10 Ways to Calm Down When You Feel Overwhelmed

Everyone can feel overwhelmed at times, and it can start because of a stressful situation or result from chronic stress. If you need to calm down quickly, there are tips and tricks which can help you; I’ll guide you through the ones I use when things get too much.

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As humans, we get stressed, and sometimes it is good; for instance, when you go on a rollercoaster, that brief amount of stress is called eustress, and it does not last long. But chronic stress can take a toll on your mental health and also your body.

Feeling overwhelmed can cause you to become sluggish, easily distracted and may affect your cognition. You might start making mistakes at work or college; you could become irritable with your family. If this is the case, then you need to learn how to destress.

What is the Source

Discovering and understanding what the source of the stress is can help you move towards resolving it. Sometimes we think it is a culmination of things when in fact, if one or two things are removed that would make life better. Think to yourself, what are the two things that would make my life better if there were not there. Now you might not be able to change things straight away, but you will now know the two things you need to work on to improve your stressful situation.

Take a Walk

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A walk in nature is very underrated, and especially a walk through woodland is really beneficial for our health. The chemicals given off by trees can destress us; although I’m not sure if this is proven, I like to believe it. They give us oxygen. Why not feel good chemicals!

A walk in nature can lower your heart rate, which is beneficial for reducing stress. And it is even better if you go for a walk with a friend or the family dog. When you feel overwhelmed, you need to make sure nature is on your list of things to do as it is also considered exercise and exercise release feel-good endorphins.

Take Deep Breaths

Breathing slowly and methodically can help relieve stress, and if you feel overwhelmed by something in front of you, then a deep breathing exercise will help.

First breath in through the nose and out through the mouth, each inhale and exhale count as one breath. Count up to ten; you might go past ten by accident if you do start again. Repeat several times until the panic subsides.

Set Boundaries

Learn to say no; taking on too much can leave you with stress because it is too much for you. I have an article on the website about the importance of saying no.

When we are stressed, we may say yes to things to get rid of the other person or not know what else to do. If this is the case, you need to set yourself some boundaries and learn to say no is one of those boundaries. Feeling overwhelmed shouldn’t involve you taking on more work or saying yes to nights out when all you really need is a good nights sleep. Picking the right moments to say no will empower you and lower your stress levels.


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There are visualisation exercises you can do when you feel overwhelmed, which involves going to your ‘happy place’.

Sit down, get comfy and relax, close your eyes, and take yourself to your favourite setting; it could be the beach, a local coffee shop, etc. Or it could be a memory of happier times where there was no stress in your life. Focus on that each time you lose the image, then imagine swiping away the intrusive thought and regain the image again. You can even do the hand movement if that helps.

Be Kind to Yourself

These days we can be too hard on ourselves that we need this or that to be happy, but in truth, all we need is food, water, shelter and the company of family or friends. Everything else is surplus, so be kind to yourself and understand that you are good as you are.

Replace negative thoughts about yourself with positive ones; each time a negative thought pops into your mind, swipe it away and replace it with a positive one. Eventually, your thoughts will become more positive; give it time, and you will notice your stress easing.


In our society, we are taught that being perfect is the ultimate goal, but who set the standard? Nobody did, we all have our own idea of perfection, and it is usually unattainable, and yet we get very stressed when we cannot achieve it; when you are trying to perfect something, you can actually make the whole process larger than what it needs to be, which then may lead to you procrastinating and then beating yourself up about not achieving something.

The perfect thing, look or way of life does not exist, yes you can aim for it, but in reality, a thing is better done than sitting on your desk waiting for a final flourish that never happens.


Try to look at things differently. Look at what is overwhelming you from a different angle; you might discover that viewing it from a new perspective will help you see the way out. Changing the way we look at things will give you new ideas and ways of managing stress, and it will remove the pessimism surrounding it.

If you cannot see another way of looking at things, get a friend in and have a brainstorming session.

Ask for Help If You Feel Overwhelmed

If you feel overwhelmed on most days, then this means you have chronic stress and will probably need help to resolve it. As in the suggestion a moment ago, ask a friend to help you out or delegate responsibilities. If this still does not resolve the situation, consider trying cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which I highly recommend for working through your life problems.

[AF] You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home for therapy. You can use Online Therapy, where they will offer you CBT online.


I love aromatherapy, and I have a collection of various scents for specific situations. I highly recommend you discover the benefits of aromatherapy; you can read about essential oils on my website. It works by stimulating your brain through your nasal senses and can help lift depression for a while and reduce stress.

In Summary

There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself if you feel overwhelmed; you can also read my tips and tricks for anxiety, which also addresses stress issues. I hope this article has helped you in some way and consider speaking to your doctor if you find it difficult to cope.

Peace and Blessings

Lou x

6 Replies to “10 Ways to Calm Down When You Feel Overwhelmed”

  1. Taking a walk always helps me, as do yoga and mediation. I appreciate your pointing out how perfectionism is really our enemy! Thanks, Lou.

  2. I really liked the content in your post. I have to tell you that morning walks alone have changed my life and I never thought that walking would be something that I enjoy….now I can’t live without them!

  3. Taking deep breaths and aromatherapy are the ones that really work for me. Will try out the others next time I can anticipate a panic attack. thank You!

  4. Fab tips! I always find taking a death breath when I’m overwhelmed can make a world of difference – as can getting outside in nature. Thanks so much for sharing, these are some really helpful suggestions!

  5. Figuring out where stress is coming from is the thing I connect with most here! I feel like, without pinpointing the source, it is hard to apply the right cure. Love the idea of going for a walk as walking helps me clear my thoughts and focus. Writing down my feelings also gives me something to come back to later for a better picture.
    Thanks for sharing!

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