How to Calm Down When Stressed: 4 Helpful Tips to Find Peace

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

The overused sentiment is usually expressed as a minor outburst 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 is 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

For years our family and 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 invited everyone to sail so we could experience an adventure on the water. The owner of the boat was an avid sailor and supplied life jackets and other equipment needed for safe sailing.

One beautiful afternoon our friend set out for a twenty-minute sail with several of the 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 a useful skill.

After about thirty minutes, someone mentioned they thought the boat had been gone longer than usual. We started to become anxious that the sailors may be in trouble. As we began to discuss 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 out on the water for glimpses of the boat’s return.

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

Anxiety is a natural response when someone we love may be at risk; we are scared. It is during these moments that knowing how to calm down when stressed and scared is most vital.

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 just needed a better plan on how to calm down 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 pull of fear. She was not discouraged and exhibited peace in the storm.

She set a great example of how to 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 beside them during the storm, I sometimes question Him during my own anxious, stressful situations.

I pray, “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 me–do I lose my faith when things are hard and uncertain?

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 all at once. It reminds me of life.

When I face unknown outcomes, it seems I am suspended, anxious, unable to calm down when stressed waiting for some type of resolution. The waiting can sometimes bring me the worst anxiety.

During times of anxiety and stress, I must choose to persevere in faith and place my confidence in Jesus, His love for me and the peace He offers instead of the unknowns and despair of uncertainty.

This confidence in Jesus is how we are able to 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

  1. How to Calm Down When Stressed with Prayer

Calming down with prayer is simply communicating with God when we start to feel anxious or scared. I take deep breaths and cry out to God for calm and peace. I sometimes sing or play songs that remind me of God’s faithfulness and bring me comfort.

My prayers usually 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. How to Calm Down when Stressed by Controlling Your 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 I think logically, I can sometimes let fear create illogical outcomes in my mind. When I want to calm down, I must go back 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. How to Calm Down when Stressed 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. How to Calm Down when Stressed by Helping Others

When we take action and serve others it 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 very 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 make it back 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 made the decision to trust that everything would be fine! Isn’t that how it works in most situations?

While waiting, it is difficult to learn how to calm down because 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 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 and especially the Psalms.

I sometimes read them out loud and call out to God for His peace and comfort when I am practicing how to calm down.

lady-how to calm down when stressed

Prayers for 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”

Have you faced events that helped you learn how to calm down when stressed? Would love to hear your story in the comments!


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog Her writing is featured on multiple Christian websites and she is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I am in Christ” and the Devotional Collection Life Changing Stories available on Amazon.

Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is a writer and speaker focusing on inspiring faith-based stories. She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their personal relationships. Besides writing and speaking, she teaches Bible Studies and leads small groups. Mary has Marketing and Master's degrees and is a Life Coach. She is the creator of ButterflyLiving and author of the Bible Study, “Identity".  She also compiled the devotional collection, Life Changing Stories featuring 34 amazing authors available on Amazon. Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.

59 thoughts on “How to Calm Down When Stressed: 4 Helpful Tips to Find Peace”

  1. 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.

  2. Jessica Brodie

    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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. “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¤

  12. “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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. Pingback: Overcoming Obstacles helps us Develop Skills and not Feel Defeated

  17. Pingback: 4 Ways to Find Godly Contentment & Overcome the Need for Seeking Approval

  18. Pingback: Finding Your Value in God: 3 Exciting Ways

  19. Pingback: 3 Easy Steps to Living with No Regrets

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lady smiling-Mary Rooney Armand
Asset 2

Join us to live better altogether!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Asset 2
Asset 2
Asset 2

Featured On

Asset 2


Asset 2
Scroll to Top