How To Calm Down Your Cat When It’s Angry, Scared, Or Agitated
Cats of all breeds and ages can get extremely upset. Aggressive or stressed-out behavior is bound to occur, and as a pet parent you’re the one who must help the kitty calm down.
Scared and angry cats or felines in heat usually find it difficult to calm themselves down. Frantic running, hiding, meowing, yowling, hissing, and other similar types of problematic behavior are the most common telltale signs that you must take control of the situation.
Calming a feline creature isn’t easy, especially if it’s being aggressive. Nevertheless, it’s not mission impossible. There are several ways to approach the kitty without the need of relaxants and sedatives such as Feliway sprays.
How To Calm Your Cat Down And Make It Relax
Here are the most practical ways to help your pet relax. But whatever you do, remember that your cat is a living being with emotions and feelings. As such, you need to treat it carefully.
Locate The Problem
Before you take any measures, you need to find what it is that’s upsetting your precious furball. Could it be simply startled by something? Is it scared or extremely anxious? Or is it acting territorial and overprotective?
Kitties can get upset for a number of reasons. Trips to the vet, unknown strangers, new surroundings, car sickness, noisy children, and unexpected loud sounds are common anxiety triggers.
Improve The Kitty’s Accommodation
Even though cats don’t see the world the way we do, they still perceive it similarly. When it comes to certain surroundings, cats can feel just as relaxed, anxious, scared, or angry as human beings.
Try to improve the kitty’s surroundings. Set up a comfortable cat bed and make sure the room is quiet, safe, and has a pleasant temperature. Remove anything that might be upsetting your pet. This includes children, unknown strangers, other pets, and so forth. Cats can easily be upset by new furniture pieces or loud appliances.
Make sure your furry pal has safety and comfort in its room. If you’ve recently moved into a new home, give the cat some time to adjust to its new surroundings.
Approach Your Pet
When approaching your beloved furball, remember not to make any sudden movements or to block its possible escape routes. Be cautious and keep your cat’s safety in mind, as well as your own. Bites, scratches, and other attempts at attack might occur.
Speak to your furball is a soft and soothing tone. Talk to your kitty in order to calm it down before trying to engage in any physical contact with it.
Opt for bringing out its favorite cat toy. Instead of dangling the toy and teasing the cat, simply leave the toy nearby. Another option is to bring a food bowl filled with your feline pal’s favorite food. You can also use cat treats.
If the cat allows you to get close enough to touch it, do it. Use slow, soothing strokes while you’re petting it. Talk as you’re stroking the kitty and don’t make sudden gestures or loud noises. If possible, embrace the kitty and hug it near ground level so that it has an easy escape route if it decides to bolt.
Allow The Cat To Adjust
If the above tricks don’t work, give your feline pal some space. Sometimes it’s best to leave your pet alone in a quiet room until it calms down on its own. You can use a towel to wrap the kitty in it as you’re carrying it to the other room so that it won’t scratch and bite or try to jump from your arms.
Seek A Professional’s Help
Sometimes cats can become anxious and upset due to health reasons – either physical or emotional. An undiagnosed health disorder can easily be the reason behind your pet’s anxiety.
If you can’t calm your cat down with the above techniques, schedule an appointment with your vet. If necessary, the vet will prescribe medication such as relaxants and anxiety remedies (such as pheromone Feliway sprays and cat collars.)
Regardless of the cause behind your cat’s behavior, the most important thing to do is to not panic! Your kitty will sense that there’s something wrong with you, which will make it even more anxious.
How to Calm People Down
I once got a job based largely on my knowledge of how to calm people down when they’re getting upset. I didn’t even realize I had such superpowers – it came naturally to me.
But since then people have asked me how to do it, and I’ve analyzed what it is I do. It’s really pretty simple!
How to calm people down
Note: yes, most of these tips work with kids as well as adults.
Calm yourself first
If you’re angry or offended, it will be hard for you to de-escalate the situation.
- Decide not to take it personally. The person’s anger or panic says more about their state of mind than it says about you. And they may not realize how they’re coming across.
- Remember you’ve probably gotten overly upset yourself once or twice. Even if you’re pretty laid back, you’ve probably gotten upset in front of someone at least once in your life. It’s a normal reaction when you feel like you’ve got a legitimate, urgent concern.
- Think of this as an opportunity to communicate better rather than a conflict. After you get an upset person to calm down and discuss things with you, you may end up bonding with them, or at least making them feel grateful to you.
The calming voice
The first rule in dealing with someone who’s getting angry or frightened is to keep your voice low in pitch. Higher pitches signal excitement and fuel the person’s growing emotions.
Keep your voice at a low volume, too. Sometimes you can calm people down just by talking at a normal volume while they raise their voices.
Some words work better than others, too. Someone whose emotions are escalating out of control wants to know they are being heard. Your first mission, then, is to let them know you’re listening – whether or not you can/will help.
Avoid words like “can’t” and “but” and “no” because people tend to tune out after hearing those.
In a work situation, for example, avoid a phrase like, “I can’t help – you have to talk to the boss.” Instead say something like, “I understand. As soon as the boss comes back, I’ll do X, Y and Z to fix this for you.”
Or “I’m going to look into what I can do to help, and then call you with an update as soon as I know.”
If the person is making a totally unreasonable demand, try a phrase like, “I understand what you’re saying. The thing is, so-and-so also has to be considered, and her needs are different from yours.”
Telling someone they’re being unreasonable rarely gets through, because nobody ever thinks they’re being unreasonable. The phrasing I suggested shows in a non-confrontational way why the person’s demand can’t be met.
Dealing with panic
If you’re dealing with someone in a panic, you need to take a different tack. They don’t care if you understand their concerns (“Yes, I understand there’s a mob of fire-breathing dragons headed right for us, and I share your concern” doesn’t cut it).
They want to know what action will be taken to fix the problem. Keep your voice calm, low and steady. Being “good in a crisis” is all about staying calm and giving out clear, concrete instructions like, “You call 911. I’ll go get the first-aid kit.”
When people panic, they really want instructions to follow. Go ahead and tell them what to do.
I’ve been in two situations involving workplace injuries in which my superiors panicked and I calmly told them what we needed to do. In neither case did they later say I was out of line.
These tricks are ones I’ve honed in the workplace, but they apply in communications between family and friends, too. Most of us have developed learned responses we rattle off without thinking to people we know well, and many of those responses aren’t helpful.
That’s why you can find yourself having the same miscommunications and arguments over and over. By changing your communication style, you can break through barriers and reach a new level of understanding.
You may also want to check out my articles on dealing with people who twist your words, coping with anxiety, and stress relief.
How To Calm Down When It All Seems Too Much
By Nicola Kirkpatrick
Updated December 06, 2018
Reviewer Heather Cashell
Keeping your cool can be a challenging task, especially in the fast-paced, often dangerous world of the 21st century. Everyone deals with frustration and fear at some time in their life, but when anger, panic and anxiety disorders become a part of a pattern, staying calm can be almost overwhelming. Anxiety is the most common mental health problem in America.
In a 12-month period, 18.1% of adults in the U.S. reported suffering from it. Panic disorder is rarer, with only 2.7% of the adult population reporting it, but just as distressing to the people who live with it. People with anger problems often have trouble knowing how to remain calm as well. Still, even the most mentally healthy people in the world can have moments of anxiety, panic or fear until they master the art of how to stay calm.
Benefits of Learning How to Keep Calm
Feelings of anger, fear and panic are uncomfortable, to say the least. This is reason enough to know how to calm yourself down. Other reasons make keeping calm even more desirable.
Several physical benefits are associated with calmness.
- Lower blood pressure: Science has proven the notion that people who commonly have anxiety are more likely to suffer from hypertension later in life.
- Lower heart rate: Anger and fear both increase heart rate significantly in the moment.
- Reduce risk of heart attack and stroke: After a show of anger, heart attack risk and stroke risk
- Reduce digestive system problems: Both constipation and diarrhea have been associated with emotional problems, especially anxiety, for many years.
- Reduce overeating: In a study conducted at the University of Wurzburg, Germany, feelings of anger were associated with greater feelings of hunger and more sensory and impulsive eating.
- Other benefits: By keeping calm, you might avoid hair loss and skin problems and boost your immune system.
If you know how to calm your mind, you can also experience profound emotional benefits. People who know how to regulate their emotions tend to have less depression and generalized anxiety. They are happier and better able to appreciate the positive things and people around them.
To Increase Success
When you can understand how to calm down from anxiety and anger, you can enjoy greater success at work, at home, and in social situations. You can build stronger relationships. Knowing how to stay calm can increase your creativity, too.
Identify Fears and Frustrations
Sometimes, it’s hard to know what triggers fear and anger. Other times, a specific event or situation causes your emotions to flare. It’s okay to feel the way you do. Trying to deny those feelings can intensify them. Yet, being aware of your triggers can help you prepare yourself by learning how to be calm no matter what situation comes up.
What is it that makes you feel angry?
- Traffic jams?
- Incompetent workers?
- Elections that don’t go your way?
- Social injustice?
- Paying taxes?
- Strict rules or laws?
- Being rejected in a relationship?
- People who hurt you or others intentionally?
- Being corrected in public?
- Being reprimanded at work?
The list could go on and on. As you read it, did you recognize any of your hot buttons? Notice that angry feelings are an appropriate response for many of the items. Remember, it isn’t the feeling that is wrong. Yet, if you learn how to calm down from anger when confronted by these issues, you can manage the situation in the most effective way.
What about fear? What are you afraid of?
Fear is a helpful emotion when it helps us be more careful or stay away from dangerous situations. Unfortunately, fear can be paralyzing. You can miss out on great opportunities because you’re afraid to try. Most people only feel fear occasionally, but an improper response to it can cause other problems to arise. Recognizing your fears ahead of time can give you a chance to overcome them. People with anxiety disorders may find fear around every corner, but there is usually something that triggers it. They, too, can benefit from examining what makes them afraid.
Which of these fears makes you feel anxious or panicked? Are you afraid of:
- Losing a loved one through death, divorce or abandonment?
- Angry people?
- Natural disasters?
- Losing your job?
- Public speaking?
- Not meeting survival needs?
- New situations?
- Meeting new people?
- Being in a crowd?
- Being in a hospital?
- Your own death?
Many of these fears serve essential functions. Being afraid of crime can prompt you to park in a well-lit area at night or lock your doors when you leave home. Being afraid that you can’t support yourself can push you to work harder to find a job. Or, these fears can paralyze you and cause the very thing that you fear to happen. That’s the biggest reason you need to know how to calm anxiety.
How to Calm Down from Anxiety or Anger
You have a wide range of options to choose from to help you get and stay calm. Try out several until you find a smaller subset of techniques that works best for you.
Stay in the Moment
When you keep your thoughts in the present moment, you are only dealing with the anger, fear or panic in that moment. Often, when tempers flare, thoughts of past grievances add fuel to the fire. Anxiety is more about the future. Incessant worrying can make what might have been a neutral event into one filled with thoughts of unpleasant times ahead.
Mindfulness is akin to staying in the moment, but it is a more specific technique. Mindfulness involves paying close attention to the information you are getting from your senses in the present moment. Being mindful can help you get in tune with what is really going on so that you don’t blow it out of proportion.
Thoughts that provoke anger or fear but have no other purpose may come into your mind repeatedly. Instead of letting them affect your emotions, practice the thought-stopping technique. When an unwanted thought starts replaying over and over, stop it by mentally saying the word «Stop!» Or, if your imagination is more visual, you can picture a stop sign. Every time the thought recurs, stop it again. Once you have practiced this method for a while, it will come more easily in the future.
Remember Past Positive Outcomes
When you are faced with a challenge to your emotions, think about times in the past when the same situation has turned out well. Perhaps you tend to get angry when you see a relative. Instead of dwelling on times when your personalities clashed, remember a time when you had a pleasant conversation. If you are afraid you will have a wreck when you drive across town, think of another time when you drove there and made it to your destination safely.
Take a Break
Resolving an emotion-fraught situation can be tiring and frustrating. Take a break from it and come back later, when you have calmed down. Either the problem will still be there for you to resolve, or it will have resolved in some other way and you won’t have to face it.
Suggest Another Time or Place to Settle It
Sometimes, it can be hard to get out of a fight or a fearful situation. One way to get calm is to suggest coming back to the discussion or situation at another place or time. You can get back to what you were doing before you got upset, and you can let tomorrow take care of tomorrow. Moving to a more neutral place during a dispute is how to calm your nerves if you find yourself at a disadvantage. Once you arrive at the new location, you can feel more in control of your emotions.
You don’t have to settle every dispute. Sometimes, it’s okay to walk away from an argument and go on with your life.
If a confrontation or scary situation has concluded but you still feel angry or upset, you can take some time to have a cup of herbal tea like chamomile or lavender. Be careful with herbal remedies if you are taking prescription medications. For many people, these herbs are safe and effective.
Muscle Relaxation Techniques
You can use muscle relaxation techniques when your muscles are tense after an episode of intense anger. One is to lie down and tense and release each muscle group in succession.
How to Calm Down from a Panic Attack
Panic attacks fall into the more general category of anxiety. A panic attack is a specific type of anxiety that is sudden, intense, and over quickly in most cases, usually in about 10 minutes or less. Knowing how to calm down a panic attack before it happens can make your life more pleasant and manageable.
Recognize You’re Having a Panic Attack
If you’ve had panic attacks before, you will recognize the symptoms listed below. If you are unsure about the symptoms of a panic attack, learn them. Then, in the moment the panic attack is happening, tick them off one by one as you recognize them. Feelings and sensations that happen during a panic attack can be quite unsettling, but they are harmless.
- Your heart is racing.
- You feel weak or faint.
- You feel dizzy.
- You have numbness or tingling in your extremities.
- You feel terrified.
- You feel like you are going to die.
- You sweat or have chills.
- You have pains in your chest.
- Your breathing becomes irregular.
- You feel like you are losing control.
Distinguish Between Fear and Danger
The next step in learning to how to calm down a panic attack is to sort out what is a baseless feeling of fear and what is an actual danger.
Don’t Rush to Do Something About It
It’s common for people with panic attacks to scramble for methods for how to calm anxiety fast as soon as they feel the panic coming on. Because panic attacks usually only last a few minutes, it makes more sense to wait for them to pass. Trying to think about what to do to help yourself when your mind is focused on intense fear may be nearly impossible. It’s better to wait if you can before you start trying to find a way out of your panic.
Stay Engaged in Activities You Need to Complete
If you aren’t doing anything important, you can focus on using tips and techniques you’ve learned while discovering how to calm an anxiety attack. But, if you’re driving, you need to stay focused on the road, at least until you can get your car off the road.
Use Breathing Techniques
Try belly breathing to get yourself calmed down from a panic attack. Instead of breathing from your chest, focus on your belly and breathe as if the breath is coming and going from that part of your body. Slow breathing can also be helpful. Try breathing into a slow count of five, holding your breath briefly, and then breathing out to a slow count of seven.
Ask What If Questions
Many fears are so exaggerated that it’s easy to lose sight of what will happen if they come to pass. If you’re afraid you’ll get lost when you drive to a new place, ask yourself what would happen if you did get lost. You could ask for directions, get out your road map, or notice where the sun was in the sky to determine what direction you were going. If your answers are more ominous, ask yourself how likely they are to happen.
Remind Yourself It Will Pass
When you’re in the midst of a panic attack, it can feel like it will last forever. It is so intense that you can forget it will only last a few moments. Remind yourself your panic attack is a temporary thing and that it will soon be over. Once you learn how to calm down a panic attack, it becomes less likely that they will happen. And, if they do, you know what to think about and how to react.
How to Stay Calm
Getting calm only takes a short while, but staying that way can be a challenge. Knowing how to keep calm is an important skill to learn, especially if you are prone to experiencing anger, anxiety or panic.
Accept Your Feelings
First, allow yourself the permission to feel angry, anxious or upset. Don’t dwell on those feelings. Just notice them.
Take a Positive Viewpoint
Once the angry or fearful moment has passed, you can adopt a positive viewpoint while the situation is being resolved. Be a problem-solver. When you know how to calm down anxiety, the positive viewpoint will help keep you from getting upset again.
Take Action When It Is Appropriate
If you are in an emergency situation, you are likely to feel fearful. Most people do. One way to stay calm after you’ve managed to get calm is to do whatever you can find to do that will help the situation.
A part of learning how to calm nerves is preventing flare-ups before they happen. Making lifestyle changes can go a long way towards reducing emotional upsets. You can also prepare yourself for emotionally upsetting situations by investigating how you typically react to them, practicing calming techniques, and thinking out what you could do if anger or panic happens.
Panic, anxiety and anger get your heart pumping by themselves. You don’t need caffeine speeding up your heart rate more.
Eat Healthy Foods
Following a healthy diet can help you feel more peaceful in general. It’s especially important to get the vitamins and minerals that can relieve stress and reduce anger and anxiety. Magnesium and the B Vitamins are helpful for people with anger or anxiety.
Get Enough Sleep
Fitful sleep or not enough of it can make you prone to all kinds of emotional upsets. Make sure your room is dark, go to bed at a reasonable hour, set an alarm to get up after 7-9 hours, and go to sleep. If you snore or have trouble breathing, talk to a doctor to see if you have sleep apnea.
Working out your muscles relieves tension and boosts your mood.
Practicing daily meditation makes you more peaceful for the rest of the day. The longer you practice it, the more effective it becomes. A basic way to meditate is to imagine you are looking up at clouds as they float by above you. Place each of the angry of fearful thoughts that arise onto the top of a cloud. Notice the cloud as it glides by, but let it pass without trying to hold onto it.
Guided imagery sessions can help you become a calmer person. You can work with a therapist or get a guided imagery recording to listen to at home. The narrator describes a peaceful place in great details so you can imagine what it is like and mentally enter into that peacefulness.
Devise Coping Statements
Coping statements are positive thoughts you can use to replace negative thoughts that come up with when you’re angry or afraid. To be prepared for upsetting events and situations, you can make up a list of negative thoughts that might come to you and create a list of coping statements to replace them with.
Keep an Emotions Journal
No matter what kind of emotion gets the better of you, you can keep a journal to write down your experiences with it. Write down what it felt like, how you reacted, and what happened afterward. This reinforces helpful behaviors as you begin to see what usually works the best.
Getting Help for Staying Calm
If you still have trouble understanding how to calm down from anger, panic or anxiety, a therapist can help. If you need help putting these techniques into practice, talking with a therapist can help you learn more about yourself, how you react to stressors, and what you can do to improve your emotional well-being. Licensed counselors are available at BetterHelp.com to talk with you about this and other mental health issues as they relate to learning how to calm down when angry or anxious.
How to Calm Down a Hyperactive Cat
Your perfectly angelic cat sits curled up on a warm sunny spot near a window. It purrs for your attention and at times, tries to snuggle up with you. The picture changes in a few hours and your kitty becomes a holy terror. She gnaws at your new cushions and leather sofas. She drops things on the floor as she jumps on every piece of furniture in your living room. She tries to bite your baby’s feet and claws at you. She eats the new electric wiring and she meows all through the night. And while you plan to call it a day and go to bed, she starts scratching the new veneer of your bedroom door. You can’t stop wondering why your angel has suddenly turned so devilish? Fear not, for this problem does have some solutions. Try them on your pet and gently persuade your kitty to respond.
Devils to Angels… a ‘Patient’ Way to Success
Problem #1: My cat meows endlessly all night and scratches on the door till I don’t let her inside the room.
The solution to this problem is simple yet testing. A cat’s meowing often sounds pleading to some people and if you really love your cat then you might feel tempted to keep the cat near you. Fact is you need not always respond to your cat’s calls, as it is just trying to seek your attention. However, make sure that your cat is not meowing out of some fear or physical distress. If you let your cat out of the house at night, then you may include a cat door flap to let in the cat whenever it wants. As far as scratching the door is concerned, use a water spray bottle or a vacuum cleaner to keep the cat away from your bedroom door when you want to go to sleep. You need not always respond to these scratching on the door, so as to make the cat understand that it will not get to see you at any given time as per its whims.
Problem #2: My cat tears the sofa covers and messes up with the whole house when I am not around.
The fact to be remembered is that just like humans, animals need a space that they can call their own. However, messing up your house is definitely not acceptable. Do not scream at your cat as it can definitely sense your anger and will react violently. Instead, select a small private room for your pet from the day of its arrival. To save your home from any destruction, restrict the cat’s movement to this room only whenever you are busy or away from home. Provide for sufficient cat food and water along with an old warm blanket for the cat to curl up on. Leave some toys in the room so that the cat can chew them whenever it gets excited. Let your new pet get used to its room before you can expect it to calm down and settle. Till then, you are free to make use of a cat box to carry it around.
Problem #3: My cat meows all night, which keeps me awake.
One of the first and foremost things to be done is to place your cat in its own room and place a music system or radio to play inside the room. The sound of music will fade away the meows of your cat and at the same time will make the cat feel like it has a companion. Yes, cats sometimes make these noises when they feel alone. Similarly, it is necessary to find out if the cat is meowing incessantly as a mating call. A cat’s mating season is usually during the spring and the fall.
Problem #4: My cat scratches and tries to bite me every now and then.
This is a really infectious problem. A cat’s bite and scratching can cause some serious health issues. I suggest that you clip your pet’s nails regularly to keep it from scratching you. As far as the habit of cat biting is concerned, you may opt to hold your cat with help of a thick old towel. Alternately, use hand-gloves when holding your pet. This will stop the sharp teeth of your feline from directly piercing your skin. Make sure to get your pet vaccinated on regular basis to avoid any infections.
Problem #5: My cat is charged up each day and I am afraid it will ruin my home by breaking things.
One of the foremost things to remember is, to divert your pet’s energies towards some different activities like playing with chew toys or jumping up to a bait on the fish line. You may use a ribbon to tie a small lightweight bell to its tail. The cat will go round and round trying to catch the bell. All you need to do is keep your cat engaged. Use these tricks regularly before you plan to take a nap or just before you go to bed. These activities are good ways to vent out your pet’s excessive energies and at the end of these sessions, your cat may get tired and decide to doze off on its own. You may fix some time for petting your cat and playing with it each day. Offer your pet ‘cat treats’ for a show of calm behavior.
Cats are smart and intelligent creatures. No matter how hyper she gets, talk to your cat calmly and with respect. Remember, hyperactivity amongst cats is a temporary phase and reduces after a period of time. Meanwhile, you can definitely go on loving your pet.
How To Calm Down From A Panic Attack
By Sarah Fader
Updated December 07, 2018
Reviewer Heather Cashell
Panic attacks are a scary experience for anyone. When a person has a panic attack he or she may feel like they are experiencing a medical emergency, and even believe that their lives are in danger. A panic attack creates several distressing sensations, like fear, hyperventilation, ringing in ears, numbing or tingling in arms and legs, and chest pain. If you are one of the many people who experiences panic attacks you may feel hopeless to control your symptoms, but there are methods you can learn to help you calm down and reduce the effects of the attack.
What Is A Panic Attack?
It is important for a person who experiences panic attacks to understand what panic attacks are and why they happen. Each person experiences panic attacks for different reasons, but every panic attack is a stress response. Panic attacks are a reaction to being under pressure, overwhelmed, or afraid. People who experience panic attacks have either experienced a traumatic event, are struggling to cope with something unsettling or upsetting, or suffer from general anxiety issues.
How To Cope With Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are difficult to live with, especially when you have trouble anticipating what will trigger an attack. When you have a panic attack your body and mind react so severely that you may lose touch with what is going on around you. When the fear and stress response of a panic attack takes over it can be difficult to regain control over your mind and body. Fortunately, there are exercises that you can learn to calm down from panic attacks.
Focus On Your Breathing
Hyperventilation is a hazardous symptom of panic attacks. When you are experiencing a panic attack your breathing becomes shallow. This shallow breathing deprives your body of oxygen, which causes your brain to think you are dying, which causes more panic. Focus on your breathing to reduce the intensity of this reaction. Try placing your hand on your chest, taking a 10 second inhale, hold for 3 seconds, and release the air on a 10 second count. Continue this until you feel your body relax.
Remind Yourself You Are Not Dying
As a reaction to the racing heartbeat and hyperventilation, your brain will conclude you are dying and go into survival mode, which causes more panic. In these situations, remind yourself that you are not dying, you are just having a panic attack. Remind yourself that you are safe and this feeling will pass. Alerting the brain that this is only a panic attack will reduce the intensity of the reaction.
Bring Yourself Back To The Present
It is easy to get lost in a panic attack. When you feel yourself about to have a panic attack, bring yourself to the present moment. What do you hear? What do you see? What do you feel and smell? Keep yourself grounded in the present moment. This will calm you down by allowing the brain to focus on the present moment, rather than the distressing thoughts that are triggering the attack.
Seek Mental Health Counseling
If you are having panic attacks it is important to seek mental health counseling. Panic attacks are the result of stress, fear and anxiety. With counseling, you can work with your therapist to understand the core issues and triggers for the panic attacks. You will also learn new ways to strengthen your coping strategies to help you calm down from a panic attack. If you feel you need professional counseling services, go to https://www.betterhelp.com/start/ to connect with a mental health professional today.
How to calm down | Layups.com
Confidence is sometimes very fickle and can exit out of the most confident of players during the times they need it the most, especially before a basketball game begins. You could be one of the best players in the team, but that nagging thought of you not having enough of time to perfect your jump shot could be killing you inwardly. You’re probably thinking in your head, “I don’t want the chance of a shot” and it goes on like a reel.
Unfortunately though you may never know what the game has in store unless you begin playing it. Carrying anxiety to the game will not help you and your teammates in the crucial parts of the game, you need to calm down, relax and regain your confidence.
Obviously the coach can help you out a great deal, by making the win less stressful for you, and asking you to give it your best shot instead. However you need to calm yourself down completely and regain confidence.
Some of the best NBA pro players of our times, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant often take time only for themselves before the game is about to begin. They use this time to calm themselves down and ensure that they get back their confidence before leaping, hooping and pacing the court. During your career, you would have also noticed that your game is much better when you are confident and most importantly believe in yourself. This is what the two great players have to say, “How you think affects how you play”.
Of course you need to practice well during training sessions, but even if you have you will still suffer from un-calm nerves before a match begins. Here are some metal skills that will help you as a player to calm yourself down.
Body and mind awareness: You need to be aware of yourself mentally and physically. Most often when we are nervous, our hands get sweaty or cold. There are other indicators as well like headaches because of all the stress manifestation, pacing the room and even shaking your legs. These are indicators that you are nervous and anxiety is hitting you. You need to take care of it by mentally making your self believe that “You are in control of yourself.”
Breathe!: Once you are aware of your anxiety and how it shows on your body you need to compose yourself. The best way is to calm yourself down with a few breathing exercises. The simplest is by taking in big shots of breath and then slowing releasing it, and then gradually lower it down to much slower breathing reps.
Positive Talk: You can talk positive to yourself, by repeating a few positive notes like “I can shoot a three pointer” etc. A psychologist once said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.” By talking positively to yourself you will see a surge of confidence creep back into you.
Attitude: Lastly but not the least is to carry the right attitude, reply in positive to your coach and answer him saying that the team will win. This will help you gain a positive attitude and it will show in your game as well.
How To Calm Down During A Panic Attack, According To Science
If you have an anxiety disorder — or struggle with too much stress, that often pushes you over the edge — then you already know how difficult it can be to calm down during a panic attack. Once your mind starts racing, and your body fills with dread, it can be tough to relax and bring yourself back to reality.
While a panic attack will pass in a few minutes all on its own — and reminding yourself of that fact can be calming, in and of itself — there are also a few science-backed tricks you can try, to speed the process along.
Because a panic attack is anything but pleasant. «A panic attack is a sudden urge of fear and distress that takes over and makes you feel loss of control and intense fear,» psychologist Dr. Danielle Forshee tells Bustle. It can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, a pounding heart, tingling sensations in the body, nausea, sweating, and even a sense that you’re going to die, Dr. Forshee says. (Even though that’s not actually going to happen.)
If you have panic attacks regularly, definitely seek the help of a therapist, so they can address the underlying anxiety or panic disorder that’s causing them. And, in the meantime, don’t forget to give a few of these science-backed tips a try. They might be just what you need to feel better.
1Dunk Your Face In Cold Water
While it may sound strange, dunking your face into a bowl of cold water can help stop a panic attack in its tracks.
«Research in physiology suggests that the human heart rate slows down 10 to 25 percent when our face comes into contact with ice cold water,» says Dr. Forshee. «This is affective during a panic attack because when we are experiencing panic our body physiologically becomes aroused (increased heart rate is one of the symptoms of physiological arousal).»
It may be tricky to come across a bowl of ice water while out in public, but this may be a good one to try at home.
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
If you’re having a panic attack, it can help to bring your mind back to reality with a few grounding techniques. «I begin by focusing on anything and everything concrete,» Mary Beth Cooper, founder of With Anxiety in Tow, tells Bustle. «I notice exactly what’s in my view, taking note of the spectrum around me. I then choose one or two things to zone in on. I might notice a picture on the wall or an outfit that someone is wearing. I shift focus to what I see in order to move away from my thoughts.»
By forcing yourself to notice your surroundings, it’ll help get you «out of your head» where the panic is happening, and back into the real world.
3Try Diaphragmatic Breathing
It’s helpful to take deep breaths to calm down during a panic attack. But it can be even more helpful to try diaphragmatic breathing. «Forcing yourself to breathe through your diaphragm will trick your brain into believing that you are in a relaxed state,» Dr. Forshee says. «When you are having a panic attack, your brain creates these physiological symptoms because it thinks that you are in need of protection (fight or flight). Diaphragmatic breathing will send signals to your brain that is not the case.» Here’s how to do it.
4Play A Game
When you’re having a panic attack, the last thing you might think about are all the games on your phone. But they sure can come in handy as a form of distraction, because remember — it’s all about redirecting your thinking.
«The idea is it can act as a distraction to the fear or the body symptoms of anxiety,» Dr. Prakash Masand MD, a psychiatrist and founder of the Centers of Psychiatric Excellence, tells Bustle. «Download some games that will distract you and get your mind off of the unpleasant symptoms you are feeling. You can also download relaxing music and guided relaxation sessions.»
5Squeeze A Stress Ball
If you’re prone to anxiety attacks, it might help to keep your hands busy when you feel your panic rising. You might want to stretch and play with some putty, handle a smooth stone, squeeze a stress ball, or play with a fidget spinner. As Dr. Masand says, «Keeping something in your hands can help connect you with the present moment and also acts as a stress reliever.»
6Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
Changing your thoughts is always easier said than done when you’re in the middle of a panic attack. But the more often you can practice replacing your negative, scary thoughts with ones that are more positive, the easier it will become.
«People with panic tend to catastrophize or see the worst in things,» Dr. Masand says. «In other words, they believe it’s their plane that will go down or that they will embarrass themselves in a public setting, etc. Carry some positive mantras or sayings to bring you back to reality. Or better yet, prepare your own. When you have the negative thoughts of gloom and doom, write down some positive and more realistic rebuttals.»
7Ask Yourself Some Questions
«Anxiety has a way of playing tricks on your mind and causing you to see everything in a negative light,» John Hamilton, LMFT, LADC and Chief Clinical Outreach Officer at Mountainside Treatment Center, tells Bustle. «One way to reduce your anxiety is by fighting back these thoughts. Next time you are feeling anxious ask yourself: Is there a reason why I am feeling anxious? Am I exaggerating the problem? Is there something I can do to solve it? How do I want to feel right now?»
Either you’ll realize the answer is no, and begin to calm down. Or, you’ll realize the answer is yes, and feel validated — and thus less panicked. «When feelings of anxiety are valid, realizing this can help you accept your anxiety and find ways to work through it,» Hamilton says.
Of course, anxiety and panic isn’t always something you can overcome on your own. These tips are simple supplements to real treatment, which you can find by talking to a therapist. In doing so, you can certainly overcome your panic attacks, however bad they may seem.