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“Staying calm”

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“Staying calm”

If you have clicked on this tab, you may be feeling helpless, distressed, overwhelmed or not sure what to do. Our brains tend to flood in crisis and make it difficult to think clearly. The first thing to do is regain control and then you can think things through.

This is a simple exercise to help get your brain back on-line. It won’t solve your problems and may seem trivial at first but try it, as you may find it does help to settle you enough to feel back in charge of your own thoughts.

If you are helping someone else, ask them to do the exercise 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.

This is a simple exercise to help get your brain back on-line. It won’t solve your problems and may seem trivial at first but try it, as you may find it does help to settle you enough to feel back in charge of your own thoughts.

Good. Now the first thing to do is to take a long slow breath, filling your lungs and releasing it as slowly as you can while you relax your shoulders, hands and rest of your body.
Next, look around the room and name three things you can see. Name them aloud if you want, or silently, but name them very specifically, with details like location and colour. Eg a blue chair in the corner

Now name three things you can hear. Stop and listen. If you can’t hear three sounds, then break down the noises you can hear into components, like higher or lower tones.

Now name three things you can feel touching you – not your heart racing or a headache, things like your right foot on the floor, your belt around your waist, your watch on your wrist. Again be very specific in describing each one.

Now name two (different) things you can see, two things you can hear and two things you can feel.

Great. Keep going. One more round.

Name one more (different) thing you can see, one more you can hear, and one more thing touching you.

Great, now take another long, slow breath, filling your lungs and releasing it as slowly as you can while you relax your shoulders, hands and rest of your body.

Hopefully now you will be feeling slightly calmer and be able to decide whether you need to call one of the phone numbers listed on this page right now. There are times when talking to another person is the best thing you can do.

If this exercise has managed to calm you enough to think clearly, you may be able to consider who you need to talk to about how you feel and plan to meet with them.
With practice, this exercise should be able to help you calm down so you are in a better position to speak to someone about what is happening to you and to use the information on this website.

Once you have watched or read “Staying calm” you may be able to think about how you are going to talk to someone that you trust.

Suggestions

Who can I talk to?
Choose someone you can trust e.g. partner, friend, family member, doctor or VVCS.

Who can I talk to?

Choose someone you can trust e.g. partner, friend, family member, doctor or VVCS.

Plan a time to talk without interruptions or make an appointment. Remember to tell the person you are going to talk to that it is important.

Plan a time to talk without interruptions or make an appointment. Remember to tell the person you are going to talk to that it is important.

Consider taking someone you trust with you to an appointment with a doctor or counsellor.

Consider taking someone you trust with you to an appointment with a doctor or counsellor.

Plan what you are going to say and be honest. Discuss ideas that could help your situation.

Plan what you are going to say and be honest. Discuss ideas that could help your situation.

Listen to what your friend, partner or counsellor is saying in response. Remember that they want you to feel better.

Listen to what your friend, partner or counsellor is saying in response. Remember that they want you to feel better.

Need assistance?

For immediate assistance when life may be in danger Call 000

For national 24/7 help lines and crisis support counselling:

  • VVCS
    (Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service)
    1800 011 046
  • ADF All Hours Support Line
    1800 628 036
  • Lifeline Australia
    13 11 14
  • Mens Line
    1300 78 99 78
  • National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line
    1800 737 732
  • Kids Help Line (for 5-25yrs)
    1800 55 1800
  • Suicide Call Back Service
    1300 659 467
  • Salvation Army Crisis Line
    1300 36 36 22