9 Techniques for Instant Stress Relief in a Tense Situation

9 Techniques for Instant Stress Relief in a Tense Situation

1. Breathe deeply

Breathe deeply and count to ten before you say or do anything emotionally.

Breathe deeply and count to ten before you say or do anything emotionally.

In June 2017, the journal Science published a study by biochemists from Stanford University who discovered a separate region in the brain that is responsible for the connection between the depth of breathing and emotions. They found that the faster and shallower a person breathes, the higher the degree of anxiety and excitability, while deep breaths promote relaxation and calm. Psychologists recommended this method even before scientific confirmation: breathe deeply and count to ten before you say or do anything emotionally.

2. Disengage from the situation

A simple psychological trick: look at what is happening from the outside, as if you were watching a movie about yourself. Doctors note that this simple practice of self-distancing reduces symptoms of depression and increased nervous excitability, and also improves cognitive functions of the brain. When in a stressful situation, shift your attention to other objects: look out the window, listen to outside sounds, or count the number of pens on the table.

3. Listen to music

Your favorite song will trigger the formation of endorphins

Your favorite song will trigger the formation of endorphins

Noise affects the nervous system. If you are in a tense, anxious state due to some situation or dialogue, try to eliminate additional stressors. In some cases, you can excuse yourself and go into another room to take a breath and focus on your own feelings. If the situation allows, create a sound background yourself – turn on relaxing music. Your favorite song will trigger the formation of endorphins, regardless of the genre, and classical calm music will help you relax. A study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital indicates that patients with heart disease who listened to music for half an hour daily were less likely to suffer from high blood pressure and tachycardia.

4. Choose scents

Scientists have found that long-term aromatherapy helps with chronic stress and depression. At the same time, smells can instantly bring you to your senses; you just need to choose the right essential oils. In case of nervous excitement, drop rosemary, cedar, black cumin, lavender and frankincense oils onto your wrists, collarbones or into the aroma lamp. These aromas will help you quickly calm down, relax and tune in to positive thoughts.

5. Use color therapy

Blue color will help you calm down

Blue color will help you calm down

At the University of Granada in Spain, they conducted a study in a room with white and blue LEDs. 12 subjects took part in the experiment. The results showed that, on average, within one minute under blue lights, heart rate, blood pressure and concentration levels returned to normal. Under white lamps, these processes dragged on for up to three and a half minutes. Conclusion: Look for the color blue; It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at the sky or photos on your laptop screen, it will help you calm down.

6. Get busy

It is important to shift your attention from the stressor to other focused activities. Few people have the opportunity to go to the gym at a time of nervous tension, but simple physical exercises can be done without leaving your office or apartment. Any physical exercise will do: jumping, push-ups, squats. It’s even better to add a psychological subtext to the action: throw out the trash and clean out the cabinets. This will significantly reduce frustration and help you approach the solution to the problem that has made you worry without unnecessary emotions.

7. Smile

By smiling, you send a signal of happiness to your brain, and your body begins to produce joy hormones

By smiling, you send a signal of happiness to your brain, and your body begins to produce joy hormones

A person smiles in response to events, and not always positive ones. Despite the fact that a smile is usually considered a sign of friendliness, sympathy or joy, in a dangerous situation it helps to calm down. By smiling, you send a signal of happiness to your brain, and your body begins to produce joy hormones. The brain slows down the breathing rate and heart rate, then blood pressure decreases and blood sugar levels normalize.

8. Wash the dishes

A group of scientists from Florida found that washing dishes is a great way to cope with anxiety and nervous tension. More than 50 people took part in the experiment; test results before and after regular dishwashing showed a decrease in anxiety levels, an increase in attentiveness and motivation levels. During practice, respondents noted an overestimation of the passage of time – it slowed down, as did the pulse, and their mood stabilized.

9. Take a walk

Tension levels are noticeably reduced in people who listen to the sounds of nature

This method will take more time, but it works flawlessly. A study by Brighton Medical School found that stress levels were significantly reduced in people who listened to natural sounds. Scientists had subjects listen to man-made noises and then the sounds of water, wind, rustling leaves and birdsong, while simultaneously conducting MRI scans of the brain. A walk in the park or in the forest also deepens your breathing, and regular walking replaces sports exercises and redirects your attention from internal experiences to relaxing objects around you.