Being calm

Developing an attitude of calm and learning to adopt a calm attitude to life can be very helpful for stress management.

Calm attitude

  • Move slowly. Calm people move at a relaxed pace, speak at a relaxed pace and breathe at a relaxed pace. Consciously slow down these actions to become calmer.
  • Tame the self-critic. Be gentler on yourself. Beware of having unrealistic expectations and reduce the demands and expectations you place on yourself and others. Accept that you are not perfect (no-one is) and that is fine.
  • Take a step back. List all the good things in your life and put the stressful things in perspective. Look at the positive side of what is stressing you – there is always a positive.
  • Laugh and have fun. Spend time every day doing enjoyable and rewarding activities. Some people like to: read, fish, golf, play board games, watch films, listen to music or learn an instrument. If you want to write or draw, don't worry about the quality, just do it as a way of being creative and reducing stress.
  • Apply yourself. One of the best ways to forget your stress and anxiety is to direct your total concentration to the task at hand. It’s also the most enjoyable way to work and eat.
  • Do one thing at a time. Keep your mind focussed on the present. Do whatever you’re doing more slowly, more intentionally and with more awareness and respect.

Relaxation techniques

If you are feeling stressed, your breathing may become more rapid and shallow. This can make it difficult to think clearly and communicate calmly to others.

Use our relaxation techniques to learn skills and find tools for reducing stress.

Staying calm video

The video below presents a simple exercise to help calm your thoughts.

If you are helping someone else, ask them to watch the video with you. Try to get them started with at least the first step and then encourage them to keep going until the exercise is completed.

Let us help

Self-help is not for everyone. If you need additional support, Open Arms is here for you. Our counsellors and lived experience peers offer a safe space to talk through how you are feeling. Call Open Arms on 1800 011 046.

See also

  • Relaxation techniques

    Relaxation is the antidote to stress. Relaxation techniques are a life skill that can significantly help to reduce your stress and anxiety levels and improve your life satisfaction and happiness.
  • Treatment programs and workshops

    Open Arms offers group treatment programs and educational workshops, relationship retreats, and suicide prevention workshops.
  • Stress image


    The most common reason for seeking Open Arms counselling is stress. High levels of stress and anxiety are a common problem in modern society.