How to Calm Your Nerves When Upset

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Most people have, at least at some point or another, found themselves in a situation where they are upset. When it happens, your heart may begin to race, skin feel flushed or feelings of anxiety. Some people even start to sweat.  As a result, the balance and stability of nerves can be thrown off-kilter.

If this happens, there are drug-free techniques that can be used to calm your nerves when upset. The key is to be proactive and not reactive to the situation which is upsetting you. Being proactive will allow you to calm yourself and, as a result, make better decisions and think more rationally.

Here are a few ideas for ways you can calm your nerves when upset:

Remove Yourself from the Situation

The first thing to do is to probably physically remove yourself from the situation whenever possible. This way the immediate upset can be mitigated and you can focus on calming yourself without experiencing further and/or additional distress. Once you either physically, or at least mentally, remove yourself from the situation, you can focus on some relaxation techniques to help you get calm.


Try to make some time to exercise. This can be a workout at the gym, run a mile or even a 10-minute walk around the block can do wonders. If you are at work when the upset occurs and a good exercise session is not possible, try escaping to the stairwell and walk up and down the stairs a few times. Burning off physical energy can help you refocus and burn out the anger, frustration or whatever emotion you’re experiencing that is upsetting your nerves.


Calming music is another technique that many people often find helps them relax. While some people find loud or “heavy” music helps sort the emotions, in a situation where you truly need to calm immediately, listening to softer music will probably have a more soothing effect on your nerves.

Create Your Own ‘Mind Movie’

This is a visualization technique which can help mentally remove yourself from a stressful or frustrating situation and refocus your mind to a happier place. What you do is select a place you’ve been that is soothing, relaxing and a happy memory. Set a whole scenario in your head about this place and memorize it. Anytime you feel the need to calm, find a quiet place and imagine yourself in this place.

Meditation or Prayer

Depending on a person’s personal beliefs, medication and/or prayer is another way which can effectively calm nerves and sooth the mind. Take a few moments and reflect, it could provide a sense of peace and/or strength.

Talk it out

Some people simply need to talk it out. An individual who needs calming may feel all bottled inside and a conversation with a trusted individual where they can sort out and bounce off their feelings can be a fast stress reliever.

Eliminate Stimulants

Sleep is often a great way to calm nerves. An individual is more susceptible to getting upset and experiencing heightened stress when they are sleep deprived. A good night, or several nights, sleep can effectively help bring on calmness and provide the ability to more easily bring on a feeling of serenity. Also during times of stress, avoiding alcohol and caffeine is a good idea since alcohol is a depressant and caffeine may also interfere with the ability to slow things down internally.

Upset nerves is something most people experience at one time or another in their lives. It is important to remember there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solutions; what works for one person, may not for another. The key is to figure out what technique and/or combination of techniques work for you and use those in order to calm your nerves when upset.

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