Anxiety and depression can significantly affect your daily life. If you suffer from either one or both, you may have trouble concentrating at school or at work. Some people take drugs to keep their condition in check, but if you want to relieve anxiety and depression naturally, you may want to try meditation or mindfulness exercises.
The negative effects of antidepressants
Depression medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) block the reabsorption of serotonin.
Blocking serotonin reabsorption can help neurotransmitters send and receive chemical messages more effectively. It is believed that SSRIs help increase the mood-boosting effects of serotonin and address depression symptoms.
Using mindfulness exercise to "teach" your brain to relax
Individuals with depression or anxiety may prefer natural techniques like meditation or self-hypnosis because these methods aren't associated with negative side effects. Certain mindfulness techniques, like the one detailed below, focus on harnessing the natural power an individual has inside and training their mind and body to function in a way that can help improve their mental health. These techniques are based on strategies taught in self-hypnosis.
Hypnosis is nothing like its portrayal in media, and it is more of a natural approach that teaches a person how to use his or her mind in new ways.
A person with anxiety may feel like their conscious mind is making them repeat bad habits in a vicious cycle. Through hypnosis, they can learn how to unlock what lies in their subconscious mind.
If you suffer from anxiety, set aside some time every day to practice this technique. You can do this early in the morning, or whenever you have some free time so you can focus without being disturbed.
Sit somewhere comfortable. Make sure your back is supported, and your feet touch the floor. Don't cross your arms and legs. Let your hands rest comfortably in your lap or on the arms of the chair.
With your eyes open, breathe. Focus on each breath and imagine seeing your breath entering your body and filling your stomach, then leaving your body.
Inhale imaginary clean and fresh air, then exhale out any impurities, distress, or negativity that triggers your anxiety. Think of nothing but your breathing for at least two minutes.
Take three big breaths in, then let them out. Inhale through your nose, then exhale through your mouth.
On the third breath, close your eyes. Sit still and focus on your breathing. Try to be more aware of your body and how you're sitting in the chair. Relax in the chair, let your arms relax even more, then let your body sink more deeply into your chair.
Relax into a comfortable and relaxed state physically.
As you feel yourself relaxing, you may become aware of all the thoughts running in your head. The brain doesn't like being quiet, and it may force you to think of something.
Acknowledge these random thoughts, but don't focus on them. Let them enter your mind, then gently "push" them back out. Imagine sweeping your thoughts to the side as you continue this exercise and focus on relaxing. (Related: Tips and habits for banishing anxiety for life.)
When you feel comfortable just sitting and breathing peacefully, which could take about two to five minutes in total, claim a positive mantra for yourself. "I am calm. I am at peace. I can deal with things that come my way" is a good mantra. You can make up your own mantra, as long as they are soothing and they are true to you somehow.
Don't tell yourself something false, like "I am a billionaire" if you're not because your mind will reject the idea. You need to believe in the mantra as you repeat it over and over again for at least one minute.