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One thing that you do that improves your mental health?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Dogloverlou, Jul 30, 2018.


  1. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    I'm struggling a bit recently. Just feeling generally very low and despondent, isolated and hopeless :(

    As the title asks, what is one thing you do that lifts your mood and helps improve your mental wellbeing? I find great pleasure in music and reading usually but I'm struggling with both of those at the mo too.
     
  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    For me running is therapy, but really any aerobic activity that gets you outside in mother nature is good. There is good research that shows that regular aerobic exercise is as effective as antidepressant drugs for depression and anxiety and in some cases even more effective. A diet high in colorful fruits and vegetables has also been shown to improve mental health. Specifically there is a compound in pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds that helps with anxiety. I make little energy bite balls with pumpkin and sunflower seeds that my teens love, and I like to think it helps their moods too :D

    I'm also a huge believer in yoga. It doesn't have to be strenuous (or the horrific "hot" yoga craze), just breathing purposefully and moving with your breath can have amazing results. Tai chi has the same benefits, I'm just more familiar with yoga.
    What I've also found is that yoga helps me be more mindful of where my body is, and in turn where my mental state is. I might find myself typing and email and realize my shoulders have drawn up and I'm tensing up, which lets me know I might not be in the best frame of mind to respond to that email ;) It's a reminder to take a break, re-center, and then return to the task with fresh body/mind.

    And be gentle with yourself. It's okay to go through low periods, it's your body's way of telling you something needs to change. So listen, and embrace the journey of forging a new path :)
     
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  3. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    I go for a walk somewhere where I’m surrounded by nature.
     
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  4. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    Not sure if its the same thing as I don't suffer from feeling low or despondent but I do frequently feel overwhelmed. Meditation has really helped me, I never ever thought I would say that but it really has, not only with the overwhelmed feelings but also not to react to everything (though I'm far from perfect :)) and to be able to spend time doing things without worrying about everything else I should be doing. For instance such going for a nice walk with the dogs or doing a bit of gardening is no longer a rush of feelings of how I must get this done so I can get on with xyz. The type of meditation I do is pretty informal, no sitting bolt upright and doing anything particular with your hands or crossing your legs, no concentrating on breathing and no trying to still the mind of thoughts.
     
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  5. HarlequinCat

    HarlequinCat PetForums VIP

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    I tend to go to my favourite place where I know there will be lots of birds and wildlife, find a comfortable spot and sit there for a while. I think about nothing else but what the birds etc are doing and don't think at all about anything that is bothering me.

    On a cool day I also like to go for a walk in the same sort of area. Usually I feel a lot happier and calmer afterwards

    @rottiepointerhouse what sort of meditation is that? I can't do the one with the breaths, I start thinking about it too much and feel myself getting tenser
     
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  6. rottiepointerhouse

    rottiepointerhouse PetForums VIP

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    Have a listen to this guy talking then see if you can get hold of a copy of his book

    https://drchatterjee.com/truth-meditation-light-watkins/

    http://www.lightwatkins.com
     
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  7. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    I'm sorry you're feeling so low.
    I usually walk the dogs , it helps calm me . nothing else really helps .
     
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  8. BlueJay

    BlueJay Made of bones

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    Sending good vibes your way; hope you feel better soon.
    My head is kicking my arse at the moment too...

    Taking the easy dogs out and just having a stress free walk in a nice place usually helps me when I'm actually in a place to help myself, rather than be self destructive... but thats not useful.
    Childhood films and just hiding away with some chocolate and a dog cuddle for a while helps a little too. Humans can do one.
    I have an app called Relax Melodies which lets you layer up different nature sounds and gentle music, which is lovely. I play around with that (probably similar sounds on youtube; rainstorms, waves etc) and just zone out, or stick an audiobook on with it and get lost away from your own head for a while
     
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  9. Fleur

    Fleur Vassal to Lilly and Ludo

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    Getting outdoors, fresh air and closer to nature.
    A walk or possibly a jog if I feel up to it.
    Sometimes taking my camera so I have something to concentrate on otherwise walking as fast or far as I can.
     
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  10. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear your feeling like this. Another one for outdoor running or walking somewhere of the beaten track. If I'm feeling particularly anxious an early long run really helps.

    Otherwise I have tried simple mindfulness. I also tell myself it is like a cold I'm feeling unwell now but will feel better soon , this to shall pass. Wrap up with a good film or favourite comedy. I avoid the news and depressing programmes. Of course since getting the boxers my anxiety has improved love a squishy face cuddle.
     
  11. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    If you are a reader try audio books. I can't read or concentrate on TV not that I am a TV addict but the few things I watch I can't so I listen to documentaries history and true crime. Tend to have narrative and I can relisten again so audio books would work too.

    Currently can't walk as I take a lot of enjoyment from seeing my dogs on a walk. I don't feel guilty if they only have recall check ins..as they are happy doing their own thing and are still stimulated by pee mail and whatever else.
     
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  12. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Ive heard of mindfulness but I'm not sure what it is .
     
  13. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    I also like walking in nature. I like going out in the evening when it is growing dark and humans are heading inside. It's just me and the wildlife - blackbirds with their alarm call like evening ritual, the wood pigeons shooting away from my approach until it gets too dark for them to bother, the bats emerging into the twilight and chugging like steam trains on my bat detector and if I am really quiet and careful the muntjac and foxes will ignore my presence and carry on with their lives. Seeing the creatures that secretly share my world whilst the humans tuck themselves away inside really helps my mood.

    Just sitting and standing and trying to identify every sound I can hear with my eyes shut, see how many different smells there are and where the wind is coming from also redirects my focus from my thoughts. It's amazing how much you shut out when your brain is busy.

    If I can't get out or away then concentrating on some art project (I am no good but it's fun to dabble) or a puzzle helps too.

    It can be really hard when I am feeling down to get motivated to do anything and the lack of achievement makes things worse so I try and set myself a couple of very simple tasks which I know I can achieve and then at least when I have done them I feel like the day wasn't wasted.

    Hope you feel better soon.
     
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  14. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I've just followed some advice off the internet so no expert but try to find a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on the present what can I hear see smell. Clearing your mind of everything other than the present. It does help if I'm getting in a pickle.
     
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  15. HarlequinCat

    HarlequinCat PetForums VIP

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  16. Owned by a dog

    Owned by a dog PetForums Member

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    I believe you are just going through a rough path, things will get better... step by step, or one day at a time, remember in winter when the fog is thick and if driving trough it it feels like is never going to end? It does, sooner or later it does, you just have to hang in there, day after day , x
     

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  17. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

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    Crafts and audiobooks.

    At the moment my go to is listening to an audiobook while doing pixelling.
     
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  18. mrs phas

    mrs phas my home, my sofa, my rules

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    are you near, or within good travelling distance, of a beach?
    i have often found great release in going and screaming at the sea, until im all screamed out
    I do advise going when there are less people about though, sometimes getting those funny looks, dont make you feel better in any way at all:oops:
     
  19. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    Wow, thanks so much guys for the great suggestions. Definitely some ideas here I'm going to try.

    I think it was @O2.0 who mentioned diet and exercise and I think this is a big issue right now. I get into such a funk that I constantly want to gorge on junk food which in turn makes me feel worse as I feel guilty afterwards. It's not like I even have the luxury of eating loads of it as I need to lose weight too :rolleyes:
    I think I'm going to get on my exercise bike tomorrow and try and boost my mood by doing something actually worthwhile rather than thinking about the next comfort food I can eat.

    Not sure about the audiobook suggestions as I feel the voice might do my head in after a while. When I'm like this I tend to need to avoid to much talking from others and the constant feeling of noise in my head if that makes sense?

    I love walking though & that does help. I think maybe because our walks have been so few and far between recently with the hot weather that that is maybe having more of an effect on me than I first thought.

    Good idea about the beach too @mrs phas :) I do regularly visit and that also helps. It's like all your stress get swept away with the sea and the wind.
     
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  20. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    A lot of PFers do colouring books . There was thread running with some beautiful pictures.
    I preferred doing dot to dot for grownups . When you're concentrating you forget everything for a while.
     
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