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4 Easy Ways to Deal with Distress in Anxiety and Depression

Part of the Anxiety & Depression Workbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

There are going to be times when your anxiety and depression becomes acutely overwhelming, and when that happens you need a quick fix to bring you back to a calmer, happier state of mind. Try the following:

  • Exercise. Take a brisk walk, jog, or dance for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Increasing your heart rate for a while burns off anxious feelings and increases endorphins, which lift your mood.

  • Chill out. Fill a sink or bowl with ice-cold water. Now take a deep breath and put your face in the water for 30 seconds or so. Believe it or not, you’re likely to feel more relaxed (and maybe a bit chilly) afterwards.

  • *Think grateful. Stop what you’re doing right now and ponder what makes you feel grateful. Appreciate the small things – a good parking place, the ability to read this book, flowers, foot-tapping music, a waggy dog, whatever. Make a list of these things, and review it when you’re feeling down and out.

  • Breathe better. Take a slow, deep breath. Hold the air for a few moments, and then let it out very slowly while you silently count to eight. Repeat this breathing exercise four or five times when you feel the need to decompress.

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