VIDEO: 3 Ways to Calm Yourself Down
by Lindsey Turnbull
Hello friends! Lindsey, the owner of MissHeard Media- a media and live events company dedicated to creating a global community of confident girls. I’m here coming to you from the shiny new MH HQ! YAY! This week I want to share three ways you can calm yourself down when you’re feeling difficult challenging emotions, like stress, sadness, anxiety, anger.
These are all real techniques that WORK, that I use in my real life to deal with my own emotions. I learned these techniques, some on my own, some from my therapist, so really the credit goes to her.
The first one, and one of my go-tos for feeling anxious is bilateral tapping. My go to is to just cross my arms and tap my shoulders like this. If I need to be more subtle, I can tap my legs and it just looks like a sort of…nervous energy.
When you do this, it helps you feel more relaxed, less focused on what is stressing you out, and less worried. Something about the rhythmic tapping helps your brain process the information. Although I am not entirely sure *why* this works- something about reorienting your brain- the important thing is that it DOES work and its totally safe for the majority of people to do, quick, and easy to do, even in public.
If you like this method, there is a more involved method of tapping called the Emotional Freedom Technique or the Tapping Solution that you can look up and try.
Another thing I like to do is to do something with my hands. When someone is anxious, they may have a lot of nervous energy and do things like their legs or fidget. One way to siphon off some of that energy is by moving your hands. Something like a fidget cube is a discrete way to fidget without being distracting. Other things that help are like, making bracelets, crochet, even mushing up play doh. When we talked about this at summer camp last year, the campers found that mushing play doh was the MOST stress reliving thing of all the activities we tried.
Finally, a third way of coping with difficult and challenging emotions is to move your body. We all know from Literally Blonde that exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. When someone is angry, their hands may ball up into fists. Your body is prepping you to go into flight or fight mode, which gives you TONS of energy- but if you’re say…in school, it is probably not OK to have an outburst. Of course, regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain, but if you’re in school or at work or something….if you can sneak off to a bathroom stall or a quiet room and just….jump and move your arms and flail (it even has a name, it’s called pronking and its something animals do when threatened) and even though you WILL look totally silly, you’ll feel better afterwards because you’ve given your energy an outlet that is neutral, rather than negative.
So, those are three ways you can calm yourself when you are feeling difficult and challenging emotions- bilateral tapping, doing stuff with your hands, and pronking. Give them a try and report back to share how they worked!
Alright, thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you next week!
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