Breath is a natural way to calm down. Interestingly, rapid short breath is what causes a lot of panic to worsen. Reducing stress in a mindful way has a lot to do with how the breath is regulated. Try mindful breathing by noticing your breath and focusing on taking deeper, drawn out breaths. Notice how the chest rises and falls, the diaphragm fills and caves in, with each cycle of breath. Count in for a number of four and out for a number of six as you inhale and exhale.
Endorphins are happy little brain chemicals which create feelings of calm and accomplishment. Exercise is not only good for physical health but for mental health, because the two are interconnected. Calming, meditative, and focused, exercise helps work out the brain as much as the body. 20 minutes of exercise a day is recommended as a way to reduce stress.
Presentness is a major part of practicing mindfulness based techniques. Meditation is one way to gain presence. Under anxiety or depression, meditation can be difficult. There are plenty of other ways to practice being present. Try noticing details about the environment around you, including colors, smells, and tastes. Use an anchor to pull yourself to the present, like a specific image, or something within your visual field. An anchor can also be a thought or an idea. Some more drastic measures can be taken to connect with the here and now. A cold shower or splash of cold water on the face can help as well.
It would seem that the goal of practicing meditation based stress reduction techniques would require obtaining some kind of mindfulness. Inherently, most activities have a kind of mindfulness involved. Many turn to their favorite creative crafts and hobbies like coloring books or scrapbooking. Creative endeavors can help focus the mind and stay connected to the present activity.
Aurora Recovery Centre believes in healing mind, body, and spirit. Each member is treated with a highly individualized treatment program serving both substance use addictions and co-occurring mental health disorders. For more information, call 844-515-STOP.