Top Ads




Home Top Ad

Responsive Ads Here

Search This Blog

Monday, July 8, 2019

5 Tips to Reduce Stress, Anxiety and depression

How to calm down easily in critical moments

5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

Stress and anxiety, like water, can come in many different ways.

Water can be just liquid, but H2O molecules can form vapor or ice. Water can save the life of a dehydrated person as being fatal for someone who cannot swim.

What about stress and anxiety?

They too come in different forms: panic attacks, flashbacks of traumatic events, or, more insidiously, in the form of generalized anxiety disorder, or even in the form of phobias.

Depression is also often the result of untreated anxiety. Some forms of anxiety seem to be at the root of obsessive-compulsive disorders, addictions and compulsions.

Anxiety is a multi-headed hydra.

In this article, I will speak more specifically about anxious episodes that occur infrequently but with a high intensity. I will give you some very useful tips to help help reduce and control panic "seizures".

What is better to do when this happens?

Let's tackle anxiety from all sides

5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

It goes without saying that anxious people need to learn to relax deeply and often, relaxation is the antidote to fear and stress.

Our behavior is very often a reflection of how we feel and what we think, but it also works in reverse : what we do also influences what we think.

There are many things we can do to overcome anxiety. We will focus here only on certain behavioral interventions.

What do I mean by  it works also upside down ?

The mysterious power of chewing gum

Have you ever wondered, How can chewing gum help some people deal with stressful situations?

I thought about it. Fear, of course, is a survival instinct. We need it to protect ourselves from mortal danger. We do not cure anxiety, we balance it, normalize it so that its beneficial effect only happens when we need it.

Related post:  Use these 6 Apps to Reduce stress in Office
We forge our instincts. They are built largely by what we do and what we experience. To a certain degree, it's as if we are setting our instincts as we train a dog.

Every action we take that sends the message to the instinct of fear that we are not in the face of imminent danger will reduce the intensity of fear. Fear is a great energy expense, and our body knows that it must preserve its energy and not spend it unnecessarily.

The answer to the question of chewing gum becomes more obvious.

5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

When we are stressed, anxious, our salivation decreases. Archaic reflex. To simplify: you do not want to eat when you are about to be eaten! If you are in a situation that anguishes you and you chew gum, it makes you salivate. However, this salivation sends as a message to the fear that everything is fine, since you eat, and, by domino effect, other symptoms related to fear also decrease.

Any behavior that we adopt that is contrary to the symptoms of fear, whether salivating, talking or acting as if nothing had happened, quickly decreases the intensity of fear.

Let's see what behaviors to adopt to help us tame our fear.

Tip # 1: Name Anxiety

A 2015 study shows that verbalizing what one feels reduces the physiological symptoms of anxiety. In fact, this study shows that the more precisely the experience is described and the more the symptoms diminish. It's very interesting and it's something that we can easily use for ourselves as well as helping anxious people.

On the other hand, the subjects of the study in question did not expect that putting words on what they felt would have the effect of reducing their symptoms. The results were identical whether the people tested described their experience orally or in writing.

We can write in the details in a notebook or a journal what we feel when we are stressed or anxious. We must even use as many descriptive words as possible, we can even exaggerate. This will further diminish the intensity of our unpleasant feelings.

5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

We human beings have the innate need to express ourselves. Putting the experience into words can reduce the impact of the experiment because we then have to use the left prefrontal lobe of our brain. Since stress and anxiety are mostly produced by the right hemisphere of the brain, stimulation of the left hemisphere reduces the intensity of these phenomena.

But to prove to us that there is nothing to fear in the moment, there is something else to do.

Tip 2: Dealing with anxiety

5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

Naturally, we avoid anything that can be fatal. It's the survival instinct. But in our modern world, which has moved away from a "natural" functioning, what we are moving away from seems to be becoming more and more dangerous, even if it is not. To live a life of avoidance is to live in fear. A diminished life.

If you want to convince your instincts of fear that something is dangerous, it's simple: avoid the thing in question whenever you can.
If, for example, you start feeling uncomfortable every time you walk into a particular store and run out of it, your fear instinct "thinks" that there is definitely something deadly in this store. And just because you ran out of it, it may seem completely impossible to enter again. If you had stayed in the store until that unpleasant sensation ceased, the conditioning of instinct would probably have been different. If you had regained some peace by staying in the store, then the fear instinct would not have registered this store as a mortal danger.

If you stay in a situation rather than fleeing it, the fear goes out. If the situation was really dangerous, you would run away ... So, you "train" your instincts in part of the way you act. Flee and fear settles, stay and fear decreases.

It also works the other way. People who do really dangerous things in the utmost calm send messages to the instinct of fear that what they are doing is not potentially lethal.

Think of wild animal trainers from zoos of yesteryear, who put their heads in the jaws of felines, or just paratroopers. Because they willingly do dangerous things, their instinct of fear understands that these experiences are not life threatening, even if they are.

Although fear is vital to us, it is possible to tame it.

5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

Of course, staying in a situation that makes us panic is easier said than done, but we can:

  •     Remember why it is better to face critical situations than to flee them,
  •     Remember other strategies that decrease the intensity of fear,
  •     Visualize critical situations while being deeply relaxed. For our instinct of fear, imagining a critical situation is like living it truly.

If we start to panic, we can instantly employ another of these strategies

Tip # 3: Expire Anxiety

Our body always seeks balance, homeostasis. He always tries to find calm in a turbulent period.

Fear produces essentially the same "symptoms" as physical exercise: accelerated breathing, sweating, tremors, ... If these phenomena occur while you are doing split on a treadmill, it is normal. If they occur when you attend a meeting, it is less so.

In fact, in the second case, the body is just getting ready to exercise. Fear wants you to act physically. Whether you are fighting against danger or fleeing it.
Sometimes we talk about panic attacks, but nobody is attacked by panic. The term preparation for the effort might be preferred.

5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

Again, anything we do that suggests to our instincts that the situation does not require a large investment in energy will tend to quickly re balance the intensity of anxiety.


One of the first things to change in ourselves when we perceive something as dangerous is our breathing. We must absorb more oxygen in order to have the "dose" necessary to make all the efforts that will be necessary for our survival.

When we panic, we tend to inspire strongly, just like we do sports, because our muscles need more oxygen.

When we inspire, we activate the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the reflex of fight or flight. When we exhale, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the one that calms and relaxes us.

Moreover, stressed people often sigh. This slow exhalation is a way of balancing the breath whose inspiration has taken over.

Breathing in 7/11 is an effective technique. As soon as you feel the stress or anxiety rising, just inspire the time to count quickly up to 7, to take a short break, to expire the time to count quickly up to 11, to redo a short break, then start again. Figures matter little, what is needed is that the expiration is longer and slower than inspiration.

5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

Another interesting effect of this technique is that focusing on breathing can distract attention. The instinct of fear, if he could think, would then say, " I would not be concentrating on my breathing if there was something really dangerous! "

We can also practice this type of breathing while thinking about the thing that produces anxiety (or phobia). In this way, we change the physiological response associated with the trigger of anxiety.

But before we can focus on our expirations, we can start doing something that allows us to move away, to disassociate, from stress and anxiety

Tip # 4: Evaluate Stress and Anxiety

A few years ago, I trained a larger group than usual. As soon as I introduced myself to the students, I became more stressed than necessary.

I then decided to "rate" this stress on a scale of 1 to 10 (having 0, no jitters, while speaking in front of a large group did not seem possible). I was about 6.

I had already done some things to reduce this stress:

  •     Already, I had transformed a feeling into a number. And thinking about a number is less scary than thinking about fear. It was enough to reduce the intensity of the "jitters" and it forced me to use another part of my brain than the one that feels the emotions.
  •     I had established a limit. 10 was the upper limit and the intensity of the "trac" could not exceed this limit. It allowed me to have some control over that emotion. 
  •     I had placed myself as an observer. Part of me was out of what felt like "jitters" and studied that emotion. I don’t have the "jitters" I was watching anymore.
5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

Then I chose a figure that I considered acceptable to start talking. It was 3.
I started to exhale longer and more slowly than I inhaled. When I reached level 3 on the scale of the intensity of "stage fright," I started to speak. It took me 20 to 30 seconds to get there.

Since none of the students in this class (and no other so far) has tried to kill me, my fear instinct has received the message that there is no danger of death at this time. I started to relax, my word was released and I even enjoyed giving this training.
We can therefore evaluate our level of anxiety or stress, then choose a level that we consider acceptable. One can then simply practice the breathing exercise in 7/11 to reach this level. It may sound a bit simple, but it's incredibly effective.

Most people who suffer from anxiety can be relieved by hypnotherapy and / or by the different techniques we have just seen. For others, they need to evacuate the negative energy

Tip 5: Evacuate anxiety

Aside from being a powerful antidepressant, sports, and physical activity in general, is a good way to reduce the intensity of stress and anxiety.

A 2011 study shows that people who are most sensitive to anxiety and panic attacks will see the intensity of their symptoms decrease if they regularly engage in sport.

Therefore, the more intense and frequent practice of physical activity tends, in general, to appease anxious people. Athletes tend to be in better mental health than sedentary ones.

You can even exercise as soon as you start feeling some stress.

Milton Erickson, psychiatrist and hypnotherapist, had advised a stressed television presenter before going on air to make jumps on site just before the show.

With these jumps, the body feels the symptoms of fear: faster heart rate and breathing, sweating, ... When stopping the physical effort, these symptoms decrease and the body associates this phenomenon with no -danger, we are distressed.

In fact, when we practice physical activity to our limits, it is as if we were fighting or as if we were fleeing from a mortal danger. As in the end, we are still alive, we have survived the danger. So we can not panic anymore ...

Physical exercise can even be performed several hours before the event that is known to be potentially anxiety-provoking (public speaking, for example). It will work.

In summary…

In order to exfoliate, to de-stress, we can:

5 Tips to Reduce Stress Anxiety and depression

  •     Remember how the fear instinct is partly driven by what we do. We can "train" him. Avoidance helps create fear, while coping with the fear situation decreases the intensity of fear. This approach can be realized in thought, in a state of deep relaxation.

  •     Name the feeling, the emotion, either by verbalizing or by writing.
  •     Practice expiration's longer than inspirations. This produces a quick effect (anxiety requires more oxygen so more intense inspirations in preparation for the flight or the fight to come).
  •     To evaluate the level of his anxiety, to decide on the acceptable level in the problematic situation and to breathe with the technique of the previous point to reach the desired level.
  •     Exercise regularly, which reduces stress and anxiety. If it is possible, we can make an intense effort just before a situation that is known to be stressful.

Anxiety is a force that can be really helpful. But these opportunities are fortunately infrequent.

To use the analogy of water, we can learn to swim or even surf the waves of the ocean of stress, but we must not plunge into the abyss of fear.

No comments:

Post a Comment

kindly drop your opinion below. note that everybody is entitle to his/her own opinion.

advertise on