and fast. By intentionally changing that, you send a biological signal to the brain that says, “I am calm.”
If you want to take your breath work to the next level then breathe in for four seconds and exhale for eight. The slower exhale forces you to relax. Shallow breathing may be a symptom of stress, but altering the breath can be a cause of calmness.
These 5 techniques are for calming yourself anywhere and anytime. Even if you’re outside, you can send a hasty text to yourself and still receive the therapeutic benefits of writing. Hopefully, you’ll find something that works for you.
Here’s a final quote from Seneca: “Memory brings back the agony of fear while foresight brings it on prematurely. No one confines his unhappiness to the present.”