8 tips to relieve stress and anxiety quickly

Do you feel the stress and anxiety rising? Here are 8 tips from psychologists to calm them down quickly.

1. Practice cardiac coherence

Cardiac coherence is an effective method of relaxation in just a few minutes. "The state of cardiac coherence is a state which corresponds to a rate of 6 respiratory cycles per minute, which would be physiologically ideal", explains Amélia Lobbé, psychologist and author of My bible to relieve anxiety (Leduc.s). "For that, we perform 1 inhalation through the nose for 5 seconds and 1 expiration through the mouth of 5 seconds, 6 times in a row over 1 minute, okay? We focus our attention on our breath, the exhalation causes worries towards the outside, and we repeat the exercise several times a day, every day.

2. Breathe

Breathing actually affects stress. Saverio Tomasella, doctor in psychology, author of Affective charge (Larousse) with Charlotte Wils, advises a simple practice:
– Do not overload the brain with alarming information
– Stay away from screens while practicing
– Sit or lie down
– Close eyes
– Feel his body and observe his breathing
– Blow slowly and long
– Wait a little empty lungs
– Allow air to enter the lungs naturally
– Repeat several times in a row, quietly, without forcing, until calm.

3. Listen to music

"You can also listen to soft and relaxing music, either sitting or lying down with your eyes closed, or standing while dancing slowly" suggests Saverio Tomasella. In his work My bible to relieve anxiety, Amélia Lobbé recommends in particular listening to the sound of the sea on Spotify as well as "music specially designed to soothe stress, anxiety, depression". Search for "Music designed for depression and anxiety" on Youtube. "Some videos contain soothing lyrics, calming techniques, sounds that are believed to influence brain waves, or subliminal messages.", she writes.

4. Do a meditation session

"The meditation of" full presence ", which seeks to welcome with indulgence and tenderness our difficulties, our sufferings, our weaknesses" is ideal, for psychologist Saverio Tomasella. It invites you to listen to your bodily interiority, to observe with closed eyes what is happening in yourself, without any judgment. If you are a beginner, many meditation applications such as Petit Bambou or Calm now allow you to have access to guided meditation sessions. Some are very short and meet urgent needs: "stress", "SOS meditation", in case of intense panic.

5. Try Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (TCB) works on emotions and actions, changing body temperature through a shower, bath, or exercise. "For example, you soak your face in ice water for a few seconds, in order to inhibit the 'dive response' which is the anxiety response", details Amélia Lobbé in her book. "If you have the courage, take a cool shower that will bypass negative thoughts and anxiety, forcing your body to adjust to the temperature of the water," she continues. Faster and easier: drink very cold fruit juice. "The feeling of cold in your mouth will create an impact."

See also: 4 mediation applications to stay zen

Video by Clemence Chevallet

6. Gently massage

To reduce stress, take care of yourself and massage yourself. This can be a simple self-massage of the hands or legs with a body cream or even a self-massage of the face. Ten minutes are enough to find a little serenity in our body and in our mind. You can also use essential oils. "Mix 2 drops of chamomile essential oil with a little neutral oil and massage the solar plexus, the back of the neck and the temples", advises Amélia Lobbé. A chamomile spray on your wrists will also help you relax, and on your pillow sleep better.

7. Engage in an activity

"Action is your ally. It allows you to take back control", indicates the psychologist. Get started in a concrete and easy activity: change your sheets, tidy up your room, prepare yourself a herbal tea … "All this for a good half hour. The cortisol levels have time to drop a bit. This gives your body time and opportunity to calm down.", she adds. According to Saverio Tomasella, "manual activities such as gardening, baking, drawing, collages, etc." are also beneficial. They require concentration and are a useful distraction for self-esteem.

8. Accept your anxiety and stress

Our two experts are unanimous: if you can calm your stress or anxiety quickly, you must not suppress your emotions. "To calm an emotion that invades us, it is absolutely necessary to welcome it (so that the brain can take the time to process it) and not to fight against it (which strengthens it)", says Saverio Tomasella. "Accept your anxiety, don't fight, wait for it to pass. Accept your symptoms: let them come and go like a wave: it's painful, but it passes", declares for her part Amélia Lobbé, who recommends practicing self-compassion. "Allow yourself to feel bad, if you do, without feeling guilty." Finally the specialist advises to hear and listen to his anxiety. We have made a habit of camouflaging our emotions in order to make them acceptable to ourselves and to society. Do not hesitate to externalize, to talk about it and to accept your anxiety because ignoring it would be counterproductive.