- Don't tell yourself "it's okay." Obviously it's not or you wouldn't be in fight or flight mode.
- Don't talk to anyone. At first I was like, huh? But now I'm like, yeah. Catharsis isn't helpful, it just makes things worse. Venting during fight/flight mode is a catharsis. You aren't calm enough to use this discussion as a spring board for problem solving; you will likely just use it as a way to make yourself (and probably everyone else) even more upset. Basically, any action you take during fight/flight mode will likely prolonging the "oh f^&*" phase and make it harder for you to calm down.
- Breath. Take some deep breaths. One things I liked about Everyday Blessings was the way it compared your breath to a gentle rocking motion. I like rocking: hammocks, waves, rocking chairs, swings. All good things. I can get behind that. And when you think about it, your breath was probably one of the first things that rocked your little ones when they were in your belly (and you when you were in your mama's belly). It really helps me calm down when I stop and think about how its like there is a little mini/internal porch swing or ocean waves or whatever that I have immediate access to, just by focusing on my breath.
- Shut your eyes. Obviously this isn't a parent-specific list of things to do. With small kids, shutting your eyes can be a particularly bad idea. Especially if you are trying to calm down because your kids are doing something dangerous. So, you know, use your discretion here.
- Describe your feelings: I'm scared, I'm frustrated, I'm overwhelmed, etc. Try not to judge; "I feel like an incompetent mom with crazy-loud children" isn't what we are going for here. But the act of (objectively) labeling your emotion helps you (according to the author) transition from your limbic/emotional brain to your prefrontal/rational brain. Which dials down the fight/flight symptoms.