Try abdominal breathing: Put one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. If the hand on your chest rises more than on your abdomen, you are taking shallow breaths. Take a deep breath and note your bottom hand rising and falling. Put both hands on your abdomen and take five slow deep breaths. Studies show that this can significantly alleviate anxiety.
Meditation can help prevent depression and foster relaxation. There are many techniques. One approach is to sit on a chair or cross-legged on a pillow on the floor, with your back as straight as possible. Partially close your eyes and gaze down about three feet ahead. Focus on your breathing, in and out. When you notice your mind wandering, simply return to the breath.
Meditation can be challenging, but any regular practice is often rewarding. Those experiencing severe depression, anxiety, mania or psychosis are generally advised to avoid meditation until more stable.
Aim to include activities you find relaxing in each day, such as walking outdoors, reading a book, yoga, tai chi, making art, sitting in a cafe, laughing with others, listening to music. Classical music such as Mozart and Beethoven may be particularly beneficial for fostering relaxation and creativity.
Too much “screen time” (television, internet, video games) can be harmful and may be agitating.
Where are you?
These specific questions help you reflect on your current lifestyle.
- What do you find relaxing?
- How much time do you spend
- watching television?
- on the computer for work?
- playing video games?
- Do you do practice
- breathing techniques
- tai chi
Where are you going?
These questions help you set realistic goals that move towards change.
- What would you like to change?
- Where would you like to be in
- one month?
- one year?
- What will you do
- this week?