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  • Writer's pictureBrittani Antunes, MC, LPC

How to Calm Down in 10 Seconds

Updated: Feb 27

Silhouette of a person on a mountain to convey calmness after using tips to calm down after a trauma trigger

The stress and anxiety of daily life can feel overwhelming and all of those tips and tricks out there can sound great but sometimes seem impractical to put into action. I’m hoping to provide you with something that you can walk with today, do now, and use tomorrow to de-stress during the moments you need it the most.

Let’s just take a moment to admit that we all can make time for 10 seconds. Ten seconds, that’s all I ask for. I’m not recommending that you take a 30 minute walk (although I totally think that’s a great idea), or suggesting that you meditate for 15 minutes every morning (if you could, I’m sure that would be hugely beneficial), or even a 7 minute workout (which is actually pretty great, you can find it YouTube!)… I’m simply highlighting the fact that no matter how busy we are, we can all find time for a measly 10 seconds.

blurry photo of person in an office to convey the feeling of being too busy to calm down and focus on feelings.

Think about this… let’s paint the scene that you’re busy, busy, busy, go, go, go and are heading to your next meeting in a rush. Your stress level is up there and your feet are walking down the hall without your mind even having to tell them where to go as they’re programed in auto-pilot mode to take you there without passing Go or collecting $200. Think about your mindset in this moment, entering the meeting. Notice the flooding of thoughts, the to-do list that’s not getting done while your there, the office politics that may arise, the frustrating comments from you know who- ok, ok, I’ll stop so I don’t send you to a full panic attack right here and now, that’s not my goal. Just consider what your mindset would be in that moment. Now imagine that you have the power to alter this scene, change how it plays out but with the rule that you cannot change anything about what other people around you do (that part is out of our control). Imagine that just before hustling down the hallway you take a 10 second break. Ten seconds of time where you do not have to think all of those thoughts. Ten seconds where you get to simply breathe, clear your mind, and bring down your stress just a notch. Ten seconds to be in the present, hitting a quick little ‘reset’ button for your mindset.

What do you think that could do for you? Let’s give it a try now, what’s the harm in giving it a quick shot?

a woman taking a deep breathe to depict the relaxation that can come from this tip from an emdr therapist in Phoenix and online in Arizona

Step 1: Realize in the moment that you have time for 10 seconds.

Step 2: Give yourself permission to let go of the rushing thoughts just the next moment (I trust that you will have plenty of time to get back to them later)

Step 3: Focus your attention on one long deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Repeat if desired.

Bonus Tips

* Tip 1: If you’d like some more mental distraction count while breathing so your mind has something else to focus on.

Breath in for 4….

hold for 2….

and out for 5…

* Tip 2: Try to make it part of your routine before leaving the bathroom. I mean, you’re already in there, no one can complain that you took an additional 10 seconds, and it’s a good cue to help you remember that this is something you can do.

Click here if you’d like a quote to add as an option as well. Quotes are always good for a quick mindset adjustment.

I hope you find this helpful, I know I do :)

3 step photo from Trauma therapist in Phoenix, primarily treating ptsd with EMDR therapy

Want more tips? How to Calm Your Mind

Are you trying to calm down from a trauma trigger?

See if Accelerated Resolution Therapy or EMDR therapy may help you

Therapy with Me About the author:

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