The PATH to Calm: 4 steps to calm your mind

With practice, everyone can do a better job of dealing with their negative emotions in healthy ways. One way to deal with uncomfortable or unpleasant emotions is to remember the word PATH. PATH stands for:

  • Pause
  • Acknowledge
  • Think
  • Help


Here’s a web-friendly version of these tips:

Step 1: Pause.

Instead of acting on feelings right away, stop yourself and think things through. Count to 100 or say the alphabet backwards.

Step 2: Acknowledge what you’re feeling.

For example: are you mad at someone, or are you sad because your feelings were hurt by what they did? Whatever it is you’re feeling, it’s okay to feel that way.

Step 3: Think.

Now that you’ve taken a few moments to figure out what exactly it is that you are feeling, think about how you can make yourself feel better.

Step 4: Help.

Take an action to help yourself based on what you came up with in the “Think” step.

Content adapted from Red Flags: “Harmful Coping Responses” and “Coping Responses”.

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