How do you calm yourself?
How do you know when you NEED to calm yourself might be the first question.
I teach clients to 'listen' and pay attention to their body as the first 'sign' of agitation and anxiety. Is your heart racing? Is you gut feeling slightly sick? Are you having trouble breathing, almost feeling like you will hyperventilate?
Your body is trying to help you ALL the time. When you have signs like the ones above your body is trying to tell you there is danger: real danger, imagined danger or perceived danger. A lion outside, imagining the very worst, and perceiving - believing or interpreting. A side note - perceptions are based on our earliest, youngest and most vulnerable decisions about us: I am not safe, I cannot trust anyone, I must be bad or there is something wrong with me. NOT decisions that are formed in the adult part of you that can rationalize, but decisions made even before we are born sometimes.
So...your body! Find the place in your body where the strongest sensations are happening and put a hand or two hands there. Feel the sensations under your hand. Begin to say calming things to that part that is scared. "You are safe. You are ok. You did not do anything. You are not bad. You are not wrong."
Whatever your compassionate, adult self can say to that scared part. And notice as you send warmth and compassion if your body overall begins to calm and quiet.
Our hands are extensions of our hearts and in these times of anxiety and agitation, using the compassion and kindness of our hearts through our hands is one of the very best 'calming' things we can do.
Try it. It takes a little practice...not a lifetime of practice but a few times for your body and mind to get the message: we are calming now.