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Serenity Now


Often when we feel unhappy, we sit back and wait because we feel we cannot change the situation, or we hope it will pass. Avoid this by being proactive! Here's how, in six steps, according to clinical psychologist Kevin

  • As realistically as possible, think about how you would like your life to be, in terms of where you would like to be, what you would like to be doing and how you would like to live.
  • With that as along-term goal, think about how long it would take for you to achieve this and what intermediate steps you would need to take.
  • Make a detailed plan with milestones and markers for you to check if you are on track This will give you a guide on what you need to do systematically to get to where you want to go.
  • Make a list of obstacles, issues and problems that may be holding you back from this goal.
  • Be honest about how much you play in maintaining these stressors.
  • Brainstorm about how you can overcome these one at a time. If you have difficulty with this exercise, get a supportive friend or family member to be your coach or mentor along the way. Alternatively, seek professional help to jumpstart this change.

A Breath Of Fresh Air

To reduce everyday stress, try this simple breathing exercise from drweil.com, the website of Dr Andrew Weil, considered the father of integrated medicine. To start, place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there throughout the exercise. You'll be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue.    

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to the count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The timing of each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice, you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

Feel Down? Here Are Some Tips To Giving Yourself A Boost

Spend Time With Children

They know how to have fun.

Get Inventive With How You Spend Your Free Time

Throw a girlie tea party or organize an afternoon of games at a park.

Reflect On The Last Crisis You Experienced

Find a funny side to it.

Dig Out Old Photos

They'll bring a smile to your face, especially if they're of bad fashion faux-pas!

Get Lots Of Fresh Air

Run about in a park, get soaked in a downpour, get up early and watch a sunrise, walk around barefoot.

Beat Stress With A Mini Workout. Try Out These Two

  • Put your hands in a praying position and squeeze for 10 seconds, then clasp them together and try to pry them apart.
  • Lift your shoulders up towards your ears as high as you can. Hold them there for three seconds and then let them drop down as far as they will comfortably go and hold the stretch for three seconds. Repeat 10 times.
 

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