My grandfather used to say: “turn your tongue seven times in your mouth before you speak”. I used to tell the same thing to my kids when I wanted them to be more considerate with their words. They would all proceed to do it, literally. It was quite comical. As a parent, I apply that wisdom to reduce my stress and at times control my reactions. This pause helps me think before I react. Taking a break, is the perfect way to realize that the situation is not worth the fuss. Some people recommend to count to ten slowly and quietly inside your head. The occupational therapy practitioner in me would actually rather people count aloud. Saying the numbers forces you to automatically exhale and inhale, which in turn helps release calming hormones and thereby relaxes the nervous system.