20 Ways To Say Calm Down In Spanish That Latinos Say To Avoid Losing Their Cool

How do you say calm down in Spanish?… Cálmate.

That’s the exact translation from English to Spanish if that’s all you were looking for.

However, if you’ve been studying Spanish for a while now then you probably know that native speakers use way more than English equivalents to express ideas. 

If you are thinking about traveling or maybe if you have Spanish-speaking friends, you must know those other ways to say “cálmante”.

After all, everyone has periods in which we lose our cool and we need someone else to tell us to chill out.

Will you need someone telling you to calm down or are you going to say that to somebody else?

Either way, you need to know these expressions.

In this blog post, I’ll share with you 20 different ways to say calm down in Spanish.

Most of these expressions are not easy to find in textbooks and, likely, you won’t learn them in your Spanish class.

So get your notebook and your pen because we will start with number one…

How do you say calm down in Spanish? Easy answer… ¡Cálmate! 

Imagine you go to your friend’s house. 

When you get there, you notice that he’s freaking out, and that he has exciting news for you.

His wife is pregnant, and now he’s not even sure how he’s going to pay for all the expenses that come with having a baby.

He’s anxious about being a father, and now he’s telling you all about this crazy life change in Spanish.

What can you say to him to help him relax?

The step is definitely to help him get grounded and take him out of this anxious state, so you may say:

¡Cálmate!

Which means “calm down”.

However, you need to know that there are a couple of variations for this expression.

As you probably noticed this is a verb that comes from the reflexive “calmarse”.

It may change depending on the pronoun that you want to use to talk to your friend, like this:

  • (Usted) Cálmese.
  • (Tú) Cálmate.
  • (Vos) Calmáte.

Now, if you’re talking to several people at once, like if you were talking to your friend and his wife at the same time, then you’d go with:

  • (Ustedes) Cálmense.
  • (Vosotros) Calmaos.

#2 Calma – Con calma

Native speakers use this word to ask someone to calm down in Spanish.

If we say “calma” or “con calma”,  we’re asking someone to take it easy.

If you’ve ever played any sports like soccer or football (like they call it in England), then you’re familiar with people asking you to take it easy once you get the chance to do something, like this:

*Player gets the ball*

Coach yells: “calma, calma”.

*Player runs with the ball and lifts his head looking for his teammates* 

Coach yells again: “Con calma”.

Of course, you may use “calma” or “con calma” in other contexts to prevent someone to do something without thinking about it.


RELATED: 32 FRASES PARA HABLAR DE FÚTBOL EN ESPAÑOL.


#3 Tranquilo

This word always reminds me of a song by a famous artist in Latin America called Juan Luis Guerra.

The song is called “El niagara en bicicleta”,  and it tells the story of a guy who feels bad and passes out on a Sunday morning.

He goes to the hospital and gets terrible medical attention there.

 As he asks for help in the medical center a nurse comes up to him and says:

“Tranquilo, Bobby, Tranquilo” (Easy Bobby, easy… Or in other words, calm down Bobby).

Here’s the video of the song, and you may hear the phrase in second 53:

The song is some kind of critic of the health system in Latin America, or at least that’s how I interpreted it.

Maybe other people may give it another meeting, but it helps us illustrate how this nurse uses “tranquilo” as a way to ask someone to calm down.

The female of this word is “tranquila”,  which is the proper way to ask a woman to calm down, for example:

Your friend: No tienes idea… mi esposo me esta volviendo loca, ¡estoy harta!

You: Tranquila María, tóma un café y cuéntamelo todo.

#4 Tranquilizate

Another very close Expression to “tranquilo” is “tranquilizate”.

This one comes from the reflexive “tranquilizarse”, and works just as “cálmate”, so we could say that “tranquilizate” is another way to say “cálmate”. 

They’re synonyms that work in the same situations.

“Tranqulizate” has variations as well depending on the pronoun that you want to use:

  • (Tú) tranquilizate.
  • (usted) tranquilicese. 
  • (vos) Tranquilizáte.

Here’s how we say it when we talk to several people:

  • (Ustedes) Tranquilicense.
  • (Vosotros) Tranquilizaos.

#5 Relájate 

Woman's silhouette

This expression means “relax”, and yes, it doesn’t mean calm down.

It’s just like in English when we ask people to cool off using saying “relalx”.

You know, like when you are talking to that colleague that’s always stressed out, and talking about a bunch of stuff that he/she has to do, and you just want to say:

–Relájate, trata de hacer una sola cosa a la vez (relax try to take only one step at a time).

Again, just like it happens with the verbs “cálmate” or “tranquilizate”, “relájate” may vary depending on the pronoun you use:

  • (Tú) Relájate
  • (Usted) Relájese.
  • (Vos) Relajáte.

This is the plural singular person: 

  • (Ustedes) Relájense.
  • (Vosotros) Relajaos.

#6 Bájale

This expression means to turn it down.

Like if the other person was some kind of radio or MP3 player and you’d like to turn down the intensity of its volume.

Do you understand the analogy?  

A stressed-out person or someone who is freaking out needs to turn down the level of that terrible feeling and just chill. 

A great example of someone using this expression could be a teacher saying this as she deals with a rude student, like this:

Student: Profe, yo no hice la estúpida tarea porque… 

Teacher: Ey, ey, ey, bájale, por favor, ¿sí?

Student: Discúlpe profe. 

And, again since “bájale” a verb that comes from “bajar”, there are several variations:

  • (Tú) bájale.
  • (Usted) bájele.
  • (Vos) Bajále.

And the second plural person: 

  • (Ustedes) Bájenle.
  • (Vosotros) Bájadle.

#7 No pasa nada  

So far we’ve been seeing  6 different ways to say calm down in Spanish with only one word.

However, there are phrases that native speakers use to ask someone to calm down, like: 

“No pasa nada”  

If we translate this phrase, it would be something like:

“Nothing happens”. 

And if you want to sound even more natural and native-like, you can combine any of the previous 6 words that I taught you with this list.

For example:

Your friend: Se dañó mi laptop, ¿qué voy a hacer ahora? ¿cómo voy trabajar esta semana? ¡voy a perder mi trabajo!

You: Tranquilo, no pasa nada, un amigo mío puede arreglarlo.

#8 No te lo tomes tan a pecho.

This expression means literally “don’t take it to heart”.

It works just as this translation works in English.

If you say it you’d be asking someone to not take something very seriously and chill out.

Like when you’re talking to a person who gets offended pretty easily.

You know, the kind of friend who’s always having problems with other people because of small things.

For example:

Your friend: Estoy harto de Alexandra. Ella nunca me saluda, siempre hace como si no me viera.

You: No te lo tomes tan a pecho. Ella tiene mucho que hacer y siempre está ocupada.

#9 Tómatelo con calma

Literally, take it easy.

Like when you’re in a situation in which you just don’t see any easy way out, and someone tells you to relax and go through your problems with ease.

For example:

– Perdí mi vuelo a Cartagena.

– Tómatelo con calma y llama a la aerolínea. No ganas nada con desesperate. 

Now since this phrase is using the verb “tomar”,  it might also change depending on the pronoun you use.

  • (Usted) Tómeselo con calma
  • (Tú) Tómatelo con calma.
  • (Vos) Tomátelo con calma.

And here’s the second plural person:

  • (Ustedes) Tómenselo con calma.
  • (Vosootros) Tomádlo con calma.

#10 Mantén la calma

Cat relaxing

You know those images that have a crown on the top, and that people share on social media with messages like:

“Keep calm and…”

You know what I’m talking about, right?…

People share that to express that they love doing certain things, like:

  • Keep calm and drink coffee.
  • Keep calm and sleep 5 more minutes.

That’s exactly what “mantén la calma” means.

For instance, if you want to say keep “calm and learn Spanish” you could say:

“Mantén la calma y aprende español”.

But of course, this phrase is not limited to social media and memes.

You might also use this phrase when you want to tell someone to calm down in Spanish.

To illustrate this, imagine a pilot seeing his co-pilot freaking out during an emergency.

He could help his colleague by saying something like:

Co-pilot: We are so dead! 

Pilot: Mantén la calma, llamemos a la torre de control, todo va a estar bien

And since we’re using the word “mantén”, which comes from the verb “mantener”, it means that it may change depending on its pronoun:

  • (Tú) mantén la calma
  • (Usted) mantenga la calma
  • (Vos) mantené la calma

This is the second plural person:

  • (Ustedes) mantengan la calma.
  • (Vosotros) mantened la calma,

#11 Tómalo por el lado amable

This phrase is very popular among Spanish native speakers. 

It was popularized by one of the most famous TV shows ever in Latin America: chespirito.

Ask any native speaker about the show, and he or she will immediately remember a classic phrase from the show, like:

“Tómalo por el lado amable”

If we translate this sentence to English, it would be something like “take it on the kind side”.

Or in other words “be kind about it”.

Natives use this phrase especially when we do something that annoys another person, and we don’t want him/her to be mad about it. 

Like when you know you did something wrong, but you want the other person to be okay with your mistakes. 

Not a phrase to express responsibility, I must say. 😆

Anyway… a similar expression to this one would be…

#12 No te pongas así:

We say this to ask another person to avoid feeling a certain way.

Maybe because this person is angry, jealous, or who knows, any other kind of negative feeling.

If we translate the idea of what this sentence communicates in English then we would get something like “don’t feel this way”.

Of course, what’s happening here is that we’re talking about emotions in Spanish, and when we do that we use the form: 

Ponerse + an emotion.

For example: 

  • Ponerse trieste
  • Ponerse feliz
  • Ponerse melancólico

However, in this sentence, we’re using the negative imperative + the second singular person.

It’s kind of a command which, using the correct tone, would sound more like begging. 

For example: 

Madre: ¿Por qué lloras hijo?

Hijo: Porque te vas ir y no vamos a ir al parque.

Madre: No te pongas así, te prometo que mañana iremos a cine.

#13 No te esponjes

What we want to communicate with this sentence is “don’t get angry”.

This is a very clear way to ask someone to calm down in Spanish when a person is just kind of losing his cool.

But since you already probably noticed, we’re not saying “enojes” correctly.

Instead of that, we’re making some kind of funny word game with the word “esponja” (sponge).

Something like this:

Enojes + esponja = Esponjes.

That’s how we create “esponjes”.

Needless to say this is a mistake.

But some native speakers just use it in a friendly way to ask someone to calm down and don’t get angry.

For instance: 

Your friend: ¿Tu perro se comió mi teléfono?

You: Pero no te esponjes, ya te compré uno nuevo.

#14 No te estreses 

A stressed-out person needs someone else to tell him or her to calm down.

This expression does just that. 

If you say it, you’re “attacking the stress”. 

As an illustration, imagine a husband asking her wife to relax with the cleaning of the house. 

Yes, it happens to me and my wife😅 , and I always say: 

“No te estreses”.

The problem is that things just don’t get clean up by themselves, and eventually, you need to get to work.

#15 Guarda la compostura

Imagine that you are at a work meeting.

That colleague whom you’ve never liked, and who he seems to hate you, begins to complain about you.

As you hear what he says, you begin to lose your cool.

Your face gets all red. You feel angry because you know that everything this person is saying about you is false.

Your best buddy sees you, and he notices your rage. 

You’re just about to explode to say everything you think about your “nemesis”.

But then your friend prevents you from doing that saying:

Guarda la compostura, recuerda que nada de eso es verdad.”

“Guarda la compostura” which means keep your cool is a phrase that we use to say calm down in Spanish for formal situations.

Another variation of this sentence would be:

“No pierdas la compostura” 

Or maybe…


RLEATED: 12 EXPRESSIONS TO SAY SHUT UP IN SPANISH LIKE A NATIVE SPEAKER


#16 No pierdas los estribos

The origin of this expression is very ancient.

It comes from when the faster means of transportation was riding horses.

“Los estribos” are those objects that a horse rider put his feet on to control the horse.

I think in English that’s called a stirrup (correct me in the comments if I’m wrong, please).

Now, if you put your feet out of them there’s a big chance that you might lose control over the horse.

Do you see the similarities with the behavior of a person?

When someone isn’t calm, usually, this person loses control and begins to act or say things inappropriately because of, maybe rage, or any other negative feeling.

Just like an out control horse.

For example: 

Your friend: Estoy a punto de golpear a Darío. Acaba de decir que yo le robé dinero al jefe y eso es falso.

You: No pierdas los estribos, si eso no es verdad, no tienes de qué preocuparte.

#17 Calmáte ventarrón

I’ve only heard this saying in Colombia. 

The word “ventarrón” refers to a very strong wind coming at you.

So when we call another person “ventarrón”,  we’re implying that this person has a lot of energy and that he or she should calm down.

It’s as if we were trying to calm down a storm by just saying “hey calm down you strong wind”.

I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense in English, but in Colombian Spanish, it does.  

Especially when we’re talking to someone who is feeling very anxious about doing anything quickly. 

For example: 

Papá: Hijo te traje un regalo.

Hijo: Déjame abrirlo, quiero abrirlo, quiero verlo.

Papá: ehh!! Calmáte ventarrón.

Note: We’re placing the accent in the second “a” of the word “calmáte” because that’s how we pronounce the verb with the pronoun “vos”.

#18 Sereno moreno – Serena morena

lazy cat

“Moreno” means brown skin.

You know the classic Latino skin color…

And “sereno”, means quiet. 

Native speakers use this phrase just as a friendly way to ask someone to calm down in Spanish.

If you use it you’re not going to sound as if you were a racist, or if you were highlighting someone by his skin color.

It’s just an old way to say calm down among Latinos.

#19 ¡Ya!

Yes, “ya”, means already, but we also use it as a way to calm someone down when he’s feeling bad.

Like when a baby is crying and you just want to calm him down by saying something like “there, there”.

In Spanish we have that same “there, there”, but as a “ya, ya”. 

For example: 

*Baby crying*

Mom: Ya, ya… mamá está aquí. Ya, ya… 

Here’s another example:

Two guys are fighting on the street, and then another person comes in to try to separate them and holds the more aggressive one.

As he struggles to hold the fighter dude, he could say:

“¡Ya!” 

It would communicate a “stop it”, but it might also be something like “calm down already”.

We also have a couple more variations with “ya” like…

#20 ¡Ya no más! – ¡Ya pues! 

Let’s go back to the previous example of people fighting on the street.

What if the person who’s separating the two fighters just can’t calm the most aggressive guy down?

He would likely talk louder with more emphasis and power saying something like “I said stop!” or “I told you to calm down!”

That “I said stop” in Spanish could be:

“¡Ya no más!”

 Or just like people in Medellín, Colombia would say it:

“¡Ya pues!”


RELATED: 25 FRASES DE VIAJE QUE TUS AMIGOS COLOMBIANOS SIEMPRE UTILIZAN (LOS HARÁS REÍR SI TÚ LAS UTILIZAS TAMBIÉN).


These are very native speakers’ ways to say “calm down” with authority.

I’m sure that you’ll never find that in a textbook, but it’s bound to happen that you’ll hear them in real life.

Conclusion

In Spanish, just like in any other language, there is way more than just one way to express ideas.

In this post, you have learned 20 different Expressions to say calm down in Spanish.

If you use any of these phrases, you’re going to sound like a local, and native speakers are going to be impressed by the vocabulary you use.

Why?

Because you’re going to be talking like them and expressing ideas like them.

Of course, my best wish is that you have great experiences and stress-free trips in Latin America.

But you never know, you might hear any of these expressions out there.

To sum-up these are all the 20 different ways to say calm down in Spanish:

  1. Cálmate
  2. Clama – con calma
  3. Tranquilo
  4. Tranquilizate
  5. Relájate
  6. Bájale
  7. No pasa nada
  8. No te lo tomes tan a pecho
  9. Tómatelo con calma
  10. Manten la calma
  11. Tómalo por el lado amable
  12. No te pongas así 
  13. No te esponjes
  14. No te estreses
  15. Guarda la compostura
  16. No pierdas los estribos
  17. Calmáte ventarrón
  18. Sereno moreno – serena morena
  19. ¡Ya!
  20. ¡Ya no más! – ¡Ya pues!

Now the question is how can you learn more of the vocabulary that people use in daily life?

In my free guide in full Spanish, you’ll find the secret sauce that you need to do just that, it’s called: 

10 Secretos que nadie te dice para hablar como un nativo.

I designed it for those students who have been studying Spanish for a while now, and are ready for a breakthrough to get fluent in Spanish and communicate with native speakers.

Click here to download it all for free:

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Diego Cuadros is a blogger and a Spanish online teacher. He uses stories to help Spanish lovers understand fast-speaking native speakers, so they don't freeze and panic in conversations.

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