How do you handle a challenge given to you either by biology or your boss? The first place to turn is to the one authority who truly understand--you. Self-help isn’t a way to avoid treatments or help from others, it’s a starting point to seeing what the problem may be, what the solutions might be and how you should proceed.
A great way to help yourself is by using relaxation breathing. How do you do it? Here’s a quick guide:
Take a full, deep breath through your nose and hold it for a count of 5.
- As you old your breath, think of the position of your shoulders and your arms.
Now, slowly release the air through your mouth in a “whooshing” sound, much like you would a sigh. In fact, a sigh may be the body’s way of automatically trying to help us relieve stress.
- Repeat this a few times, but not to the point where you feel either lightheaded or dizzy. No need to rush, no need to push yourself.
This can be done a few times throughout the day as a means to help relieve stress.
SEE MY VIDEO ON OUR VIDEOS PAGE TO SEE HOW TO BEGIN TO USE RELAXATION BREATHING AS I’VE DEMONSTRATED.
Guided imagery is one of the most pleasant few minutes you can give to yourself. A few tips for you:
- Think of a place you’ve been, either in reality or some place you’ve seen in a film, on TV or read out in a magazine or a book. Want to go there because it looks so magical, beautiful or interesting? You can.
- Sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes and allow yourself to sink into the chair as you do your relaxation breathing.
- Now take yourself to that place and look around. Take a good look at the floor or the walls or the trees or whatever is in your special place. Look for the small details and see if there are things you didn’t notice before. Don’t miss the small details and see if there are things you didn’t notice before. Don’t rush. Give yourself time.
PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
In addition to learning relaxation breathing and guided imagery, one additional exercise that has been found useful is progressive muscle relaxation. Simple to do, it can also be done almost anywhere because it takes only seconds to relax each muscle group. Okay, here’s what you do:
- Starting with your feet, tense them for 5 second, then release the tension for 30 seconds and go to the next muscle group.
- Tense your calf muscles, hold for 5 seconds, release for 30. next group.
- Now on to your thigh, tense for 5 seconds, release for 30 and go to your stomach.
- Stomach is now tensed for 5 seconds, release for 30 seconds and on to your hips.
- Hips tensed for 5 seconds, release for 30 seconds.
Now follow up with the chest muscles, then the shoulders, arms and hands in order by tensing each group for 5 seconds, then relax for 30 seconds.
NATIONAL TOLL-FREE LINES
Mindfulness and self-compassion
Controlling Anger Before It Controls You
Mental Health Ireland
Dietary Supplements Research (videos and links)
Great Britain Self-Help Information
Young Mental Health Ireland
Treatment Advocacy Center
How to Stop Worrying: Self-help strategies
Social Anxiety and Social Phobia
Understanding Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) (NINDS)
Center for Mental Health in Schools (hotlines)
Suicide and Mental Health Association International (hotlines)
Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska (hotlines)
U.S. Department of Justice EAP
Trichotillomania Learning Center, Inc.
Anxiety Disorders (emedicine)
NAMI Veterans' Resource Center
Patient Privacy Rights Foundation
Medline Plus on anxiety
NIMH on Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Medical News Today (on anxiety)
NIMH on stress and anxiety
PsychCentral screening quiz
Arthritis and anxiety
American Psychological Association
American Psychiatric Association