effective calming techniques | wellbeing blog

How to Calm Down Quickly

3 Effective Calming Techniques

In this video post, I show you how to calm down quickly using three effective techniques.
Reduce anxiety, fear, panic, anger, or any other negative emotion with the help of:

  1. breathing technique “physiological sigh”
  2. rapid eye movement and
  3. short Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT or tapping

Physiological sigh

Breathing, in general, and sighs, in particular, play an important role in directly affecting your central nervous system. Natural sigh affects arousal and regulates your breathing.

Breathing continuously adopts and changes when you speak, exercise, or sleep. And sighs seem to be critical in maintaining a healthy balance between your state and breathing.

In stressful, threatening, and challenging situations, sighs play a different role. They essentially contribute to the flight-and-fight response.

Thus sighs play an important role in regulating our emotions.

Research has found an important relationship between sighs and relief. Sighs lead to both psychological and physiological relief effects. Therefore physiological sigh can be used as a calming breathing technique by sensitive people and people with anxiety.

Physiological sigh breathing technique

how to calm down quickly | breathing technique

A physiological sigh is a breathing technique with a

  • deep double inhalation through the nose
  • exhalation through the mouth

In order to calm down, the exhalation needs to be slow and long.

In order to reduce stress, double inhalation should be kept more or less equal in length to the exhalation. This can be useful during exercise, when your agenda gets full, or when you are talking during an important meeting.

Rapid Eye Movement

how to calm down quickly | rpid eye movement

REM is a phase of your sleep recognized by the rapid movement of the eyes. REM follows an about 90-minutes long non-REM sleep and lasts for about 10 minutes.

REM sleep plays a very important role in brain development, memory consolidation as well as emotional processing.

Rapid eye movement is used in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy that is successfully applied in PTSD cases.

You can mimic REM for the purpose of processing, or shaking off a negative emotion by rapid side-to-side movements of your eyes for a few moments.

Read a blog post on how to restore your sleep fast

Emotional Freedom Technique

The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT, or tapping) combines cognitive restructuring and exposure techniques with stimulation of acupressure points for the treatment of psychological distress. The tapping technique is effective due to the combination of these elements.

It was shown in multiple scientific studies that the emotional freedom technique decreases anxiety scores, and reduces symptoms of depression (by over 40 %), as well as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

1 to 10 EFT tapping sessions allow already achieving such positive results. These results are lasting and without any side effects.

EFT techniques are simple and can be used not only by a therapist but also as self-help.

As was shown in cases of depression, EFT tapping is more effective than diaphragmatic breathing, supportive interview, or sleep hygiene education and is comparable with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing technique (EMDR).

Calming Techniques FAQ

Should I tap only on one side?

Yes, it is sufficient to tap on one side only. It does not matter on which side you tap.

Conclusions

You can easily learn and apply

  • easy-to-learn
  • fast and effective techniques

that will help you to calm down and gain self-control in different situations.

  1. Physiological sigh uses a natural mechanism for emotional relief.
  2. Rapid eye movement mimics REM sleep responsible for the processing of emotions.
  3. EFT tapping combines stimulation of acupressure points with cognitive restructuring and exposure techniques to regain emotional comfort.

If you continuously experience high levels of anxiety or fear consider using hypnotherapy to resolve the root cause of the issue and achieve permanent relief.

Read a blog post on dealing with anxiety

References

  • Ramirez JM. The integrative role of the sigh in psychology, physiology, pathology, and neurobiology. Prog Brain Res. 2014;209:91-129. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63274-6.00006-0. PMID: 24746045; PMCID: PMC4427060.
  • Vlemincx E, Van Diest I, Van den Bergh O. A sigh of relief or a sigh to relieve: The psychological and physiological relief effect of deep breaths. Physiol Behav. 2016 Oct 15;165:127-35. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.07.004. Epub 2016 Jul 9. PMID: 27404329.
  • Novo Navarro P, Landin-Romero R, Guardiola-Wanden-Berghe R, Moreno-Alcázar A, Valiente-Gómez A, Lupo W, García F, Fernández I, Pérez V, Amann BL. 25 years of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): The EMDR therapy protocol, hypotheses of its mechanism of action and a systematic review of its efficacy in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Rev Psiquiatr Salud Ment (Engl Ed). 2018 Apr-Jun;11(2):101-114. English, Spanish. doi: 10.1016/j.rpsm.2015.12.002. Epub 2016 Feb 11. PMID: 26877093.
  • Church D, Stapleton P, Yang A, Gallo F. Is Tapping on Acupuncture Points an Active Ingredient in Emotional Freedom Techniques? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Comparative Studies. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2018 Oct;206(10):783-793. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000878. Erratum in: J Nerv Ment Dis. 2020 Aug;208(8):632-635. PMID: 30273275.
  • Clond M. Emotional Freedom Techniques for Anxiety: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2016 May;204(5):388-95. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000483. PMID: 26894319.
  • Nelms JA, Castel L. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized and Nonrandomized Trials of Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for the Treatment of Depression. Explore (NY). 2016 Nov-Dec;12(6):416-426. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2016.08.001. Epub 2016 Aug 18. PMID: 27843054.
  • Sebastian B, Nelms J. The Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis. Explore (NY). 2017 Jan-Feb;13(1):16-25. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2016.10.001. Epub 2016 Oct 24. PMID: 27889444.

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