Transitions Counseling

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Tips for managing stress, anger, anxiety and depression

1. Breathing: I recommend a 4 count breathing technique. You slowly inhale inhaling until you your stomach is pushed out, hold it for a count of , breath out slowly for a count of 4 and then leave it out for a count of 4. Repeat 3-4 cycles any time you feel stress or emotions rising. This distracts us from faulty repeating thoughts, puts more oxygen in our blood stream, stimulates the Vegus nerve to naturally calm us. Plus you can do this almost anywhere. You can google breathing for managing emotions for more methods, make sure if you choose this method any other’ that your stomach is pushed out and that you practice often to make it automatic

2. Practice mindfulness: In this case mindfulness is simplified to one thing. It is, slowing down and really paying attention to what we are thinking, feeling, and particularly paying attention to what you are intending to say or do next! RULE OF THUMB: Is the next thing; you are going to say or do going to make the situation you are in better or worse, if its going to make it worse or escalate it, don't do it, even if you are right!

3. Support Group: I’m not talking about a therapy support group. But, just a small group of a few trusted friends or family. These are people that will be completely honest with you. The kind of people that will tell you the truth honestly, even if it stings, NOT SOMETHING THEY THINK YOU WANT TO HEAR! People that tell you want you want to hear are acquaintances and nice to have around, but not friends. Friends help you when you need it the most.

4. Safe space: We all have a few places where live and often where we work that we feel ours and are safe comfortable. A favorite room, chair, somewhere we feel is ours. Go there to calm down, relax, and think. We can have safe places in our mind to! Places that are memory that make us feel happy, proud, calm, etc. It could be school graduation, getting our first drivers license, our first kiss, a child being born, a special reward etc. Find a few of these events in your life and practice going to them in your mind, and when you are feeling stressed recall them and sit in those pleasant feelings to calm down. This can even be though of as putting ourselves in time out. It is important to note, if our partner or someone else we are having a issue with wants to put themselves in time out, step back and honor their decision to cool down, you might use this time for yourself. They/you aren’t running away you are settling your self to solve the problem with cool heads.

5. Exercise: One of the best things you can do for your mind and body is get up and get moving. You don't have to run a mile, just a short walk to get your muscles working a little. Even minor irritations can often be eased by a walk around the room. Data on exercise indicates an hour walk 4-5 a week is adequate to maintain good health. Of course if you should consult your health professional if you haven’t been active in awhile and then slowly build up to that and then decide if you would like to exceed that. 

6. Journaling: This can be simply making a list of things that happened during the day. I suggest a list of those things that you found aggravating, then be SURE to make a equal length list of blessings/good things, no matter how small they may be. You might add a short action list for the future at the end. You can do it verbally or typed on your on your phone, pad or computer,  or really sit down and write like its a book. But reviewing your day is very helpful. Then at the end of a week go back and review the week before’s writing. Look at what you wrote and think about it, you'll likely find this helpful getting your life in perspective. When things aren’t going our way, we can sometimes see our world through a negative lens, but if we stop to look back we can often see we may have exaggerated our problems. I suggest a simple list to keep it from being a burden for those starting out. If you already do something like this feel free write s much as you feel, but do keep the negative, positive, future plan form in mind.