Ever found yourself in a situation where you can feel things escalating, and you don’t know what to do, so you freak out and panic? I have a few simple tips to avoid that exact situation.

When you start to feel that tightening in your chest, or your heartbeat rising, is when you need to remove yourself from whatever is happening. Get out of there! Staying and facing the situation when your anger or anxiety is rising is not the way to go. If there is another person involved, you can ask them to leave if you don’t want to or can’t.

Don’t be afraid to remove yourself from the situation.

Distract yourself from what happened. Run a hot bath, drink some calming tea, binge watch your favourite TV show, listen to some music… Anything to get your mind off of your rising heartbeat and rapid breath. Dwelling on things will only make it worse – you need to totally get it off your mind, or else you’ll be stuck overthinking what happened.

Once you have calmed down and are relaxed, think up a plan of action. If you were arguing with someone, what will you say to them? How will you bring it up or how will you approach the topic? Your mind, that was so jumbled before should be calm enough by now to decipher the mess that it was, into coherent thoughts. You need to be in control of your thoughts for you to discuss anything calmly. If you’re not calm, go back to step two.

Go and discuss what happened, calmly. Taking that time away from the situation should have enabled you to think about what was going so wrong. If you still can’t resolve what happened, or if you start feeling anxious or angry again, start the process over. Keep restarting until your issue is resolved.

Take a deep breath and close your eyes.

You’re going to be okay.