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I was going to start by sharing my story as this is what we do at meetings - however I don't feel it would be either helpful or appropriate for the time being. So I decided to share more practical things.

I'm keeping it simple for now as I know at least for myself I have a tendancy to complicate things which doesn't help my condition.

The first thing therefore I have chosen is breathing - It is something we take for granted and is our very life force and most people do not breath properly. Oxygen gives both the mind and body energy and makes it work more sufficently. It is taught in martial arts and meditation and I'm sure lots of other benefical practices.

Depression & Stress can cause panic attacks in lots of people (I have major panic attacks!) and the first thing to be affected is your breathing it becomes fast and shallow and can lead to hyper ventilation. Therefore being aware of your breathing is a very useful thing to master.

Here are some ideas edited and taken from 'Relaxation in a week' by Pat and Colin Dyke.

I am only one, but I am one
I cannot do everything, but I can do something
And I will not let what I cannot do
Interfere with what I can do.

If a plant is denied oxygen, it will not flourish. As we cherish a favourite plant so we should tend to our mind and body.

Spend time watching a cat or dog sleeping and notice the way in which they breathe. When they inhale the rib cage expands and the stomache moves out as air is drawn in. As they breathe out the rib cage and the abdomen contract, then there is a slight pause. This is the art of breathing in a relaxed manner.

Notice your own breathing pattern, are you breathing from your shoulders? When we are stressed and tense then we forget about breathing from the stomache. Concentrate on making positive changes in your breathing which in turn will reduce any tension in your body.

For many people breathing in through their mouth has become a habit. Keep your teeth slightly apart so your jaw is relaxed. Remind yourself that breathing in through the nose is more effective and is refreshing to both mind and body.

Take a deep breath and count 1-4 internally and slowly. As you breath out count 1-4 again. Do this five times and see how it is for you. Try to do it again counting from 1-6 and see if you find it more or less comfortable. Do this five times and notice how you are sitting or lying. Is there any change? You may notice your hands getting warmer or starting to tingle. (I don't breathe properly at all and it made me slightly dizzy! This is the increase of oxygen to the brain) Try to repeat the excercise for 3 minutes and enjoy the pleasure as you begin to achieve a healthier approach to your breathing, recognising that the more oxygen the brain receives the more effectively it can function.

You may find that during this excercise your concentration was wandering. This is a natural reaction. The more you practice, the more your mind will focus.

As with all excercise it will be most benefical if you can practice this often rather than when you are already stressed. It will make it a much easier tool to use when it is really needed.

This is step 1 - breathing (in short) I can explain the principles in more detail if you would like me too.

If you are interested in these kind of practical suggestions to stress relief I can post one at a time to practice and hopefully help you in times of stress and depression.

Much love to you all, who are suffering and in recovery.
 

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Thank you--yoga was suggested to me as a relaxation method,and I understand why. It really helps to slow the body and mind down and calm.:angel:
 

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Bev, I think we can all learn from this. Learning to breathe the proper way can help all of us, even those who don't suffer depression. It also can certainly help us in stressful situations, and whether we suffer from depression or not, we all have stressful times in our lives.

Thanks for sharing this - its really appreciated.
 

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Thank you so much Bev, that is great!! It is so true, just proper breathing can calm a situation down considerably!!:smball:
 

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Thank-you Bev!:) You know, when I feel panicked or anixious, I naturally try to take deep breaths, because it's like I am losing my breath, when this happens to me...I hate this feeling. It just happened as I was preparing supper, tonight. I get overwhelmed with the thought I am making supper, it's 5 pm, I'm hungry, I see the dishes loaded on the counter, I think of the lunches I will need to do, then it all happens: I get out of breath. :(

I really appreciate your tips.:hugz: It comes just in time.:)
 
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