World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10 every year. It is celebrated to help raise mental health awareness, and each of us can contribute, ensuring that people living with mental illness can live better lives with dignity.
In line with the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the world for almost two years now, mental health awareness is on the rise. This is due to the sharp increase in suicide cases, many losing their jobs and many people are increasingly stressed to live life.
Stress can be detrimental to the mind and body. When you feel stressed, your body responds by secreting hormones to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Stress can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, headaches, stomach aches, anxiety and depression.
Did you know that calming techniques can help your body calm down and lower your blood pressure and heart rate? These calming techniques can help manage various health problems such as anxiety related to illnesses or medical procedures, insomnia, pain during childbirth, nausea due to chemotherapy, etc.
How can calming techniques help?
Calming techniques can help your body calm down and lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
Various types of calming exercises
- Long Breathe
One of the easiest ways to calm down is to practice long breathing exercises. You can do it anywhere.
- Sit still or lie down and place one hand on your stomach. Place the other hand on the heart
- Inhale slowly until the stomach feels up. Hold your breath for a moment
- Exhale slowly until the stomach feels flat
- Repeat several times
- Picture Guidance
This technique guides you to focus on soothing images to replace negative or depressed feelings. Photo guidance can be handled by yourself, trainees or even recording.
- Take 10 or 20 minutes. Find a quiet place and close your eyes
- Inhale slowly to calm down
- Imagine a place that can soothe you, like sitting by a tropical beach or in a favourite garden. Think of things you might enjoy there.
Meditation can focus on helping you calm down. This process enables you to respond in a calmer way to emotions and thoughts, including things that lead to stress. Meditation has been practised for thousands of years and consists of several different styles. Here's one way to do it:
- Sit in a comfortable position
- Feel and calm your body, pay attention to your body weight and feel it
- Focus on breathing. Don’t change breathing; just focus on natural breathing, inhaling and exhaling
- When your mind is daydreaming, ignore it. Focus back on your breathing. Do it for about 5 minutes
- Progressive calming exercise
This technique involves the action of tightening and relaxing muscles throughout your body. Here's how:
- Start with the muscles in the toes and feet
- Tighten it for a while, then loosen it
- Move to another part of the body, tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time
- Yoga and Tai Chi
- This method combines elements of calming techniques — such as breathing and meditation — with physical movement
- Tai Chi is usually low impact and gentle
- Yoga ranges from simple to complex styles
- You can enter this exercise class or feel the experience by watching the video online
- Biomedical feedback
- Biomedical feedback guides you through how to control certain bodily functions such as heart rate or specific muscles
- With biomedicine, you work with a therapist who will install sensors in your body to measure temperature, muscle tension and brain waves
- By practising it, you can find out how changes in your thoughts and emotions can affect this particular measure and your body’s response
Concerned about calming exercise
Caring about a calming exercise requires perseverance. Please keep these guidelines in mind as you search for the proper calming technique for you.
- Learn - You can do a little research on the practices described in this article. Please find classes available at your place, books, online videos or smartphone apps.
- Practice - If you practice a lot of calming techniques, you may benefit from them. Practices carried out over a long and continuous time are more effective than those carried out intermittently or infrequently.
- Experiment - Apart from the techniques described in this article, there are many other ways to calm down. You can try different approaches. Sooner or later, you will achieve the method — or combination of techniques — that is right for you.
In addition to calming techniques, here are the steps that should be taken to achieve peace of mind and heart:
You need to establish relationships with positive people who can support and build your personal qualities.
Do Your Favourite Activities
Take time to do your hobbies, volunteer work, spend time with loved ones, or do other things that bring you happiness. Make a plan that you will enjoy because it is the key to a stress-accessible and meaningful life.
Practice A Balanced Diet
Adopting a balanced diet will supply the essential nutrients our bodies need to help manage stress and maintain healthy blood pressure.
Reducing Stress with Sleep.
Adequate and regular sleep will play an essential role in balancing our emotions in daily life.
Adequate sleep will fully charge our energy and maintain our emotional stability, making us an optimist and keeping us refreshed after we get enough sleep.Practice taking a nap during the day. Not long, only about 15-30 minutes.
Reducing Stress by Reading Books
I once read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the culture of slow reading.The idea is that reading at certain times can increase the sharpness of our minds and reduce stress.If you’re a book lover like me, this fact is not something that comes as a surprise. Whether the reading material is printed on paper or in digital form, taking half an hour to read on a busy day can provide some relief. A good book can make me be myself, express my opinion in this busy world. What’s important, if you’re not someone who kind of reads books, start now. Take 30 minutes to read.
It is easier said than done. We are normal human beings who need time to retreat from all stress and relax, otherwise, we will burn out. And we must hope and do for the best. It is best to always check and say hello to loved ones especially the quiet ones. May we all persevere in facing the challenges of today's world.