Ten stress management and anti-depression tools
1. Stay present. Anxiety and depression are marked by lingering in a painful past and/or worry of the future. Connecting with your body through exercise or your senses can bring you back to the moment. Try walking to take in the out-of-doors and get some sunshine while you are doing it.
2. Challenge catastrophic thinking. Notice negative thinking and distortions or reality. Ask yourself: Is what I’m afraid of happening now? Pick out the hijacking thoughts and file them away or talk to someone else to get a reality check.
3. Nutritional support. Cut back on caffeine, which can make you nervous or anxious, especially later in the day, to avoid insomnia. Reduce your sugar intake to stabilize blood sugar levels and maintain energy, and add a good source of B-vitamin complex to your diet as a natural anti-anxiety supplement.
4. Breathe. Meditative breathing, also called “focusing on the navel” allows you to discharge anxiety and relax the mind. Try it lying down first and see if you can transfer the method to a sitting or standing position. Then you can do it anywhere.
5. Do for someone else. Do something for a loved one or a stranger. Volunteer or just play with your pet. This will increase also increase your social network and support.
6. Regain you creative passions. We all have an artistic spirit that was conditioned out of us as the price of maturity. Rediscover your muse and start creating, whether its cooking, gardening, drawing, writing, or singing along to your old favorites. Find out what gives you pleasure and invest.
7. Find a hobby. Whether its garage sales, crafts, collecting stamps, find something that brings you joy and motivation, and is a healthy distraction from the everyday stressors.
8. Take a hot bath. Close the door, light a candle, relax the body and mind, and don’t forget the bubbles.
9. Massage. Learn how to give yourself simple massage.We all know how rub the kinks out of our neck so move those hands farther afield, to all the long muscle of the arms and legs, to the head, back, and buttocks. Better yet, exchange massage with a friend or loved one
10. Find little comforts. Remember how you felt as a child snuggling with your Teddy bear or blanky. Well, it’s never too late to find and support the little comforts: a cup of hot chocolate, cuddling with a good book, etc.
Suffering from anxiety or panic attacks? Life is overwhelming? Dealing with a history of trauma, abuse, or assault? You are not alone! Depression, anxiety, and PTSD are common and treatable disorders. There is hope!
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