Staying in Control: How to Quickly Regain Your Calm

How to Hit the Brakes When You're About to Lose It

Having a really bad day? Or maybe someone came up to you and said something rude or downright offensive. Your first response may be to attack back, either verbally or physically. There are ways to train your brain to take a cooler approach.

Next time you feel like flying off the handle, incorporate these techniques:

  • Create a mental distraction. In your head, try counting down from 10 or saying a catchy phrase to switch your thought pattern. This gives your body time to simmer down so you can compartmentalize the problem.
  • Step away from the situation. On the verge of blurting out something hurtful in retaliation? Walk away. Go somewhere to calm yourself then go back to address the problem with a mature, responsible mindset.
  • Cool down, literally. When you’re mad or upset, chances are your blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate will rise. This can cause you to think irrationally. Need an instant stress reliever? Splash cold water on your face. Doing this breaks the “fight or flight” response and reduces your heart rate.

Remember, only you are in control of your situation. Be the bigger person and don’t let someone else’s emotional outburst ruin your day.

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