Breathing. We all do it, we were born doing it, but the benefits of breathing properly and using it as a technique to manage anxiety and stress is incredibly powerful. Below are some of the techniques I use...
Nearly 5 years ago following my breakdown I wanted to seek out ways in which I could manage my anxiety and depression and the one word that kept repeating itself to me was Yoga...
'It would give us some comfort if we could only forget a past that we cannot change. If we could only choose to forget the cruelest moments, we could as time goes on, free ourselves from their pain. But the wrong sticks like a nettle in our memory. The only way to remove the nettle is with the surgical procedure called forgiveness.' Smedes, The Art of Forgiving
When my mental health was at its worst, and pressures of work at their highest, I was getting on average 2-3 hours sleep a night. It reached a point when just going to bed filled me with anxiety as I knew that it would take me hours to get to sleep and then at 2am, without fail I would wake up. Bing wide awake and whatever I did I would not be able to get back in to the land of nod.
When I had my breakdown in 2014 I started yoga; it was a life changer for me in many ways but one moment in time has stuck with me. The class was run by an amazing yogi in her 70's and I was the youngest in the class by a good 30 years. It was a very slow, centered class and she used affirmations for all her yoga moves. In one class she got us all to randomly select an affirmation from the pack of cards she held and the one I chose has stayed with me to this day, it was perfect for the moment I was in....
It has been reported that connecting with nature can have a really positive effect on our mental health. Just getting outside for 15 minutes a day provides you with enough Vitamin D to raise serotonin levels in the brain. Enough to make a difference but what else can connecting to nature do?
We all know that we should eat healthily and drink lots of water, but lets be honest, we don't always do what we are told. I know I don't, just ask about the Wotsits one day....
You know the feeling when everything is coming at you at a hundred miles an hour? Its overwhelming, confusing, scary and the panic starts to rise. You get that feeling in your stomach like someone has reached in and is slowly, slowly turning your insides anti-clockwise (has to be anti-clockwise as that really messes with those of who have OCD!). So, what do I do? What can you do? Well after a couple of really deep breaths you can ask yourself a couple of questions...
Stress can be stressful. It can make you have no clue which direction to go in, it can make you flustered, indecisive, anxious and physically unwell. So what IS stress, and what are some simple ways to manage it?
We already know how good exercise is for our physical health. But you might be surprised by how good exercise is for your mental health...