Taylor Swift said it best: you need to calm down.
But when we are in a stressful situation, calming down is the furthest thing from our minds. But no matter how upset we may feel, calming down is important to reduce stress, and we are here today to help you out.
We are going to break down what stress is as well as the signs and symptoms to look out for. Then we will go over a ton of ways that can help you calm down and get to a peaceful headspace.
These tips and activities are perfect for calming kids and adults — our youth are facing much more stress and anxiety now than ever before — and that worries us adults!
Stress is a complex emotion that we all face, but we don’t have to face it alone.
What Is Stress?
Stress is defined as any physical or emotional response made by your body. The stress response is a strain on your physical and mental health that causes a change in your mood, emotional state, or physical well-being.
There isn’t a rule of thumb when it comes to dealing with stress, as we all react and respond to stress in different ways. While many of the same scenarios can cause us stress, it doesn’t necessarily mean all stress will present the same way, even if the stressors are identical.
Signs and Symptoms of Stress
Stress can present itself in several ways, and everyone will react and respond to stress differently.
Reactions to stress include:
- Stress eating
- Panic attacks
- Depression and anxiety
- Breakouts or chronic acne
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Nervous ticks
- Biting fingernails
- Emotional outbursts
When stressors or external sources begin to take their toll on your mental health, you begin to feel stressed out. It can begin to happen before you realize that you’re having a reaction to stress or beginning to feel “stressed out.”
Look out for these warning signs to tell you that you’re reaching your limit on stress:
- Chest pains and trouble with deep breathing
- Difficulty or pain when breathing in
- Constant feeling of dread
- Feeling fatigued
- Tossing and turning all night
- Inability to find joy in life
When To Ask for Help
If you’re dealing with any of the above symptoms, it’s wise to get medical advice from a healthcare provider. Dealing with these physical and emotional symptoms of chronic stress for a long time can lead to burnout, which no one wants.
As adults, we know that we have to be careful. The stressors of being adults and/or being parents require that we find a good balance and keep our minds clear and our attitudes resilient. For growing kiddos, we know that learning how to be an adult and take responsibility can be tough, and children can get stressed out just like we can.
We must look out for these signs and symptoms of stress in our children, as they rely on us to keep their mental health safe and on the right path.
How To Calm Down: Stress Relief Techniques
We know that we need to calm down after a stressful moment, but how do we do it?
Today we want to break down a variety of ways that you can help yourself calm anxiety after you come into contact with something emotionally dysregulating. You may find that your personal recipe for peaceful thoughts is a single act that will get you to calm down, or you may need to find that more complicated recipe that helps you get back to zen.
Here are a few ideas to add to your family’s emotional toolbelt:
1. Take a Walk
When getting worked up and emotional about a situation, one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to remove yourself from the situation. Take a break and go on a walk with a family member or other loved one. It doesn’t mean you avoid worrying about or solving the issue, but give yourself a brain break and weigh your options.
You’ll be able to assess the situation, get some alone time to work it out and plan your best reaction. It’s better than staying in the situation, as you’ll find it can be even more stressful being expected to act then and there when you’re already caught off guard.
2. Practice Meditation or Yoga
Breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, stretching, and light to moderate physical activity may benefit your mind during stressful moments. Meditation and yoga can also release endorphins and regulate your nervous system’s production of cortisol, the stress hormone responsible for your body’s “fight or flight” response.
Not only will you gain a bit of physical strength and focus on self-care for a bit, but you’ll be training your brain to handle those stressors in daily life a little better.
3. Keep Hydrated for Stress Reduction
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body going on the right kind of fuel. Your body turns the foods you eat and the liquids you drink into energy. So when you fill your body with a balanced diet and plenty of water, you’ll get healthy fuel that keeps you going all day.
When you’ve got the energy for the day, you can handle those minor stressors and feelings of anxiety and deal with them head-on. When you’re dehydrated, every minor issue feels major and then the stressors start to pile on.
If you’re eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated but still find yourself getting stressed from time to time, aromatherapy might be the answer. Aromatherapy is the act of using the scents and aromas of essential oils to trigger specific responses from your brain.
When you’re met with a roadblock or tense situation, your brain triggers a stress reaction. With aromatherapy, you’ll be able to smell specific oils that help calm you.
Finding the right combination of essential oils can be tricky, but we’ve done the science for you. Using our ZenPatch on your clothes can help keep you calm and relaxed, no matter the situation. The ZenPatch is infused with a carefully-formulated blend of Mandarin, atlas cedarwood, lavender, and sweet orange oils for eight soothing hours of relaxation.
The best part about these patches, aside from the fact that kids can use them and they stick to clothes, not skin. You can take them anywhere and everywhere! You don’t have to wait until the right time to find relief from stress; these patches go with you to provide a helping hand no matter where the day takes you.
5. Talk It Out
Social support makes a huge difference when dealing with stress.
Sometimes talking to a friend and venting about the issues you’re facing can really help give you clarity and take some of that stress off your back. Having a friend that you can turn to in times of unsettling news or stressful events can really help remove that feeling of being alone.
Being stressed out for long periods can cause depression or feelings of isolation. When you have a friend that can help take that load off your back, you feel better faster and keep depression and negative thoughts and feelings away.
6. Listen to Music
Music is definitely a form of therapy for many people, and putting on a playlist of your favorite songs to relax can be just what you need. Create a playlist when you’re feeling good and your spirits are high. Fill it with some of your favorite songs to sing along with and dance to.
Then the next time you need a break from the overwhelming feelings that tend to creep in on us during the day, you can escape to a quiet corner of your house and put that playlist on loud. Next thing you know, you’ll be dancing around and working out all that built-up tension in a fun and enjoyable way. By the end of the playlist, you will be ready for anything.
7. Snuggle Up
Hugs and loving embraces can offer relief from stress, especially if anxiety-induced physical discomfort is at play. Studies show that ample hugs and comfort throughout the day can help relieve symptoms and feelings of stress.
If you’re home alone and can’t find a warm body to spoon, try cuddling up with a warm and soft blanket. Or, opt for a weighted blanket to access the powers of deep pressure therapy.
You’ll be able to get cozy and comfy and start to feel the comfort that a hug can give you, but with a bit of peace and quiet. Maybe even make a cup of soothing tea to warm you from the inside as well.
8. Look Into Therapy
Sometimes venting isn’t enough, and we need to seek another form of help. Therapy works by providing us with someone that will be able to listen to what we have to say and help us find positive solutions to our problems.
It can be nice to vent to a friend, but they are close to the situation and may not always provide us with the best advice. Therapists are a more objective source of problem-solving; they are interested in tackling the root of the problem and finding solutions that not only work for us but also in our best interest. It may not always be what we want to hear, but it’s what we need to hear.
It’s Time To Calm Down
Stress can take a toll on our health and make us feel different than our normal selves. We might feel jittery, on edge, or more. It can affect us, our partner, and our children, but there are always solutions!
By calming down and finding outlets for the stress, we can get back to feeling like our true selves again and feel better faster.