How to Calm Down when Stressed: 4 Tips to Help You Find Peace in God

My teenagers love the phrase ‘calm down’ except when applied to them. Actually, I haven’t met anyone who likes to be told to calm down.

The overused sentiment is usually expressed after a minor incident or dramatic reaction, but in reality, learning how to calm down when stressed is helpful when we face certain situations.

Replacing fear, anxiety, and stress with peace is not easy but possible when we trust that God is in control of our circumstances

How to Calm Anxiety and Nerves

Sailboat-how to calm down when stressed

Our family and several friends vacationed at a beautiful beach on the Gulf of Mexico. As our children grew, the trip was one of the highlights of our year promising fun, relaxation, and companionship.

Several years ago, one of the families brought their sailboat so everyone could experience an adventure on the water.

The boat’s owner was an avid sailor and supplied life jackets and other equipment needed for safe sailing.

Our friend set out for a twenty-minute sail with several teenagers on board. As they sailed away, the rest of us talked and relaxed on the beach not realizing that knowing how to calm anxiety and nerves would soon become useful skills.

After about thirty minutes, someone mentioned that the boat had been gone longer than usual.

We started to worry that the sailors may be in trouble.

Discussing possible scenarios -all negative- our anxiety began to escalate and we struggled to calm down. The sense of hovering distress waited to grip us.

We paced and looked at the water for glimpses of the boat’s return. We needed to review, how to calm down.

In stressful situations, like this one, our emotions tend to jump into high gear and it becomes increasingly harder to choose peace over anxiety and nerves.  

Anxiety is a natural response when someone we love may be at risk. Knowing how to calm down when stressed is vital when we are frightened.

When our crazy is hanging out a little too much, it is difficult to function rationally or hear God’s voice.

Logically, a storm was not brewing, everyone wore life jackets and could swim, the water was calm and we could see the boat, a distant speck on the horizon.

We needed a plan on how to calm down our anxiety and nerves and remain hopeful.

Scripture Isaiah 43:2-how to calm down when stressed

How to Find Peace 

In contrast to our anxious reactions, the sailor’s wife sat in her beach chair calmly reading a book,

“I am not worried”, she said “My husband has been sailing his entire life and knows exactly what to do. They are not lost; I can still see the boat in the distance. He will guide the boat back to us, I promise.”

My friend did not need to calm down because she never gave in to the push of anxiety. She remained content, happy and encouraged. She exhibited peace in the storm.

She set a great example of how to calm down. remain at peace and not give in to the pull of stress and anxiety. She was confident and trusted God and her husband.

What Does Jesus Say About Peace?

My friend’s peace in the storm reminded me of the story of Jesus asleep on a boat as a storm thrashed around.

Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves,  “Silence! Be still!”  

Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them,  “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Mark 4:38-40 NLT

Just as the disciples questioned Jesus, who sat with them during the storm, I sometimes question Him during anxious, stressful situations. (can you relate?)

“Jesus, do you care that I am anxious and feel as if I am drowning?”

Jesus’ response to the disciples in the boat also applies to us–do we lose faith when things are hard and uncertain?

The peace, that a relationship with Jesus offers, is not based on our current circumstances  

Something about being in a boat, suspended above deep water, is both exhilarating and terrifying. It reminds me of life.

Facing unknown outcomes, it can seem we are suspended, unable to calm down when stressed while waiting for resolution. Waiting can sometimes bring the worst anxiety.

During times of anxiety and stress when we feel vulnerable, we must choose to persevere in faith and place our confidence in Jesus, His love and the peace He offers instead of the unknowns and despair of uncertainty.

This confidence in Jesus is how we can reset our emotions and experience what He says about peace.

“I am leaving you with a gift peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

John 14:27 NLT


sailboat-how to calm down

How to Calm Down When Stressed

During a crisis, it is hard to calm down and relax. But it is possible by allowing our minds to be guided by the spirit instead of our feelings.

Here are four ways to learn how to calm down that may be helpful.

4 Tips to Help You Calm Down

  1. Calm Down with Prayer

Calming down with prayer is communicating with God when we are anxious or scared. Take deep breaths and cry out to God for peace. Prayer is the first step when learning how to calm down in stressful situations.

I sometimes sing or listen to songs that remind me of God’s faithfulness and bring comfort.

Our prayer can sound like this, “Dear Lord, I am trusting you during this current time of waiting. I pray for your supernatural peace to surround me and for my faith to increase.

It is my prayer to draw nearer to Him and not always for the situation to be resolved in my favor although I talk to God about that too!

“Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice]  and  I will listen to you.”

Jeremiah 29:12 AMP

     2.   Calm Down when Stressed by Controlling Our Thoughts 

Catching a thought before it can dominate and hold us hostage brings us back to a peaceful trust-filled stance especially if thoughts are illogical.   But even when we think logically, we let fear create illogical outcomes. To calm down, we must return to peaceful thoughts.

“And be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind, having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude”

Ephesians 4:23 AMP

   3. Calm Down with the Help of Trusted Friends

A strong encouraging community can stand beside us, offer advice, and lift us up as we wait. The key is to find the correct source of encouragement because sometimes people unknowingly drive our emotions in the wrong direction.

“That is, that we may be mutually encouraged and  comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”

Romans 1:12 AMP

   4. Calm Down when Stressed by Helping Others

Taking action and serving others brings freedom from the consuming thoughts of uncertainty.

This seems counter-intuitive or an unnatural reaction when we are struggling to calm down, but it is amazing how many times this has worked for me.

“Just as each one of you has received a  special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God], employ it in serving one another as [is appropriate for] good stewards of God’s multi-faceted grace [faithfully using the diverse, varied gifts and abilities granted to Christians by God’s unmerited favor].”

1 Peter 4:10 AMP

John 14 scripture-how to calm down when stressed

Prayer for Anxiety, Worry, and Fear

After a long 60 minutes, we finally saw the sailboat returning safely.

Our friend said he had struggled to turn the boat around, but stayed on purpose and never lost confidence or hope that he would return the boat to shore.

The kids were not frightened or concerned but relieved to be back on the beach. Today my kids barely remember this incident.

If we had only known what was happening on the water, we could have decided to trust that everything would be fine! Isn’t that how it works in most situations?

While waiting, one of the reasons it is difficult to learn how to calm down is we don’t know at the beginning of a stressful situation how long it will last or what the outcome will be.

But like my friends who demonstrated how to calm down so well, we can learn how to calm down when stressed by resting in the certainty that God is always near and available to steer us back to His faithful comfort.

Prayers to calm down and for anxiety, worry, and fear can be found by reading the Bible (the Psalms are a great place to start). I sometimes read them out loud and call out to God for His peace and comfort when I am practicing how to calm down.

2 Prayers Over Anxiety and Stress.

Prayer for Anxiety

Psalm 73: 23-24 & 28 GNT

“I always stay close to you,
       and you hold me by the hand.
You guide me with your instruction
       and at the end you will receive me with honor.”

“But as for me, how wonderful to be near God,
       to find protection with the Sovereign  Lord
       and to proclaim all that he has done!”

Prayer for Worry and Fear

Psalm 57:1-3 AMP

“Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious  and  merciful to me,
For my soul finds shelter and safety in You,
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge  

and  be confidently secure
Until destruction passes by.
I will cry to God Most High,
Who accomplishes  all things  on my behalf

[for He completes my purpose in His plan].
He will send from heaven and save me”


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog She is a contributor to multiple websites and the author of the book, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I am in Christ”  and Life Changing Stories, a devotional collection.

Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is an Author, Speaker, and Creator of the faith-based blog She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their relationships. Her work is featured on multiple websites including Woman of Noble Character, Pray with Confidence, and The Brave Women Series. Mary is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and, “Life Changing Stories” a collaboration with 34 authors sharing stories of God’s faithfulness. Besides writing, Mary leads small groups and speaks at retreats. She directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in marketing and sales, and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in New Orleans and are the parents of four children, a new daughter-in-law, and two dogs! Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.

No Comments

  1. mimionlife on May 12, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Placing my trust and confidence in God. He is with me forever.

  2. Nancy E. Head on May 12, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Love these tips. The one about wise friends is crucial. Asking for help from those who don’t have the tool of wisdom can be deadly. Great wisdom in this post.

  3. Jessica Brodie on May 12, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    This is a great blog. It’s true: calming down is a conscious choice and a very important one. As we are told: Be still and know that God is GOD!

  4. Stephen on May 12, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    awesome post Sister, love the examples and the advice, perfect post for the 2020 Covid era for sure. God Bless

  5. Marcie Cramsey on May 13, 2020 at 1:31 am

    Great points to practice when I’m feeling stressed and need to calm down. I love the scriptures you quoted! 🙂

    • Mary Rooney Armand on May 13, 2020 at 9:01 pm

      Marcie, thank you & yes the scriptures are beautiful â¤ï¸

  6. Ifeoma Obiora- Samuel on May 13, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Pinned up!
    This is so rich… of course Rest is possible.
    If we take a step back we will find the blessing in sitting in gratitude instead of hurry and worry.
    Hugs Mary

  7. Johanna on May 13, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Pinned 🙂 This is great insight! Thanks!!

  8. Yvonne on May 14, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Wonderful examples to help us fight the urge to panic and instead to trust God. Thanks

  9. Candice Brown on May 15, 2020 at 10:56 am

    I love these tips and verses! I bought the dvd advertised, Anxious For Nothing and watched it while struggling with coronavirus. Thanks for this encouraging post!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on May 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

      Candice, thanks for reading! That is wonderful that Max Lucado’s words were able to help you during such a stressful situation. Glad you are recovered🙏🏻😊

  10. karentfriday on May 17, 2020 at 12:40 am

    Mary, oh, how I relate to this post. I’ve always struggled with thinking the worst case scenario. And this has been me far too often: “When my crazy is hanging out a little too much, I can not function rationally or hear God’s voice.”

    It’s funny, my four-year-old grandson says, “Calm down!” and it makes his mama so aggravated. 🙂

    I like how you applied it to calming down is possible and your tips are great.

  11. Hannah on May 25, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    I really love the practical tips shared on how to calm down in this post. Very insightful and also very timely because the devil is attacking people with anxious thoughts.

  12. Brandi Michelle on May 25, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    These are great ways to help us calm down. For me, reading God’s Word, even when I don’t feel like it, always bring me to a place of peace.

  13. Ava James on May 25, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    I am so glad God steers us back to Him. There are so many great tips for us to practice. Thanks for sharing this with us Mary!

  14. Jen on May 25, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you for this post on how to calm down using God’s word and prayers . I needed to read this today to remind myself that in the midst of chaos to turn to Him for calmness. Thanks for writing this.

  15. Teresa Lamsam on May 25, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Ha! Nail on the head about the phrase! When I was younger, I would think “Don’t tell me to calm down!” I’m thankful for spiritual and personal growth since those days, and I have found many of your tips listed to be the ones I often use to calm down. However, I still need a reminder now and then. I’m also starting to memorize scripture as an added step to extend my calming down process.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on May 25, 2020 at 7:08 pm

      Yes! That is definitely a big help …reciting scripture! Thanks for reading 😊

  16. Journeys To Simple on May 25, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    This was super helpful for me to read! I have difficult in calming down and usually going for a walk or run, just being in God’s creation helps me! Great read!

  17. Maryann on May 26, 2020 at 12:08 am

    A really great reminder to practice calm when we’re in stressful circumstances. Your tips are great, some of which I have used in tough circumstances. Thank you for reminding me of them.

  18. Summer on May 26, 2020 at 12:55 am

    I don’t know what version of John 14:27 you used, but I love how it’s worded. Lately, peace has been absent in our home with the kids being home 24/7 and we’re all tense and frustrated. Today, I will take your advice, because I surely do need it!

  19. Karen on May 26, 2020 at 4:14 am

    It’s so easy to become stressed, but just realizing that and focusing on Jesus helps to calm down so much. Peace only come from Him!

  20. ~Stacey~ on May 26, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Great, practical advice and a whole lot of encouragement! You are right – no one likes to be told to calm down. But when we do we are able to allow God’s peace wash over us.

  21. Heather C on May 26, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    “My friend did not need to calm down because she never gave in to the push of anxiety.” This spoke volumes to me today. Thank you!

  22. Rachel Mayew on May 27, 2020 at 1:14 am

    It is so important for our faith and our holistic well-being to take our thoughts captive. Thanks for these practical tips on how to calm down!

  23. Donna Miller on May 27, 2020 at 11:26 am

    “My friend did not need to calm down because she never gave in to the push of anxiety.” I never thought of it as giving in to the ‘push’ of anxiety. But it’s so true. Anxiety is like a bully spirit and when I have given in to its push, I can hardly breathe let alone make a decision. Jesus has had me practicing taking my thoughts captive so I don’t even entertain them. Very unique and awesome post, much needed today. Thank you … â¤

    • Mary Rooney Armand on May 27, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks Donna! I am so glad you enjoyed reading my post. It is a day that inspired so much for all of us, and I am thankful when it touches someone!

      • Bosede Santos on June 1, 2020 at 12:46 pm

        Yes Donna! The same sentence caught my attention. Anxiety surely is a bully!

  24. merryohler on May 28, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    “During stress, I must choose to place my confidence in God, who He is and His love for me instead of the unknowns and despair of uncertainty. This is how I am able to reset my emotions.”

    Thank you for writing this encouraging, practical and spirit-led post! The steps you outlined here are excellent, and I know I will find myself considering what you’ve shared here when I face stress in the future.

  25. Cindy on May 29, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Mary–Thanks for your wise words about being able to calm down when you experience the push of anxiety. I am with you on the no one likes to hear the words calm down. I usually get angry! The passage about Jesus in the boat was part of my devotional this morning. It hit me this morning too – about calming the storm in our lives, not just being able to control the weather. Thanks for sharing this!

  26. Kayla Clyde on June 1, 2020 at 4:55 am

    Thank you for this wonderful post! I love how many scriptures you reference in helping other’s to see how God helps us to calm down and that the Word of God is so clearly a source of comfort for you!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on June 1, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Kayla, thanks for reading! God’s word really is the greatest tool for me.

  27. Michelle on June 1, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Thanks for these tips on how to calm down when stressed! I sometimes get so overwhelmed and having your reminders were so good!

  28. Bosede Santos on June 1, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you Mary for the captivating story that will pin this message on our hearts. Trust is all about holding on to God’s every word without knowing the outcome, regardless of my situation. This is so timely and a good reminder that when we know who our God is, nothing will shake us because we know He will keep His words. God bless you!

  29. Jessica Q Synan on June 1, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    This “calm down” was a much needed reminder for me to breathe and take it one step at a time and leave it in God’s hands. Thank you!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on June 3, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Jesse, Thanks for reading and hopefully it was helpful to you!

  30. Zamy Temi on June 11, 2020 at 6:58 am

    Catch a thought before it dominates your mind! Liked that line.🤗

  31. […]  For further reading on God’s faithfulness:How to Calm Down when stressed […]

  32. […] there are other obstacles that prevent us from finding Godly contentment including comparison, fear, worry, envy, and unrealized […]

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