Our mentors and page authors are not necessarily psychologists or therapists. Even when they are, this page is not medical or psychological advice and they are not creating a doctor/therapist-client relationship. You should consult a professional if possible and they can tell you whether this advice applies to your situation. If this is an emergency, you should call your national emergency number, like 911, or a mental health hotline, like 1-800-950-6264.

Sometimes you don’t have time to work through a CBT exercise or wait a week to feel the effects of regular meditation. You just need help with your anger, your grief, or your trauma NOW. Here are some things to do:

  • Check out our stress page and try progressive muscle relaxation.

  • Mindful breathing. Put all your energy into just focusing on your breath and one spot in your body where you feel your breath the most easily. This could be your chest or belly moving in or out or the air touching your nostrils. Whatever is easiest for you, focus on that spot for five minutes.

  • Swinging/Swaying. Swing your arms around from side to side, relaxing your body. Hang off a bed and swing your legs back and forth. Go to a playground and actually swing. You could also try swaying your body back and forth or breathing in waves, breathing in and lengthening your spine and then breathing out and rocking your body inward.

  • Hit pillows or exercise hard. Sometimes anger and grief needs to be let out with physical exertion. You can hit something safe, exercise, or scream into a pillow. Let it out and say out loud the things that are bothering you.

  • Jump up and down. While jumping, tell yourself loudly, “Things are going to get better. I’m going to fix this. I will be okay. I am okay.”

  • Take yourself to your perfect place. First do a progressive muscle relaxation or a deep breathing exercise. Then clear your mind and focus on your ideal version of paradise. Maybe it’s a bright green field filled with flowers at the foot of a craggy mountain. Maybe there’s a horse in the meadow and the sound of a rushing brook. Maybe there’s the bustle and honk of city cars around a crowded bar filled with spicy alcohol. Whatever your perfect place looks like in this moment, imagine it in great detail: Who are the people and animals there? What are the sounds you can hear? What do you taste? What can you feel? What can you smell? *Note: we don’t recommend this if you suffer from delusions or reality-based disorders where you struggle to stay in the moment or distinguish reality from fiction.


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