There are both physiological and psychological ways to tame the beast that lies beneath the exterior. Doing so is not easy. However, totally doable if you want to change those behaviors that end up hurting you most.
1. Breathing techniques. Humans have two types of nervous system responses: the parasympathetic and the sympathetic. The parasympathetic is when the nervous system is in a calm and nonresponsive mode.
Once you pass into the sympathetic nervous system, your nervous system thinks “it’s on.” The flight or fight response makes you react differently. Driven by adrenaline, you act out of instinct, and your brain pretty much takes a back seat. So, how do you overcome the sympathetic system?
Breathing. It is a scientific fact that deep breathing moves a body from the sympathetic system to the parasympathetic. Sure, you don’t need the science behind it, all you need to know is that if you can take ten deep breathes, like super deep, it calms you the hell down physically. In most cases, your emotions follow suit.
2. Go for a walk. It isn’t just deep breathing that calms your body down. Going for a walk, jog, or even run, allows the built-up adrenaline to work its way through the body. Once the adrenaline has “left the building,” it is much easier to see things clearly and deal on a less emotional and more rational plane.
3. Remove the emotions. When we remove emotions from any situation and stop ascribing intent, it is much easier to deal with the issue on hand. Often, we are all worked up about things that need not get us worked up.
If you consider a situation and strip your own feelings out of it, or maybe put yourself into someone else’s shoes, you just might find no harm was meant. You also find that you need not be angry.
One of the biggest reasons we lose our cool is out of hurt. If you refuse to be hurt by something that happens, you address it without intensity. Instead, see it as a problem that needs to be solved.
4. Write a letter you don’t intend to send. If you struggle calming yourself down, sometimes it is because you feel like you aren’t saying what you want. It burns inside of you.
If you want to know how to calm yourself down and vent in a way that won’t come back to bite you in the ass, write down what you want to get off your chest to the person that upset you. Unleash in words and walk away.
In a couple of days, when you have calmed down, decide if you want to send it. But, sometimes just getting it out on paper is enough to let it go and be free from the thing that gets you off.
5. Vent to a third party. The problem we face when we get all worked up, we usually unleash on the worst person ever. If your boss or partner pushed you over the edge, calling them out is going to do nothing but make things super ugly.
Instead of starting a fight that spins out of control, let your anxiety and angst out on someone with heavy shoulders. Don’t engage in a fight if you are not thinking clearly. Instead call your BFF to discuss your feelings, sort through them, and decide if the battle is worth fighting. In most cases, once you let the anger out, you find it isn’t worth going to battle. And you let it all go.