The Simplest Way To Calm Yourself Down

Drew Stegmaier
a Few Words
Published in
Oct 20, 2020
image credit

We all freak out sometimes. It’s part of being human. Something or someone scares us. Sometimes it's a weird sound, other times it's our own thoughts. We can quickly go from zero to full-blown panic.

When I freak out, my cognitive abilities tank. Everything is a trap. When I’m in creative mode, the possibilities are endless. My options are A, B, 77, unicorn, megazord, whatever. But when I’m freaked out its fight or flight, or freeze. There aren’t infinite options. I get tunnel vision.

This is great if I need to fight or run, but those are rarely what I need. Often I feel afraid, but there’s no threat to my safety. It’s just a perceived threat.

In these moments, I breathe.

Take a chill pill.


Take a deep breath.

There’s a reason the saying has stuck around for so long. It works. It is true.

Don’t believe me? I want you to try something? Take a few short, quick, breaths, as fast as you can.

How do you feel?

I bet it is the opposite of calm. You can’t breathe quickly and rapidly and stay calm. When you slow down your breathing and make it slow and methodical, you become calm. Your breath rate and heart rate drop.

Try it, I dare you.

After a few times, I bet you’ll fall in love with it :)