Psychologists are specialists who help us resolve problems, overcome fears, and sort out our feelings so that we can be calm and healthy. But they are also human beings and sometimes they have to cope with stress too. So there are some methods that even professionals use to help reduce stress.

Write down everything that comes to mind.

John Duffy, a clinical psychologist and the author of a book about teenagers’ upbringing, says, “To reduce stress, I make notes. Thoughts, situations, relationships with people, article ideas. I write down and give structure to everything that comes to my mind. This creative process is really helpful because we forget about problems, our head becomes clear, the tension goes down. After that, I can see things from a different perspective.”

Be choosy when buying ingredients for a dish you want to cook.

Psychotherapist, writer, and teacher Jeffrey Sumber uses such methods to cope with stress: “When I feel depressed, I like to eat. But it should be healthy food or a dish that I’ve never made before. I spend a lot of time going through the store, picking out the ingredients. Then, I cut them carefully, prepare the dressings, and slowly eat the dish. I often post the results on Facebook so as to make my friends envious!”

React correctly or don’t react at all.

Psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne doesn’t fight stress. She has a special mantra that she repeats when she gets into a stressful situation. She says, “I can’t change the situation but I can change my reaction.”

A positive reaction to a negative situation helps avoid stress and even get some experience if you treat it as a challenge. You can also learn from your mistakes.

Spend an hour on your hobby and things you like.

Psychotherapist Amy Przeworski recommends having a period of time when you can do anything you want. Read, draw, cook, exercise — whatever makes you happy. No work, no responsibilities, no negative thoughts, there should be nothing that makes you upset.

Stimulate your nerves.

Toni Bernhard suggests an unusual but effective method based on physiology. Swipe your lips with your index finger. This movement touches nerves located on the surface of the lips which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and helps you calm down.

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