Simple and effective techniques: More calm and less stress with these 8 strategies

We are all vulnerable to stress, but we have the tools to overcome it at our fingertips. Not only can we change attitudes and habits, we can also resort to gentle and effective therapies.

Stress is a natural defense mechanism that ensures the survival of our species. Prepare the mind and body for action, focus attention and activate all our resources to flee, attack or freeze.

But this positive reaction, in a society overloaded with stimuli, hurts us, because the body fills with stress hormones such as cortisol, but tied to the chair. “Positive stress turns into distress when this alertness becomes chronic and puts health in check,” says Maria Del Tura, director of the Institute of Stress (IDE) of Barcelona.

Depending on the character, experience and beliefs of each one, the same situation can be perceived as a threat or as a challenge. “If we learn to dose it, stress is positive, and valuing it this way, instead of stigmatizing it, is the first step to neutralize it,” says Ana Lombard, author of Positive Stress

Attend to our most vital needs, maintain healthy relationships, relativize, ask for help, learn to assertively say no, are other guidelines to face it.

“After a peak of stress, it is necessary to give yourself breaks without blaming yourself, as we would after participating in a marathon to recover. It is important to savor every moment (with your children, your partner, a partner) and say to yourself: ”I”m going to have fun”, something that has more to do with love than with goals. Self-congratulation is another taboo to overcome, because seeking recognition outside and not within is one of the main causes of stress, ‘says Lombard.


“We breathe as we live and we live as we breathe, that is why conscious breathing is a great tool to ”digest” stress, affecting respiratory mechanics,” explains Silvia de la Rosa, conscious breathing therapist.

“By becoming aware of the breath, we contact ourselves and, through different exercises, we can expand our respiratory capacity, that is, improve the ability to take and release what comes to us, to unblock and revitalize ourselves. When you feel stress, stand up. stand up or lie down, and inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four again and expel the air through your nose for a count of four once more. Repeat the entire breathing cycle for two minutes, making sure that both the breath breathing and apnea as the muscles relax. Do the exercise again, lengthening the inhalation and exhalation up to eight, “he proposes.


The body needs its doses of nature. “Every day we should hug a tree or walk through a park. When we are surrounded by green the nervous system relaxes because the brain associates it with safety, water and food,” says Maria Del Tura from the Institute of Stress.

The baths forest where wanders in a quiet environment and oxygenated while you focus on the sensations, sounds, smells, the beauty of the landscape are a good anti – stress remedy: improve cellular oxygenation, decrease cortisol levels and silenced the thoughts.


Bach flowers treat the emotions that prevent being in harmony with oneself and the environment, facilitating the recovery of emotional, mental and physical balance. “It is important to know the origin of stress to find the most effective formula, but the anti-stress flower par excellence is the Elm-Elm, ideal for very responsible people. It can be accompanied by the Centaur-Centaury for those who do not know how to say “no “; from Verbena-Vervain when you tend to do everything, or from Mimulo-Mimulus to overcome fears”, says Ana Maria Santos, author of the Advanced Course in Flower Therapy (Ed. Kepler).

The formula is prepared in a dropper bottle and is taken at least 4 drops 4 times a day. Rather than opting for the popular Rescue remedy, this expert advises formulas such as Relaxflor, which relaxes mind, body and soul; Cambiflower, if the stress is caused by a major change; Harmoniflor, to treat disharmony; or Hepta Remei, Rescue remedy with two flowers: Walnut-Walnut to facilitate adaptation, and Sweet Chestnut-Sweet Chestnut, which gives calm.


Our brain and organism function in the same way when faced with something real as with what we imagine as real, that is why guided visualizations are used to optimize the body and mind.

You can record the ones you like the most on your phone or use visualizations you find on the web. We describe a basic one:

  • Lie on the floor on your back.
  • Place a rolled blanket on the cervicals and another roller under the knees.
  • Take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed and imagine that you are on a beach of fine white sand.
  • You hear the gentle swaying of the waves, the warmth of the sun on your skin, the breeze on your face and the sand between your fingers. The water is crystal blue and there are some colorful fish that swim calmly. You swim by his side, without tension, feeling the weightlessness of the water.

Enjoy the sensations of this imagined bath while you breathe long and deeply.


Contact – whether in the form of a hug, caress or massage – is the best antidote to contractures caused by stress. The following self-massage of the hands will also help you, which, like the feet, reflect the entire organism.

  • With one hand, massage each finger, fingertips, and joint of the other hand.
  • Knead the area between your thumb and index finger, then apply some pressure and pinch to the center.
  • Continue through the outer area that follows the thumb and then through the outer area that follows the little finger.
  • Surround the wrist while you move it, ensuring that breathing is always continuous and relaxed.

If you massage with a lavender essential oil, the relaxing effects will increase.


  • To release the tension, stretch and place your attention on your feet, tension them as much as you can, even more, count to three maintaining the tension and then suddenly relax them as much as you can.
  • Now place all the tension on calves, knees and thighs, contract the muscles in these areas as much as you can, count to three and release.
  • Do the same with the trunk and abdominal area.
  • Repeat with your arms, keeping your fists tightly closed.
  • It passes to the neck and suddenly let’s go.
  • Finally, tense the whole body as much as possible at the same time, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze and release.

Repeat the exercise three times.


Nuria Baste, founder of Anura Yoga, recommends balancing postures against stress, such as the Tree or the Warrior; relaxation poses, such as Savasana (corpse pose) and the Baby pose; and forward stretch poses, such as the Triangle and the Pincer.

It is highly recommended to chant mantras (such as Sa Ta Na Ma) to quiet the mind and decrease stress hormones. Others can be found on Spotify.


Stress disconnects us from the body and from the present. We can release tension with music and movement:

  • Put on a tribal or very rhythmic music and stomp to lower the energy from the head to the ground, release and gain strength.
  • Accompany your feet striking with your fists in the air while you get a scream or sigh.
  • After a few minutes, in silence or with slow music, close your eyes and try to express what you feel with the movement of your body.

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