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Old 05-23-22, 10:41 AM  
Karla25
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Florida
Sometimes when we're under stress we hold our breath or have other breathing difficulties that we might not notice.


RELAX AND BREATHE: Do Nothing for 10 Minutes I do this breathing exercise to relax. It also helps me sleep better.



15 Minute Deep Breathing Exercise | City of Hope

City of Hope has some wonderful relaxation videos of varying length

Copied from the City of Hope video description:

* Deep Breathing exercises help reduce anxiety, stress, fatigue, restlessness, difficulty sleeping and physical discomfort.

* City of Hope is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report.
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Old 05-23-22, 10:56 AM  
JackieB
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(((Hugs))). You're not alone. The past 2+ years have been really hard on people. Meg Feeney (one of the Essentrics master teachers) just shared on her IG on "Mental Health Day" that she's been battling anxiety and depression.

I struggle with anxiety and depression from time to time, and I always fall back on my favorite things to do that don't require a lot of brain power and are just like a little retreat. I'll do my favorite CS/Ess workouts, spend time with Ellen, or do an old favorite dvd. I love walking my dog around familiar surroundings. I think repetitive activities are comforting.
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Old 05-23-22, 11:17 AM  
BunnyHop
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancing Queen View Post
...
I find that getting everything out of my head, seeing what I need to do written in one place, and doing what I can makes me feel empowered and less anxious. Also, seeing a list of I Things I Can't Do Anything About is surprisingly reassuring - it's a way of acknowledging my stress is real AND a focal point for meditation, journaling, and any other "letting go" practices.

Anxiety is no joke, so I'm glad you're looking for ways to take care of yourself.
Thank you for sharing your techniques!! I've always struggled with brain dumping beyond endless rapid logging. I like the way your categories are set up. Off to do some writing, for my better mental health.

Oh, and in general, I find that establishing routines and rituals helps me feel more grounded and less distressed.

Something as simple as lighting a candle and making a list of the steps in a task can be a huge help.
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Old 05-23-22, 11:19 AM  
Vantreesta
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Have you tried the Bullet Journal Method?? Check your library for a copy of Ryder Carroll's book, or the website. https://bulletjournal.com/ or, on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/bulletjournal
All you need is something to write with, and something to write on. Keep it simple, or embellish it to your heart's content.

Another useful source I've learned from is Struthless on Youtube. Here's one of his videos on journaling techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dArgOrm98Bk

I'm currently in some awkward place where I'm getting along without journaling, but realizing that journaling makes it all better. Awhile ago, I'd gone completely overboard with decorating and playing with my journal, and took a break to see what I actually need to use my journal for. (It can become an endless distraction, and that I do not need.)


One thing I've found very helpful, is that the bullet journaling method helps me make note of important stuff in my life even before I realize it's important. That matters, because a year later I can check my notes and understand what was happening, or just notice the anniversary. Being able to realize exactly how much time has passed since whichever event has been very helpful to me.
I've read some about bullet journaling and it just seemed too complicated and cumbersome to me. I think I need to do some research on what journaling actually means and the different types. I keep a to do list in my planner but to me this isn't journaling. I think of journaling as a "dear diary" thing.
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Old 05-23-22, 11:24 AM  
Erica H.
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
I've been struggling with overwhelming depression and anxiety in the past few months. Running used to help with those issues but I can't run anymore due to injury/surgery. I have health issues that could be causing or contributing to the anxiety/depression and we've just had an enormous amount of stress recently. It's been really hard. I'm going to try the bullet journal book (ordered it from the library) and I have an appointment with an endocrinologist in two months (3 month wait for an appointment!).

Erica
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Old 05-23-22, 11:27 AM  
Dancing Queen
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
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Originally Posted by Vantreesta View Post
I have never managed to journal either even though it interests me. I note my accomplishments for the day and events but I don't really know how to journal, I guess. Or maybe just what the difference is between journaling and doing a brain dump.
Each morning, I spend 2-5 minutes writing what happened the day before in a 5-year journal, so I can see what was happening the previous years on that same date. I consider this documenting but not journaling because there's no real emotional component - I'm just recording what happened.

I also set aside an hour a week for journaling, then I use that time to write about the big things that happened that week - usually things that were really positive or really challenging - as well as long-term things that I am dealing with at that time. When possible, I write about anything I can do to make those situations better. At the end, I put "Today, I Feel. . . " and flip through a deck of cards that I have with emotions listed on them and write down any words that resonate with me right then.

I have two different decks of cards, and definitely prefer the latter (more expensive) set, but there are probably lists of emotions free online. I rarely know what I'm feeling beyond "good" or "bad," so this part of the process is crucial for helping me name my feelings. For instance, if I see a list of twenty words similar to "overwhelmed," I know I need to increase my self-care and figure out if there's anything I can take off my plate, even for a little while.

This type of journaling is like a feelings dump instead of a brain dump, and doing it regularly definitely helps with my anxiety.
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Old 05-23-22, 12:53 PM  
Vantreesta
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancing Queen View Post
Each morning, I spend 2-5 minutes writing what happened the day before in a 5-year journal, so I can see what was happening the previous years on that same date. I consider this documenting but not journaling because there's no real emotional component - I'm just recording what happened.

I also set aside an hour a week for journaling, then I use that time to write about the big things that happened that week - usually things that were really positive or really challenging - as well as long-term things that I am dealing with at that time. When possible, I write about anything I can do to make those situations better. At the end, I put "Today, I Feel. . . " and flip through a deck of cards that I have with emotions listed on them and write down any words that resonate with me right then.

I have two different decks of cards, and definitely prefer the latter (more expensive) set, but there are probably lists of emotions free online. I rarely know what I'm feeling beyond "good" or "bad," so this part of the process is crucial for helping me name my feelings. For instance, if I see a list of twenty words similar to "overwhelmed," I know I need to increase my self-care and figure out if there's anything I can take off my plate, even for a little while.

This type of journaling is like a feelings dump instead of a brain dump, and doing it regularly definitely helps with my anxiety.
Thank you for sharing your process and routine. My self care has gone downhill since probably fall, and I need to get back to a good routine.
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"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch."
"God, please help me to be the person my dog thinks I am."
"You can't run from your problems. But you'll both feel a little lighter when you get back." ~New Balance shoe ad
You don't have to be fast, just keep moving forward.
Note to self: You don't get to complain about things you won't work to change!
Word for 2021: Mindfulness
Word for 2022: Consistency
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Old 05-23-22, 12:55 PM  
leigh1673
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
I agree with all the recommendations for Yin Yoga. I like Travis Eliot's free Yin classes on YouTube.

I also find a short meditation practice can help me alleviate anxiety to some extent. This one by Yoga with Adrienne is one of my favorites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pLUleLdwY4
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Old 05-23-22, 01:39 PM  
bzar
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Donna, I sent you a PM.

I like what Anita suggested - i did the same thing. on meditation: my experience with anxiety helped me develop a meditation practice using guided meditation CDs at first. i strongly *suggest Jack Kornfield and Andrew Weil on guided meditation. Sharon Salzberg is also really good and Thich Nhat Hanh. All were obtained from the public library and i'm pretty sure they're available as downloads from Amazon and other audio book services.

edited to add:
*these suggestions are all short (5-10 min) and guide you with their voice and what to "do" while you're meditating.
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disclosure: in the years 2002-2004 i had a professional relationship with a distributor of fitness videos; see profile.
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Old 05-23-22, 02:31 PM  
Vintage VFer
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Donna, you've gotten some great suggestions so far!

I've been going through some major life changes and health issues on top of the pandemic. I practice self-care as much as possible. I have found that walking helps a great deal.

Sometimes the idea of meditating can seem like too much. I like the "mini meditation" idea. Just short times throughout the day to be mindful. It's a myth that you have to sit in lotus position for 45 minutes until your legs go to sleep to have a good meditation.

One way to calm the mind is to explore your 5 senses. On a walk, if I start getting anxious, I think, "What do I hear? What do I smell? What do I see? What can I touch?" It can really slow the brain down.

This is helpful during meal times, too. I try to really smell and taste the food and chew very slowly.

Big hugs to you !!!
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anxiety, anxiety relief, grief, journal, journals, meditation, mental health, mindfulness, self care, yoga for anxiety

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