Sometimes life can become overwhelming. Certain situations can simply become too much to handle. Stress levels can rise to the point of becoming a health hazard. When your body’s pumped full of adrenaline, cognitive function can become impaired.

You’ve probably experienced a situation that’s been very stressful and reacted in a certain way. Yet, for some reason – hours later when you’ve fully calmed down — you come up with other, more effective ways you could’ve dealt with the situation.

This isn’t an unusual occurrence.

It happens to most of us at some point in our lives, be it in the workplace or within our own homes.

At these times, it’s especially helpful to know how to keep calm or cool down your mind once it’s gone into overdrive. It’s better when you’re able to calm down within seconds and do the correct thing, rather than regretting your actions hours later.

Fortunately, certain techniques exist that you can learn and use straight away to achieve a calm and tranquil mind almost instantly.

Once applied, these methods will aid you to stay cool in even the most demanding situations. Other people will begin to ask how on earth you manage to stay so calm in such difficult times.

Method #1 ~ Breathing exercise

Breathing exercises can help calm the mind, increase oxygen to the brain, and release feel good” endorphins into the body– even if practiced only briefly.

The aim’s to breathe in as slowly as you can, hold for a second or two, then out slowly. Try to keep the rhythm regular and to a certain count.

For example, take two to four seconds breathing in, hold for one second, then breathe out for two to four seconds. One of the best methods is the “7-1-7” rhythm. Take seven seconds to breathe in, hold for one second, then seven seconds to breathe out. Try to do this for 10 breaths, for up to three sets.” The 7-1-7 rhythm will be hard to do at first, so start with whatever you’re comfortable with, and work your way up to seven seconds over time.

When doing a breathing exercise, make sure they’re belly breaths.” This means you expand your abdomen when you breathe in (to suck in more air and stretch the diaphragm muscle). Even one single deep belly breath can calm your mind a huge amount in stressful situations.

Method #2 ~ Reading

A little-known technique for calming the mind is simply reading.

When you’re overwhelmed by emotion, be it panic, fear, or even anger, reading something can distract the mind enough for the body to calm down.

It doesn’t matter what you read, but it seems that the more boring the writing is, the better. Trying to read and understand something that you’ve no interest in seems to really calm the mind.

Sounds wacky, but give it a try!

Method #3 ~ Staying in the present

Focusing on the present, and the sensations in your physical body can keep you out of your own head” long enough to calm the mind.

Staying in the present means not thinking about things that haven’t happened yet, and not thinking about things in the past.

Also, try to focus on physical sensations by paying attention to each of the five senses.

  • What can you hear, right now?
  • What can you see?
  • What can you smell or feel?

Really concentrate, down to the tiniest detail. Feel the clothes next to your skin, the heat or cold of the environment. Hear sounds you normally don’t notice – the humming electrical appliances, the birds outside. Look slowly around the room, mentally list and describe everything you can see.

Staying in the present physically and mentally can bring instant calm to your mind.

Use any of the above three techniques to achieve a calm mind, even in the most stressful of encounters. Each can be used straight away when you need it, or if practiced regularly enough, can act as a way to keep you calm and stable at all times.

Photo Credit: Artem Beliaikin,