Have things gotten a bit heated between you and your significant other? It could be the first argument, over something petty, or the same one you’ve heard time and time again. You are two different people with differing opinions so that’s quite understandable. Whether it’s a big or small fight conflict is just sometimes unavoidable and a part of any relationship. In the heat of the moment you may feel angry, triggered, overwhelmed, and too anxious to be around one another. Instead of giving each other the cold shoulder or escalating the situation here are a few tips on how to cool down after an argument with a loved one.
Just Breathe it Out
After an argument, it’s not just your mood that changes but your body gets affected too. Your heart rate increases, blood pressure goes up and the hormone from the pituitary gland cortisol is released so you are inclined to feel more stress. Basically, your body goes into a defense mechanism of fight or flight mode so it’s best to take a few deep breaths, count to ten, and chill out.
Get Some Fresh Air
Go outside and get some air. Get close to nature, it can help alleviate stress and center your mind and body from the tension. Try a natural green space like the forest to calm that frazzled mind.
Music is Good Therapy
When you’re feeling particularly fired up music is a great go-to. Belt your heart out to a song that conveys how you feel. Crank on the tearjerkers or listen to something uplifting or soothing. Music is great therapy for when you’re feeling down in the dumps.
Write or Journal it Out
Emotions are running high and perhaps it’s too soon to have a chat with one another. Writing is a healthy way of gathering your thoughts, writing about how you feel, and reflecting on the situation. It’s a great way of processing how you feel.
Tidy Up or Clean
Might sound a bit strange but trust me, something about vigorously wiping a window and scrubbing the dirt away really relieves some stress. Seeing everything clean and spotless can actually be quite therapeutic.
Maybe you don’t have much of an appetite but cooking is another great creative outlet forhow to calm down after a fight. In these moments I like to test my culinary skills instead of buying a tub of ice cream. Why not try out a new recipe or make that tiramisu mousse you’ve been putting on hold for the past few months.
Go For a Drive
A great way to clear your mind. Blast the music hit the road and let your worries go free. Night drives around the city are my favorite especially when I’m feeling a bit down.
Exercise & Workout
An instant way on how to calm down after an argument is by doing physical activity. Exercising and working out is a great thing to do because when feeling stress and anxiety your body tends to tighten up and build up all that tension. Hit the gym, go for a run, or box a bit. Lifting weights or HIIT is a great way to channel that pent-up anger and energy.
Talk it Out
When you’re clear, calm and collected, and ready, sit down with your loved one and talk it out. Discuss how you feel with one another, listen intently, and take responsibility for your words and actions. The key here is open communication and to attack the actual issue, not each other.
Say Sorry & Let it Go
Fighting over the dishes or taking out the trash is mediocre but in truth, can be a natural part of relationships. You have to make a choice on whether this is something to stay upset over and not let it overpower you. Remember to always pick and choose your battles wisely. Apologize and let it go but only if you sincerely mean it.
Now you both can come back with a much more calm state of mind and handle the situation in a healthy way together. The best advice someone gave to me on how to make up after a fight, is to say sorry and let go.
How long does it take to cool off after an argument?
There is no magic formula because it depends on the individual partners and the severity of the situation. However, I do think that waiting any more than two to three days can translate as deflective and dismissive. By this time you both may have moved on and not see the point in discussing. Or, this can lead to built-up resentment that can cause a bigger explosion in the end. Instead, head off for a few hours and clear your minds. Doing this can defuse the situation and allow you to come back in a more relaxed state.