7 Mental Health Exercises to Reduce Anxiety and Depression
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Depression and anxiety are two extremely hard battles to fight and not everyone has the resources to seek out therapy.
In this article, you will find a list of 7 exercises which you can incorporate into your regular routine to help you cope with and treat your depression and anxiety.
Circular breathing is a really effective way to deal with anxiety attacks and even overwhelming sadness which accompanies depression.
You have to imagine your breath traveling to the tips of your toes and then traveling back up from the back of your legs, up your spine, and over the top of your head.
Imagine it cocooning you. When your lungs are full, pause for a count of three ‘Mississippi’s and imagine your breath reaches a spot in the front of your forehead. When you release your breath, imagine it going down the front of your body.
Take a pause of approximately 3 seconds when your lungs are empty and then repeat the process 10 or more times. Basically, make a circle with your breath while imagining bringing relaxation to yourself with each inhale and imagine exhaling out any stress and anxiety that you may be feeling.
Meditation & Yoga
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A small study conducted in 2007 concluded that people who meditate and take yoga classes experience considerable improvements in their mental health in the form of reduced depression and anxiety symptoms.
Yoga has the power to focus your breath and help you relax by means of gentle movement and deep breathing. This is why every mental health expert recommends yoga and meditation for treating mental illnesses and bringing mental peace.
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Nature brings peace to the human soul.
One thing which you want to consider doing to deal with your mental illness is to take a good old hike in the woods. Surround yourself with nature: become friends with plants and trees.
Let them help you lower your stress hormone levels and help you feel less anxious while improving your brain memory function and slowing down any hyperactive thoughts in the brain.
You don't have to spend your entire day out in the woods; a simple 30-50 minute hike can do the trick.
Whenever health boosting exercises are brought up, running is recommended.
The reason is that running positively affects neurotransmitters namely serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain which basically serve the function of making us feel good. This is the reason that running has a meditative effect on the brain and is considered an excellent activity for people who suffer from depression.
Think of it as a natural antidepressant. It also improves the quality of your sleep. Hence, it is an overall great for your body.
Fitness Training and HIIT
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The idea of going to the gym might be a hard one for your mind to accept but getting into a gym and following a fitness training routine can help you distract from your negative thoughts and from your mental illness.
It is also an excellent opportunity for social interaction and that can also have a positive effect on your mental health. Even though high-intensity exercise may increase stress levels as you start off, but becoming more active in it can become a stress coping strategy in the future for your daily life.
Another great way to deal with depression and anxiety is this one activity which all of us are familiar with—dancing! Apart from being a great physical exercise, it can also bring you pleasure and joy and help you cope with your depression and stress.
Put on your favorite music and start moving. The best part is that there are no rules to dancing you have to follow so just make sure you have fun.
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Another simple and easy-to-do activity you can include in your daily routine to reduce anxiety and depression is swimming.
Concentrating on this activity can help you get your mind off negative thoughts. Moreover, as swimming is very good for your physical health and can help you maintain a great level of fitness, which is another indirect effect of swimming on mental health because mental illness causes a lot of body image issues along with confidence issues which swimming and maintaining fitness can help you deal with.
This guest post was written by Hassan Khan Yousafzai, he is passionate about Digital marketing.
Along with an educational background in Software Engineering, he is bridging the gap between marketing and development department.
At Techvando, he has been consulting brands all over Pakistan to gain online traffic and profitable leads
About Meridian Treatment Solutions and "The Bridge" Mental Health Program
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