Relaxation techniques are vital when you are suffering from depression or anxiety, reducing your levels of stress and chances of having a panic attack.
There are quite a few of them around and depending on severity of your mental problems you can either try them on their own or in combination with your antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications.
So, here are some of the ways to relax:
- Breathing technique. When we are born we are breathing correctly with our stomachs without giving any thought to it. As adults most of us use shallow breaths with our chests. Quickly test yourself by placing a hand onto your chest ad see if it's moving when you breathe. What should happen is when you breathe in your stomach expands and fills in with air, when you breathe out it goes back. Your chest shouldn't move much. This is familiar to people who do yoga or meditation. When you concentrate on your breathing this way, your body relaxes and let go of any tension. So, try breathing this way and counting to four, then count to two pausing, then four on breathing out and two pausing. It's difficult at first, you feel like there is not enough air, but give yourself a couple of minutes to get into this exercise and get into a routine of doing it once or twice a day for ten minutes, and in the end you feel much more relaxed and de-stressed.
- Progressive muscle relaxation technique. Again this is another way of controlling your depression or anxiety disorder by concentrating on intentionally tensing one muscle group for 10 seconds at a time, then relaxing it suddenly and giving yourself 10-15 seconds to feel the difference. If you do that ten to twenty minutes a day, you'll relieve some of the symptoms of depression like insomnia, fatigue, headaches, feeling of emotional numbness or lack of self-confidence.
- Meditation. I've already talked about brain waves and how meditation can alter them to reduce your depression or anxiety. Not only that, but it will lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and make you feel more positive and confident about yourself. There are even meditation techniques for anxiety and depression specifically, and they are worth checking out especially if you experience light or mild depression and anxiety. There are even studies which say that treating your depression with meditation helps to prevent a relapse!
Whatever you do, consult with your doctor first and don't give up on yourself, you will find something that works for you. And please share your experience with us.