How to Calm Down: 15 Instant Hacks to Put the Crazy Away
Before waking up another morning feeling remorseful at having lost your temper yet again, learn how to calm down by recognizing your triggers.
We all know that crazy woman with the look in her eyes like all hell has sprung loose, yeah, the same one who just doesn’t know how to calm down or see anything but red. And to make it worse, some guys have this uncanny ability to make us lose our ever-loving shit. The problem is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When someone doesn’t listen to what we have to say, we say it even louder.
Before you know it, you’re ranting, raving, and chasing him all around town like some escapee from the loony bin. You aren’t in high school anymore, and the more you let a guy get the best of you by getting to the point of crazy eyes, the more damage you are doing to your self-image and self-esteem.
The good news is that no, you are not actually crazy, you’re just allowing the person in your life to make you react in a crazy way. To save yourself and your self-esteem, you have two options: you can either leave him or learn how to calm down.
If you choose to stay, remember that the only way to make it all stop is by putting a kink in the cycle. You obviously can’t control his behavior; you can only change your own.
How to calm down: Try these 15 things to calm yourself down in the heat of battle
The next time you feel your ears getting hot and your face flushing red with anger, try to take a moment and remember these tips to calm down. Then, you just might find that the two of you can have a productive conversation about whatever it was that set you off in the first place.
#1 Go for a walk. When you lose your temper, a physiological response actually happens, meaning that it isn’t all in your head. Anger or frustration will release a hormone called adrenaline. That rush of adrenaline is likely the cause for your crazy eyes.
By going for a walk or raising your heart rate in some other way, you can override the adrenaline response. You will instantly see a normalizing of your heart rate and your breathing, and you can finally get a grip on the anger that wants to take hold. [Read: 25 inspirational tips to get motivated to work out]
#2 Smile. When you smile, there are muscles in your face that trigger serotonin, a hormone that is responsible for good feelings, making it nearly impossible to hold onto anger. In fact, any time you feel anxious, just give yourself a big smile. It may last but one second, but sometimes all you need is a simple second of smiling to jolt yourself enough to calm down.
#3 Close your eyes and think of your safe place. We all have that place where we find serenity. When you find yourself getting angry and losing control, close your eyes and picture the safe place that calms your nerves.
Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and think about the way that you feel when you are in your safe place. If you go there long enough, the anger and frustration will fade, allowing you to return to earth. [Read: How to find inner peace in a messy relationship]
#4 Remove yourself from the situation. Wherever you are, get out of there. Most of the time, just removing yourself from the situation and finding something else to focus on or do will remove the anger that you feel. You aren’t going to get him to listen at the moment, so take a step away, find something else to do, and in the end, you will find that the answer to how to more constructively react will become clearer. [Read: 14 ways to overcome power struggles in a relationship]
#5 Don’t fall into his traps. Guys who drive women wild know their triggers. When I met my husband, he told me one day, “Gosh, I hope you don’t end up being crazy.” When I pressed further, he said to me, “All the girls I have ever dated were crazy.” I thought for a second and then asked him, “Were they crazy when you met them, or only after you’d been with them?”
There are some guys who know all the right ways to drive you crazy. Don’t fall into the trap. Know that he is going to say all the right things to hurt your feelings, to make you feel insignificant, and to try to elicit the reaction that he can. He may even try to then put on you to make you feel bad.
Learn what it is that he is doing to make you crazy and choose to let it roll off your back. Soon enough, you’ll find that when he can no longer get a rise out of you, he will stop doing it. [Read: How to stop being manipulated in a relationship]
#6 Put the phone down! What did we do before texting and cellphones? We likely all got along much better. Before you start a text war by sending him something that gets you a reaction and really gets him going, put the phone down.
You will find that you wouldn’t say the hurtful things to his face that you have no problem punching into the keyboard of your phone. When you’re texting away, you probably aren’t even reading what’s actually coming through. It’s best to put the phone away and not pick it back up until everything has blown over. [Read: Why social media is killing your relationship]
#7 Do some yoga. You don’t need a class to do yoga. If you have a mat and know some moves, get on it. Yoga is a way to get the Chi flowing in your body in a positive way that will bring you back to normal. Even sitting in child’s pose is a release for some people. When he is making you nuts, grab your mat, head to the gym, or find a peaceful place to hide in your house to find your balance again.
#8 Make a list of the things you love about him to pull out. When you get upset, all common sense runs out the window. At a time when you aren’t upset with him, make a list of all the nice things he has done for you, or the things that you love about him.
If you want to calm down fast, when you feel yourself getting angry, just don’t allow it. Pick up your list and read from one to ten over and over again until you can put what is currently going on back into perspective. If you remember the things you love about him, these positive thoughts can sometimes override the things about him that are driving you nuts. [Read: 12 life questions to help you visualize your future]
#9 Let him go. There are some guys who overreact anytime you say something they don’t like and will begin to retract and run from you. That is grounds for making any woman crazy. If your man is constantly upping the ante of your fight by running away, shutting you out, or physically leaving, then let him go.
I bet you that he will stop to think about what he did if you try to stop telling him. Insecure guys can’t handle the criticism and thus refuse to hear it. If you let them go, nine times out of ten, they will sit and stew on it, wondering why you aren’t chasing them around the room. If you stop chasing, I promise you they will stop running. [Read: How taking a break in a relationship works]
#10 Play the “is this real” game. If your relationship is prone to a cat and mouse chase, have a plan in place to help each other work through the times when things get too heated. Play the “is this real” game. What is that? It’s a game where you ask him a question, followed by asking, “Real or not real?”
For instance, if you are upset that he came home late again when he said he would be home early, you could ask the question, “You said you were coming home early, real or not real?” By sticking to emotionless questions, you will get the answers that you want, he will hear what you have to say, and you can put those crazy eyes back in the crazy closet. [Read: Fighting in a relationship: How to do it right]
#11 Go shopping. If all else fails, go shopping. Yep, that’s right, in the middle of any fight, just get up, grab your keys, and go shopping. Even a small gratuitous buy can lift your spirits and give you both time to calm down before things get out of control.
#12 Don’t drink! If you know that you’re upset, don’t start drinking. If you mix alcohol with intense emotions, it’s like putting diesel fuel on fire. Alcohol may seem like a good idea to help you forget how you feel, but what it really does is push you over the edge and allow you to lose control. Don’t reach for a drink to calm your nerves—it’s only a way to ramp things up to the point of losing your marbles.
#13 Call a friend. If you want to know how to calm down real quick, instead of having an out-of-control screaming match, grab your phone and call your friend. Not just any friend, this has to the one who doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear, but rather tells you the truth and what you need to hear. [Read: 13 signs your friends are ruining your relationship]
#14 Practice fine-tuning your argument skills. The best way to overcome losing control is to walk through the steps of calming yourself down before you have to use them. The only way to change a behavior pattern is by practicing the right way to react and respond over and over again.
#15 Let him go for good. If you can’t seem to gain control or calm down, then you have to realize when someone is not good for you. There is such a thing as toxic people. If you’ve never reacted in the past the way that he’s causing you to react now, then there is something about your current relationship that is not healthy for you.
If you find that you’re trapped in this cycle and are behaving like someone you don’t know, then it may be time to examine whether or not this is a good fit for you. [Read: 7 secret signs that reveal a bad relationship]
Arguments and frustration are normal in any relationship, provided they aren’t harmful or otherwise toxic. But if you can learn how to calm down and cool your emotions, so that you don’t react rashly and lose your self-control, you just might find that the intensity of your fights will snuff itself out.