top of page

Anxiety and Stress


Anxiety is one of the most frequent emotions we feel in our lives. It comes when we feel a threat, both external or/and internal. Some people characterize it as an overwhelming feeling that seems to invade us without warning. Among the most common physical symptoms are tachycardia, tension, sweating, nervousness, hyperventilation, dizziness, nausea, tremors, pressure in the chest, weakness in some parts of the body and feelings of shortness of breath and lump in the throat or stomach. Among the psychological symptoms people often name fear, irrational and dysfunctional thoughts, intrusive and obsessive ideas, ruminations, feeling alert, agitation, nervousness and feeling of loss of control, Besides, there are certain behavioral responses such as avoidance, escape, or struggle.

Anxiety is a common experience shared by many people. There are no people who have not had anxiety. Different thoughts or situations, such as exams, wedding, divorce, social interactions, or public speaking, can produce anxiety. It is normal to deal with anxiety and resolve the situation that causes it effectively so that it does not rise in level and is not chronic. However, not everyone knows how to do it. Some people are anchored in their dysfunctional thoughts, threatening situations or avoidance behaviors which increases and maintains anxiety entering a vicious circle. Having anxiety for a long time often does not allow us to prove that the consequences of a dreaded situation never come or that the thoughts we have are irrational and have neither basis nor logic. Although anxiety can sometimes seem to become uncontrollable, it is important to remember that there are tools and strategies to deal with it.

Stress is a physical and emotional response we experience when faced with challenging or demanding situations. It is a natural reaction of the body of tension and concern when we consider that a complicated situation demands many resources, that is, we are not able to face external demands.

Anxiety is not the same as stress. The core of stress is worry and the core of anxiety is fear. People with anxiety often anticipate catastrophic and negative situations. Anxiety is more serious than stress but it is not always longer in time. In this case it is necessary to take into account the type of stressor, for example, lack of money to buy food or suffer from a serious illness can cause stress over a longer or shorter period of time. However, if we find a well-paid job or cure the serious illness, stress usually goes away. Worry about stress is focused on the specific problem we have. So it depends on a stressor or external stimulus. Anxiety is generated by a perception of a potential threat. Worries in anxiety are recurring that take up a lot of time and often there is no specific external stimulus. However, the feelings we experience during stress and anxiety can be very similar.

If anxiety is not addressed, over time, we may develop anxiety disorders. Within them you can find different problems, for example:

  • Phobias

  • Acute stress

  • Anxiety attacks

  • Seizures and panic disorder

  • Obsessive ideas

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Generalized anxiety disorder

  • Hypochondria (Illness anxiety disorder)

At the moment, more scientific support to treat anxiety disorders have Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, relaxation techniques and mindfulness. In addition, Metacognitive Therapy and Systemic Therapies are often used, giving good results.

It is important not only to treat symptoms, but also to address the underlying causes of anxiety and stress. The therapist helps you in this process of identifying the causes, guides you in the process of change and provides you with tools to treat anxiety. There are many techniques and strategies but they are not universal, that is, some that work to someone, may be less useful for others. Below I detail some techniques that seem to me quite good to combat anxiety.

Techniques and strategies

1. Diaphragmatic deep breathing


It is an easy technique to perform almost anywhere. Its simplicity does not take away the different benefits it has: it increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system causing the sensation of calm, reduces the superficial breathing that appears during anxiety and crisis, lower the amount of oxygen, we focus on breathing in the present moment and train divided attention.  The steps are as follows:

Una persona que respiera

1. Find a quiet place if possible.

2. Sit or lie down comfortably.

3. Place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest.

4. Breathe in the air slowly through the nose, feeling your belly move and not your chest. Hold the air for a couple of seconds and then breathe out the air through your mouth. Pause for a couple of seconds and start the new cycle. You have to find a comfortable formula for yourself, for example, 4-2-4-2, that is to say, you breathe in the air for 4 seconds, you pause for 2 seconds, you breathe out the air for 4 seconds and you make another pause for 2 seconds. It can be 4-2-5-3, 5-3-5-3, 4-7-8-2 or any other rhythm as it is very individual.

5. As you breathe, focus on the movement of your belly and imagine how the air enters and leaves.

It is best to do this technique when anxiety symptoms appear and before going to bed. Like any other technique it takes some effort and time to train. You can play relaxing music if you like. Do this exercise 2-3 times a day for 5-10 minutes.

2. Reducing oxygen and increasing carbon dioxide


When we have anxiety, we often start breathing more superficially and faster. Too much oxygen enters in the lungs that in large amounts can cause quite unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness, sweating, blurred vision and tachycardia, among others. Reducing the amount of oxygen helps decrease these symptoms. There are different techniques:

1. Breathe for a few minutes in a paper bag. In movies sometimes this technique is applied. It helps in situations when a person has hyperventilation, an anxiety or a panic attack.

2. Perform diaphragmatic breathing of the previous exercise but increasing the pauses.

3. Endure a time without breathing. It helps very well to increase the level of carbon dioxide in the blood.

4. Breathe through a straw or any very narrow tube.

Bolsa de papel

3. Stimuli competition and distracting tasks


People who have anxiety can spend a lot of time ruminating and thinking about the same thing. We seem to be looking for a solution and preventing something catastrophic, but we’re not. Some people assume that thoughts control our lives. It’s not right either. It’s often just a matter of attention. Some stimuli are more salient than others. For example, although we are ruminating submerged in our thoughts, worries and fears, if someone calls us or something falls from the roof to the ground, our attention suddenly changes. These thoughts and concerns no longer exist. Therefore, it is important to find some stimuli more salient than concerns.


One of the most salient stimuli for our body is pain. When there is a threat to our integrity or health, the focus is on these stimuli. It is important to care for our survival. Moreover, we pay more attention to stronger pain than to less severe pain if we have them at the same time. Clear example we have when we see someone on the floor having a panic attack and we give a host or we throw water in his/her face. The attack goes away pretty fast.

Pain techniques are now not used much officially in practice, except in certain cases, for ethical reasons. Besides, they cannot be used in any case if there are self-destructive, self-injurious or suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Everyone has to look for their own techniques that work. Examples of some of them: stretch a rubber band on the wrist and release it, bite a finger or pinch a part of the body, Some people squeeze very hard with 2 nails the earlobe to prevent an anxiety or panic attack. Stimuli do not necessarily have to be painful but they do have to be salient in order to compete with symptoms of anxiety and panic.

Distracting tasks are related to stimulus competition. It is simply a shift of focus from one stimulus (thought or sensation) to another. The idea is that we have an attentional filter which limits the amount of information we can process. For example, you can’t listen to 3 different people who are some distance away from you at the same time without losing some information. You also can’t see 2 objects that are at some distance from each other at once. The same happens with thoughts that cause anxiety. If you occupy your mind with something interesting, relevant or difficult, there will be no room for thought. Everyone has to find their useful distracting tasks. Examples of the most effective distracting tasks:

- mental calculation. Subtract every time 7 of 100 until you reach 0. Change the rule every time. It is a very competitive task;
- focus on something concrete around. What color do people have around them? How many green objects do I see next to me? What do these 2 people talk about? This task is related to the "Here and now" (technique N10);
- competitive activity. Such as singing (loud or not), reading a poem or writing;
- audiovisual media. You  should always have a list saved on your phone, computer or a platform of songs and videos that are very relevant. For example, videos that make you laugh, songs that make you think or motivate you for something. There are also lots of entertaining mobile games and mobile phone is almost always with you;
- other mental activities such as puzzles or crosswords.

4. Progressive muscle relaxation


It is a technique that was proposed by Jacobson already more than 80 years ago. It is more complex than previous techniques but is very effective in relaxing the body. When we have anxiety and are on alert, the muscles become more tense. Some people even get muscle aches from tension and stiffness. This technique teaches you to tighten your muscles tightly and relax them at once. Relaxing a group of muscles takes away the tension. In addition, the level of anxiety usually decreases. It is important to imagine how muscle relaxation decreases our anxiety.


The steps to follow:

1. Sit comfortably or lie on your back. You can play relaxing music if you want.

2. Tightly contract each muscle group for about 10-15 seconds and suddenly relax them. The pause must always last longer than the tension time, about 20-30 seconds. Each muscle group must be repeated 2 times, first the dominant side and then the opposite side. The sequence is as follows:

- the hand clenching the fist

- the forearm, palm down, pulling fingers upwards

- the arm (biceps) bending the arm or pressing the elbow against the arm of the armchair

- shoulders elevating them as high as possible

- facial muscles making faces

- the neck muscles trying to touch the chest with the chin

- the chest trying to join shoulders

- the back tried to join the shoulder blades

- the abdomen

- the thigh by raising the leg or pressing the thigh against the armchair

- the calf pulling toes towards you

- the foot stretching it to maximum

3. It is better that the moment of relaxation coincides with an expiration.

Do this exercise in times of anxiety and before going to sleep. It can be done directly in bed. The first few days, try it slowly. After a few weeks, you can start tightening the same muscle groups on the left and right side at the same time. After a few months you can tighten different muscle groups without having to follow a specific sequence, introducing some improvisation. Some psychologists may recommend starting the exercise by going down from the face muscles, or from the foot by going up. No matter where you start, the important thing is to learn to relate the moment of muscle distention to relaxation and anxiety reduction. If you prefer, you can use videos and guided audios on different platforms.

5. Training in autogenic relaxation


This technique was proposed a little before the previous one by Schultz in his work "Autogenic training". It turns out that many people can reach a state of deep relaxation by imagining physical sensations, more often, of heaviness and heat. Exercise acts on the autonomic nervous system and balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches. This training takes time and you need to learn step by step, because it's crucial to think and not do. .Everything is done in the imagination. Some psychologists consider that the effect is not immediate but comes within a few weeks.

The training has 3 principles:

1. Passive concentration, effortless attention, carefree by the result, do not force and let flow.

2. Reduction of proprioceptive and exteroceptive stimulation

3. Repetition of phrases describing physiological and psychological responses in the mind.


This technique includes 2 levels: the lower (relaxation exercises) and upper (imagination exercises). During the performance certain sentences are repeated and you need to imagine what they suggest. The exercises consist of passive concentration according to a certain sequence: weight in arms and legs, heat in arms and legs, heart movement, respiratory process, internal abdominal heat and temperature difference between the forehead and the air around. Each exercise begins with the phrase "I am calm/relaxed" and ends with the same sequence: deep inspiration , strong bending and stretching of the limbs and opening of the eyes.

A. Lower level.

There are 7 autosuggestion exercises to achieve the state of relaxation. The recommended duration of each exercise is 1-2 minutes for beginners and can reach 5 minutes but should not be longer. If the recommended time is exceeded, some tension can appear caused by fear of losing control, passivity and letting go. Starting with short periods and increasing each week the duration helps desensitize these fears. Before you start, sit on a comfortable chair or lie on the bed or floor. Don’t strain your breath and close your eyes. The sequence is as follows:

1. Relaxation exercise: it causes the state of calm and tranquility to the body and mind. Repeat 6 times the phrase "I am calm, my body and my mind are relaxed". Then repeat once the phrase "I am very calm and relaxed" and open your eyes.

2. Weight exercise: produces the feeling of weight in the extremities.

- "My right arm is very heavy" - 6 times

- "I am very calm and relaxed" - 1 time

- "My left arm is very heavy" - 6 times

- "I am very calm and relaxed" - 1 time

- "My right leg is very heavy" - 6 times

- "I am very calm and relaxed" - 1 time

- "My left leg is very heavy" - 6 times

- "I am very calm and relaxed" - 1 time

Then take a deep breath, flex and stretch the limbs and open your eyes.

3. Heat exercise: causes an increase in temperature in the extremities. The previous sequence is followed by changing to the phrase "My right arm is very hot".

4. Breathing exercise: produces calm breathing. "My breathing is regular and calm".

5. Exercise for the heart: allows to increase the concentration in the beats. "My heart beats regularly" or "My pulse is calm and regular" 6. Abdominal exercise: focuses attention on the solar plexus. " My abdomen is a heat stream". 7. Head exercise: focus on the head. " My mind is clear" or "My forehead is pleasantly fresh".

B. Higher level.

The general recommendations are the same as in the lower level. Before going to this stage, you have to master the lower level exercises. These are imagination exercises. Each exercise begins with the phrase "I am calm and relaxed" and ends with the phrase "I stretch my arms and legs, I breathe deeply and open my eyes". The sequence of exercises is as follows:

1. Experience with colors. Direct the view to the center of the forehead and give rise to a color, for example: "In my imagination I see a color, a green color that floods everything".

2. Imagination of concrete objects. It can be a rose, a candle or a form, for example: "In my imagination I see a complete and perfect circle".

3. Evoke a feeling. "It makes me feel calm, safe, at peace".

4. Imagine a place. For example: "I am climbing to the top of a mountain". or "I’m walking on the bottom of the sea".

5. Shaping abstract values. For example, hope, love or courage, etc.

6. Imagine yourself with certain purposes. For example: "I will successfully face this difficult situation".

7. Raise a personal question. For example: "I wonder who I am and what I want in life".

8. Imagination of a person. For example: "I see my partner approaching me".

​The sequence is not strict and other exercises of this type can be added. You can improvise each time changing colors, shapes, places and people. It is important to know that you cannot pass to the next exercise if you have not mastered the previous one. Each time when introducing a new exercise, you should review the previous ones. It is advisable to practice this technique 2-3 times a day if possible. On different platforms you can find guided videos and audios to learn how to follow the sequence.

6. Here and now


The "Here and now" consists of activating all your senses to pay attention to the stimuli that are around. It is not a difficult technique but it takes time to make it work. It helps us to change the attention from our thoughts or sensations to external stimuli. As you have to pay attention to other stimuli, the anxiety will fade and it will not be so outgoing. This technique is very related to the Attentional Training of Metacognitive Therapy. There is no fixed guideline of how to perform the exercise. I leave some examples below, from them you can go varying the forms. If you see that during the exercise you return to your thoughts, continue with the exercise. I advise you to practice it in different contexts (home, work, street or restaurant) a few times a day for about 10 minutes

Chica huele una flor

1. Sight: describe the objects that are around you (their name, shape or color). Often we are in a place every day but we could not remember what objects are around us or we pass by a store every day without knowing its name or what is being sold there. When walking down the street, look at shop windows, advertising or products. In a park, look at what trees there are, how many colors you can distinguish, what shape the benches and objects have around them you, etc.

2. Hearing: try to pay attention to different auditory stimuli (voices, cars, microwaves, music, children's screams, birds, a fight, rain, waves, etc.).

3. Touch: What texture does the chair I am sitting on have? Can I feel the sole of the shoe? Do I like the way the clothes I wear make me feel? Does it squeeze me anywhere? Do my hands feel moist? Do I like the feeling of touching my skin after applying a cream?

4. Taste: What taste do I have in my mouth? Do I like it? How is the rice I'm eating? Does it remind me of something? I'm going to try this juice and analyze its flavor.

5. Smell: Analyze each of the smells that you can detect and where they can come from (freshly baked bread, smoke, perfume, garbage, etc.).

7. "Stop" thinking and "a quiet place"


"Stop" thinking technique allows you to stop the chain of thoughts when you are in a loop. You simply have to shout out loud or inside "STOP!". Then, suddenly, you change your thought or mental image. You can think of anything.

I prefer to mix "Stop" thinking technique with "a safe place" or "a quiet place." You have to identify a place where you feel at peace, calm and safe. It can be a beach, a forest, a mountain, an empty theater, a park, a cabin, the bottom of the sea, etc. It doesn't necessarily have to be a real place, it can be imaginary. By stopping your chain of thoughts, you transfer yourself to this place. Another interesting variant is to create a dynamic place, that is, the place changes every time: you can imagine that you are walking through this place and you hear, smell, feel or see different objects, animals, plants, or people each time. It depends on your imagination. This variant is close to the previous exercise, but it is done in imagination.

Coche en el desierto

8. Self-instructions

Self-instructions are phrases you address yourself. The goal of self-instructions can be different: reduce anxiety, change attitudes, improve self-image etc. To perform the technique well, you have to identify dysfunctional, irrational or threatening thoughts that hurt or bother you. It is not an easy task because we rarely think about our own thinking (this is exactly what Metacognitive Therapy is based on). We often have catastrophic thoughts or cognitive distortions that occupy our minds and we do not analyze them. Take a sheet of paper and write down these kinds of thoughts during the day. For example,  

"If I don’t pass the test, I die",

"If I don’t wash my hands every hour, I’ll get sick"

"My children leave home because they don’t love me anymore"

"My belly hurts for 3 days. I must have cancer".


When you write them down, look for alternative thoughts, that is, thoughts that are more realistic, have logic, do less harm or produce less anxiety. For example,

"If I don’t pass the exam, I will simply study the material again, learn much more and repeat the exam"

"My children leave home because they want to become independent and have their own life. At their age, I was already married. Now I will have more free time for myself"

"The last time I thought I had a heart attack. There’s no reason to have cancer. I’m sure it’s just my anxiety".

In these sentences I also applied the technique of Positive Thinking. Write down these alternative thoughts on the same or another sheet. After that, you can use any variation of this technique or both of them:

- write the same phrase by hand many times (I advise, at least 20 times for each sentence);

- repeat the same phrase (or phrases) many times during the day, for example, when you are in transport, walk down the street or do nothing important (the more times they are repeated, the faster the change will come).

If you need to face certain dreaded situations, repeat these self-instructions always before this situation. Do not forget to analyze, after facing the situation, if the consequences came to which you were afraid or not. Often we are afraid of something hypothetical, and anxiety makes us avoid certain situations and see that the feared consequences never come. I can think that the pot with pickles has bacteria and avoid eating them but, if I see that my partner eats them and nothing happens to him, what would I do next time?

The use of self-directions is very broad. You can use them to reduce anxiety, control your emotions, raise your self-esteem or improve your self-image, change some attitudes or beliefs that do you wrong, move towards your goals, motivate you to do something that is hard to start but you know you enjoy it, etc. Some people may doubt that self-instructions work. In this case, imagine what will happen with a person who since childhood hears from his /her parents that he/she is useless and can do nothing good. The person is likely to assimilate these instructions and later they will become his/her attitudes and beliefs. Therefore, we can change our attitudes and beliefs through instructions or self-instructions.


Finally, remember that producing alternative or positive thoughts is not a bias. The reality is neutral and does not depend on our assessments and signs (positive or negative) that we attribute to it. I may think I will not answer any questions in the interview well but this thought does not change the questions the interviewer prepared for me. I can expect or hope for reciprocity when I confess my love to a particular person, but my desire does not change that person’s feelings for me. If a person does not greet me on the stairs I may think that he/she does not like me or that I am bad, however I do not know the real motives of that person. Thoughts are only mental events. If a negative thought appears, you can compensate it with another, positive, to get closer to reality, which is neutral and has no signs.

9. Behavioral experiments


Behavioral experiments allow us to check whether the feared consequences occur or not. They can be done in therapy or outside the consultation. We often have irrational and dysfunctional beliefs about the consequences of certain situations. But as we avoid these situations, we cannot check whether these consequences arrive or not. The same can be said about some rituals we have to perform to avoid increased anxiety. In both cases, anxiety reduces in the moment but in the long term it will only increase. Here are some examples of dysfunctional beliefs:

Luz de coche

"If a boy rejects me, I won't be able to stand it"
"Everyone will look at me if I drop my phone on the floor and it will be horrible"
"I have to control my thoughts. If I think too much, I will go crazy"
"If I wear green trousers, everyone will laugh at me"
"I will never tell my parents that I am a lesbian because they will kill me"
"No one will love me if I show my true colors"
"If I don't wash my hands every hour, I will get sick."
"If a thought appears to me that I kill someone, I will surely end up doing it."
"My heart hurts. I'm sure I'm having a heart attack. I'm going to die young."
"I can't be wrong, it's horrible."

El objetivo del experimento conductual es realizar una acción temida o dejar de realizar cierta acción para ver qué va a pasar. Cada uno tiene sus miedos o sus compulsiones y cada caso es individual. Tú mismo/a puedes detectar qué es lo que quieres cambiar. Puedes pedir ayuda a tus amigos, familiares o terapeuta. Te dejo unos ejemplos pero tendrías que diseñar tu propio experimento.

- Si tienes ansiedad en situaciones sociales, puedes provocar a propósito la atención de los demás o meterte en situaciones incómodas (pedir que te cambien el café, hacer caer algo, conocer a alguien en un bar o en el transporte público, cantar en voz alta caminando por la calle, hablar con tu jefe, hacer el ridículo, etc.).

- Si tienes miedo a equivocarte u otras ideas perfeccionistas, lo mejor sería equivocarte a propósito y analizar las consecuencias. ¿Ha pasado algo grave o catastrófico? ¿Hay alguien que no se equivoca? ¿Para qué me podrían servir los errores?

- Si tienes miedo a situaciones, objetos o circunstancias muy concretas (altura, animal, ascensor, truenos etc.) y las evitas, prueba permanecer en la situación temida hasta que baje la ansiedad. Aunque pienses que no va a bajar, esto no es así. Los recursos cognitivos son limitados y en algún momento se acaban. Si consigues permanecer en la situación sin evitarla, verás que realmente no llegan las consecuencias que esperabas.  Si llegas a tener un miedo muy intenso de algo, puedes revisar la página sobre el Miedo y fobias.

- Si piensas que la preocupación y la ansiedad pueden hacerte daño físico o mental, escoge un momento del día y empieza a preocuparse al máximo. Piensa en todo lo negativo y preocúpate de todo lo que puedas. Al acabar, analiza si tuviste un ataque de corazón, si has muerto o si te has vuelto loco/a. Es uno de los ejercicios que combate tus metacreencias.

- Si tienes ciertos rituales que no puedes dejar de hacer porque se te aumenta la ansiedad si no los realizas, prueba alargar el periodo entre una y otra repetición. Por ejemplo, si tienes que lavarte las manos cada media hora, prueba estar sin lavarlas una hora y verifica si te has muerto, te has infectado o ha pasado algo grave. Si crees que tienes un problema más grave, como obsesiones o compulsiones, revisa esta página

Tú mismo/a puedes decir qué quieres hacer. Por un lado, puedes seguir evitando diferentes situaciones o, al contrario, realizar los rituales que te reducen la ansiedad solo por un tiempo limitado. Por otro lado, puedes atreverte a hacer un experimento y analizar las consecuencias. A partir de allí, decides si sigues con tu comportamiento anterior o prefieres cambiar algo.

10. Poner en perspectiva

A menudo, damos más relevancia a ciertos eventos de la que hay y exageramos la importancia de los acontecimientos negativos. En consecuencia, experimentamos emociones negativas desagradables o descargamos nuestras frustraciones en las personas cercanas. Según la Terapia Cognitivo-Conductual, lo importante es cómo interpretamos cierta situación y no la situación en sí misma. La interpretación llleva a ciertos pensamientos que influyen en nuestras emociones y nuestra conducta. Por ejemplo:

Ante una pérdida de trabajo: una persona podría hundirse, pensar que es un/a fracasado/a y nunca encontraría otro trabajo, sentir frustración, rabia e impotencia, encerrarse en casa y empezar a beber. Otra persona podría considerar esta situación para encontrar un trabajo mejor, salir de la rutina, sentirse triste pero con esperanza, ponerse a buscar otro trabajo o aprovechar el paro para descansar. 

La situación es la misma pero la interpretación de la situación es distinta y lleva a diferentes pensamientos, emociones y comportamientos. Es decir, nuestra percepción afecta a nuestras reacciones.


Se puede aprender a identificar este impulso automático exagerado y cambiar de perspectiva. Lo crucial es a través del pensamiento crítico acercarte a la realidad, lógica y objetividad. Estas últimas te alejan del estrés innecesario, síntomas depresivos y ansiosos. Algunas variantes son más difíciles y se necesitan de más práctica. Abajo te dejo unos ejemplos de esta técnica. 

1. Quitar la importancia del evento (minimización/pensar a largo plazo). Pregúntate a ti mismo/a ¿Qué importancia tendrá este evento en 1 mes, en medio año, en 1 año o en 5 años? ¿Va a tener la misma relevancia? ¿Qué otras situaciones del pasado valoré como muy importantes pero, más tarde, no resultaron ser así? ¿Estoy inflando la importancia? ¿Realmente esta situación es tan extremadamente importante en mi vida? ¿Hoy tengo este examen pero mañana me voy a sentir igual de ansioso y preocupado? ¿De verdad esta mentira de mi amiga va a afectar a toda mi vida o es simplemente una mentira? Etc.

2. Alejarte de la situación. Intenta ver la situación desde cierta distancia. Imagínate que otra persona está viendo esta situación. Crees que vería y sentiría lo mismo que tú? ¿Esa persona haría lo mismo? Puedes imaginarte como si estuvieses a muchos metros de esta situación siendo tú un observador externo. Otra alternativa es imaginar esta situación como si fuese una película o una serie y la estuviese viendo. Te podría ayudar la metáfora del bosque: si estás demasiado cerca de un árbol, no ves el bosque detrás de él. Para verlo tendrías que alejarte un poco y empezar a mover la cabeza y los ojos.

3. Parar y observar. Antes de reaccionar impulsivamente o de forma exagerada, para unos segundos o minutos y observa toda la situación. Reflexiona si este evento realmente tiene tanto significado, relevancia e importancia en tu vida para que reacciones de forma exagerada con todas las consecuencias. Si después de esta reflexión decides que sí, pues actúa con exageración.

4. Recalibrar las prioridades. Piensa en lo que es realmente importante en tu vida. ¿Qué es lo primario, secundario o terciario? ¿Es realmente primario en lo que estoy pensando ahora mismo? ¿ No hay nada más importante? ¿Por qué invierto tanto tiempo y recursos cognitivos para pensar y preocuparme del mismo asunto?

5. Utiliza el pensamiento crítico. Aplica lógica y racionalidad en vez de basarte solo en las emociones. ¿Tengo todos los datos para sacar una conclusión? ¿Puedo equivocarme? ¿Las consecuencias en las que pienso están fundamentadas? 

6. Céntrate en los éxitos y en lo positivo. Tendemos a prestar más atención a los estímulos negativos e imaginar el resultado de una situación incierta más negativo que positivo. La realidad es neutra y no depende de los valores que le des (+ o -). Por lo tanto, si has barajado las alternativas negativas de una situación, analiza posibles alternativas positivas. Aparte, recuerda tus éxitos y céntrate en lo que salió (o puede salir) bien para desconfirmar tus pensamientos de un posible fracaso. De esta manera, te acercas más a la realidad y la objetividad.



Sport is one of the best strategies to reduce and control anxiety. During sport increases the amounts of dopamine and natural endorphins. However, in order to enjoy sports you have to follow a series of recommendations:

1. It has to be a type of physical activity that you like. It’s not worth trying to do something that you dislike. The range of physical activities is very wide, for example, acrobatics, swimming pool, dancing, pilates, cycling, skates, hiking, ball games, team play, badminton, water sports, martial arts etc.

2. Start small. If you’ve never done sports or spent a lot of time without doing it, it’s better to start with low intensity and frequency. Then the training is progressively increased. Some people start to play hard sports the first day, have unpleasant sensations during the training, get sore muscles the next day and they leave very fast. Therefore, it is crucial to go step by step to get used to training and start getting pleasure from it.

3. Sport has to be safe enough so that the person doesn’t get hurt or worry about something going wrong.

Ejercicio físico
Clase de baile

There are several benefits of doing sports or physical activity:

1. It distracts from mental activity, automatic thoughts and everyday problems.

2. It allows the weight to be kept within a desirable range.

3. Reduces health risks.

4. Strengthen your joints and muscles.

5. It allows socializing with other people.

6. Reduces anxiety considerably. Progressive muscle relaxation exercise (number 4) uses this advantage: by tightening and relaxing the muscles, the anxiety level drops.

7. Improves sleep, mood and sexual health.

Other general techniques and lifestyle


You can look for other more spiritual activities to improve your mood and reduce anxiety. Good results give yoga and meditation. You can do it in groups or individually. On different platforms you can find classes to learn. Then you can do it alone anywhere: at home, in the park, on the beach, in the forest, in the mountains or at work. Some people go further and use Zhen’s practices or ideas of Buddhism as their philosophy of life. It is a good strategy to eliminate long-term anxiety.

Also, control what you eat but don’t try to ban anything at all as this strategy often fails. In addition, try to reduce or eliminate the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs because the consumption leads to an increase in anxiety and reduces the level of quality of life.

Remember that you can always find strategies, techniques or activities that help you with your anxiety at specific times. But the essential thing is to look for the root of your anxiety. If you don’t remove the source, it will continue to appear. By knowing the problematic situation, you can look for ways to make a change in life and end anxiety and negative emotions.

Meditación en la playa
Comida sana
bottom of page