How to calm the hell down

Sometimes people lose it at work. Here is a guide to help someone who has lost it. Dealing with anger and other strong feelings involves three phases

  • Acknowledgement that anger, and other strong feelings can be a natural response to workplace problems
  • Adopt self-regulation techniques to build confidence
  • Formulate ideas on what needs to happen next with the help of another person


We’ve called it CABIN to evoke a feeling of being safely holed up in a log cabin, (whilst hiding out with Bambi and Thumper).


The CABIN process is one that you can use with anyone that needs help calming down including yourself.


Contain: help your angry friend feel contained by talking to them, or taking them away from who or whatever is making them angry.




Acknowledge: acknowledge your angry friend’s anger and don’t try to ignore what has just happened.


Body: try to help them get grounded physically and calm down. This can be getting them to sit down, go outside and breath some fresh air, even giving them a hug. Often it helps, to help them, by regulating your own breathing, lengthening your breath and if it helps, counting one-two-three slowly out loud. Keep going until their breathing has normalized.


Identify: ask your angry friend what they are worried about right now.


Next steps: work out together what the next steps should be, including whether you can contact a friend or a support service.


Print this out and try to remember it next time you encounter someone angry at work (including yourself).