Idiom for stop being super nervous, stressed out and super alert? Is there an idiom for this? I came up with:

Drop your guard.

But it doesn't come as natural when you say it. Is there a more informal or a better more natural way to say to someone to relax and calm down and stop being super nervous?

2 Answers 2


The most common one would probably be

Chill out.

This is both informal and natural. Of course it's often likely to be poorly-received since it's not an instruction that's easy to follow.

It's common enough to have an entry in Merriam-Webster.

That definition provides an alternative:

Calm down.

That one is less informal but still completely natural. However it's not quite as apt if you want someone to lower their vigilance, rather than descend from a state of agitation or anxiety.

Note that the quotes in this answer can (edit: I incorrectly wrote should) end in a "!" rather than a "." but I find that doing that in conversational text (e.g. in a chat app) comes off as overly emphatic or imperious.


Another informal expression, which may sound patronising:

Cool your jets.

  • 1
    I upvoted this answer, but there's no technical requirement for those sentences to end in exclamation marks. Imperative sentences may end in periods. Jul 26, 2022 at 3:53
  • Oh, I've been carrying around that false norm since high school, thanks!
    – PoolOfPeas
    Jul 26, 2022 at 10:12

Take a pill

It's less common than "chill out", and might be getting dated. It was more popular in the 80s and 90s. It refers to people taking pills to calm their anxiety.

  • 1
    I have seen (very often), 'Take a chill pill, Bill (or Jill, depending on gender)'. Jul 26, 2022 at 8:14

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