Calm Down: Lessons From a Child

Something happens, your brain goes into frantic mode. You want to scream and yell and get your own way. You act or speak out of anger and frustration. That doesn’t usually work out so well. When you are upset and need to calm yourself down, what is your strategy? Kaia Roman shared her small daughter Nava’s strategy and discovered it works for adults too. When your brain and emotions are reeling, it is best to calm yourself down before acting or speaking, but how. Start with these.

1. Breathe into your discomfort.

“Just breathe” is advice we’ve all heard over and over. But it turns out this advice is actually scientifically-sound. Breath affects the heart, brain, digestion and the immune system — all parts of the body that are profoundly altered by stress. Research has shown that deep breaths lower levels of stress hormones by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, our body’s natural relaxation response.

2. Close your mouth so the sounds can’t come out.

I’ve seen Nava press both of her hands over her mouth when she’s upset, and now I know why. What a simple and yet profound step in her plan: allow your body to calm down before you shout something you will regret later. This doesn’t mean suppress your emotion, but rather focus on stabilizing your acute stress state so that you can communicate clearly and with purpose.

Read the rest of the steps and try them out. Clearly, thinking and choosing what we want to say and do before lashing out is what we should do. Nava’s steps are brilliant. Give it a try.

Source: Kaia Roman

Image: Publisher Clipart

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