A Powerful Tool You Always Have
When depression rules your world, it often feels like there is nothing you can do to stop the downward spiral. Loss of interest in everyday activities, hopelessness, lethargy and isolation can feel like a one ton blanket you’re trying to carry around.
When anxiety hits, your world can seem out of control too. Racing thoughts, a sense of panic, having no where to turn, and impending doom, conspire to sweep you off your feet. It often feels like you have no choice in the matter as nervousness and apprehension build.
No doubt you have been told what to do to ease your depression and anxiety. Well meaning family and friends suggest that you just get over your blues and move on. Look at all you must be thankful for, they continue. You don’t have any reason to be sad. Gee thanks! When you are having a panic attack, some may suggest that you just relax. There is really nothing to worry about. It’s all in your head. While they are trying to be helpful and they are well meaning; they don’t get it.
Here are 3 things you can do to ease the intensity of depression and anxiety. Leave the room where your well-meaning family and friends are, and try these.
When You Are Feeling Depressed.
- Bouncing – Stand up. Place your feet hip width apart. Start to gently bounce up and down with your knees bent and shoulders relaxed. You can keep your feet on the floor or jump slightly. Keep going for a minute or even two. Let your arms bounce with you.
- Big Breaths – Remain standing. (Or be seated, if you are more comfortable.) Put both hands on your belly. Breathe in for a count of 4. Hold for a count of 4. Then exhale strongly, while pressing on your belly. After the exhale, hold for a count of 4. Do these breaths quickly as this will increase your energy.
- Hands on Heart – Now put both hands on your heart. Slow your breathing. Imagine your breath going in and out of your heart. Repeat this for 5 or 6 breaths.
Notice how you feel now. Do you have more energy? This little 3 step process can be repeated throughout your day to help you feel more centered, energized and less hopeless.
When You Are Feeling Anxious
- Bend Over. First, stand up and put your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly. Bend over from the waist so that your head is hanging down. Your hands can touch the floor for stability. (If they don’t, don’t be concerned.)
- Breathe Slowly. While you are bending over, let your belly relax and breathe into and out of your belly deeply and slowly. Keep your knees slightly bent. Stay here for 1 to 5 minutes. Then roll up slowly to a standing position.
- Hands on Head Breath. Remain standing. Knees are slightly bent. Put both hands on your head. Place one hand on each side of your head, fingers pointing backwards. Breathe slowly all the way into your belly. Repeat for 5 breaths. Lower your hands to your sides.
Notice how you are feeling now. What sensations do you feel in your body? What do you notice about your thoughts? Have they slowed and calmed? Repeat this sequence as often as you need to feel more grounded.
Theses 2 sequences can help you navigate your days with a little more ease, focus and calmness. While they will not eliminate your depression or anxiety, these little tools can help.
Which sequence did you find most useful? Do you have tools that you use to manage depression and anxiety? Let me know what you think about these sequences.