Tension happens. Whether something at work puts you on edge, you’re irritated with your spouse, or you’re stressed about life in general—it’s unavoidable.

However, when you’re tense or irritable frequently, it could start to take over. This could lead to becoming angrier over time. You might even start to feel symptoms of anxiety or depression.

People respond to tension differently. But being able to manage your tension and calm yourself down before it becomes a problem can make a big difference in the effect it can have on your life.

calm down anxiety

With that in mind, let’s take a look at seven key ways to calm down when you’re tense or irritable.

1. Breathe

Of course, no one has to tell you to breathe, but it’s how you breathe that can make a difference when you’re tense. When you’re irritated, your breathing will become shallow and short.

Taking longer, slower, deeper breaths can help you to calm down quickly and feel less stressed.

Of course, it can be difficult to concentrate on your breathing when it’s something you’re used to doing so naturally. But putting different breathing techniques into practice can give you the resources needed to keep your anxiety or irritability under control.

2. Don’t Deny Your Feelings

Many people try to hide their feelings. When you’re tense, this is one of the worst things you can do. Instead, acknowledge how you’re feeling and try to understand what is causing you to feel that way.

When you give yourself permission to accept and express that tension, it’s easier to let go of it faster.

3. Let It Out

One of the best things you can do to release your anxiety and tension is to do something physical. For example, go for a run or even a walk around the block.

A word of caution, though. Try to avoid physical activities that can fuel your anger, like hitting a punching bag. This might seem like a good way to get your anger “out,” but it can actually make things worse. Choose physical activities that will help you calm down, not fire you up.

4. Listen to Your Favorite Music

Music can have some incredible effects on the brain. That includes releasing dopamine and helping you to feel happier and calmer.

If you’re feeling anxious or irritated by something, try listening to your favorite music to calm down. Make a playlist that helps you to feel better, and turn it on any time you’re feeling tense.

5. Shift Your Direction

When you’re angry or tense, you might make rash decisions or even say something you typically wouldn’t say. Try shifting your focus to something else if you’re feeling overwhelmed by tension or anxiety.

In doing so, you’ll give yourself time to fully process what you’re feeling. As a result, you can make better, more reasonable decisions. Distracting yourself will also cause that irritability to lose some of its power.

6. Step Outside

Fresh air can be a big help when it comes to calming down quickly. If you’re feeling extremely tense and/or stressed, sometimes being stuck in a room or building can start to be overwhelming. It might even make you feel anxious or like you’re having a panic attack.

Stepping outside and breathing in some fresh air can help you to calm down. It’s also a welcomed distraction that can take you away from whatever may have triggered your tension.

7. Write Down Your Thoughts

Journaling can be a big help when you’re battling anxiety, or even when you’re angry. Keep a small notebook with you and jot down what you’re feeling whenever you start to get tense.

It doesn’t matter what you write. The main point is to let it help you redirect your thoughts and allow you to express your feelings in a healthy and productive way.

If you find yourself becoming more tense, anxious and irritable more often and you can’t seem to get it under control, it can also help to talk to a professional. Feel free to contact us if you’re struggling to stay calm. Together, we can work on more techniques to help you relax and have better control over your tension.

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