Getting used to staying at home for extended periods of time has been a learning curve for all of us, but especially those who already suffer from anxiety. Add the pressure of society to be constantly productive and it’s easy to spin into a cycle of anxiety and being hard on yourself. Luckily, there are proven techniques that you can implement into your time spent outside of mental health treatment in Minneapolis to ultimately live a better quality of life. Next time you’re feeling down, try one of the following.
Don’t underestimate the power of breathing techniques to calm you down and make you feel more centered. Many people experience shallow, short breaths when suffering from anxiety, making it even more difficult for the heart and the brain to get carbon monoxide and oxygen. Practice deep breathing by going to a quiet, distraction-free room. Sit down and put one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Make sure that the hand on your stomach moves out as you breathe; if it doesn’t, you aren’t breathing deeply enough. Breathe in for roughly four seconds and breathe out for roughly four seconds. Continue to do so for a total of 4-5 minutes to get the best results.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
The process of intentionally tensing and relaxing your muscles is designed to show you the difference between the two states. Find a comfortable place to lie down and curl your toes as if you’re squeezing an object. Hold this pose for 4-5 seconds and relax for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this as many times as needed until you can clearly tell the difference between the two states. Slowly practice the same technique in other areas of the body including the thighs, stomach, shoulders, neck and jaw. This is a skill to help gently relax the body when you feel too overwhelmed.
Last but not least is the practice of eliciting images in your head to relax. This technique is especially helpful to complete before a stressful event. Calming scenes that include many details such as sounds, sensations and smells can help bring you to a calmer state of mind.
Remember, practicing these techniques will help you become better at them. Be patient with yourself as you are learning new skills to cope during this time. We are also continuing to provide mental health treatment in Minneapolis and surrounding areas, so please reach out to our team to take advantage of our services.