Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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Use these techniques when you’re feeling stressed or a little down as a way to lighten your mood and rid yourself of that “not quite right feeling.”

  1. 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.

  2. Chill out. Fill a sink or bowl with ice 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) when you’re done.

  3. Get grateful. Stop what you’re doing right now and ponder what makes you feel grateful. Appreciate the small things — a good parking spot, the ability to read this cheat sheet, flowers, good music, a cute dog, whatever. Make a list of these things, and review it when you’re feeling down and out.

  4. 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.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Laura L. Smith, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in training mental health professionals in the treatment of adolescents and adults with personality disorders, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, anger, and depression. She is the coauthor of Depression For Dummies, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder For Dummies, and Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies, among other books.

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