A Rough Patch: How to Help Yourself Go Through a Breakdown

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At least once in a lifetime, everyone has felt like this “It looks like a rough patch which will never end.” But onAt least once in a lifetime, everyone has felt like this “It looks like a rough patch which will never end.” But only a doctor can tell how serious your anxiety, bad temper, poor sleep, or melancholy are. Meanwhile, we can suggest some life hacks which can help to get rid of unease and bad mood.

  • Get up and straighten out

When we feel the unease of any kind, from mild anxiety to a serious disorder, our body behaves all the same. We start to protect the vital body organs such as our heart and lungs by slouching and collapsing, trying to become smaller and invisible. According to Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., psychologist and author of the book “9 Ways to Get Rid of Anxiety in 5 Minutes or Less,” this is a normal reaction of our body to anxiety, but she is convinced that we are capable of coping with it. Do this: stand up with legs wide and shoulders back. Take a deep breath. Your posture and deep breath will help your body understand that you are not helpless and can control the situation.

  • Feel your breath

This life hack originates from meditation practice. You need to sit straight, make yourself comfortable and breathe. Try to concentrate on how the air you inhale goes through your nose, try to feel its temperature and how it moves inside of you. Don’t expect that you will make it right from the start — you will have recurring thoughts about what currently troubles you. You will learn to concentrate on breathing through regular practice. This will help you fight off anxiety, and with time, you will be able to switch focus not only at home but anywhere and anytime.

  • Imagine that you are not alone

Think about how many people feel the same emotions right now in these challenging times. They are also worried and sad; they feel as though the rough patch never ends. Imagine how many people feel this. You will feel better, not because somebody feels worse but from empathy, feeling that you are not alone. Just remember to concentrate on thinking that soon we all will overcome our difficulties while avoiding thoughts such as ‘We will all fall in the dark.’

  • Play a game

In the psychological research “How to Stop Feeling Anxious Right Now,” Dr. Chansky suggests playing the game that she calls 3-3-3. When you feel acute anxiety, look around and name (aloud or to yourself) three objects you see right now. Then tell three sounds that you hear and move three parts of your body in sequence, for example, your wrist, leg, and head. According to Dr. Chansky, this psychological trick will help you to stop thinking about the frailty of life and concentrate on your feelings that you are here, that you can feel, see, and hear. You have a familiar world around you. You can play the game as many times as needed to feel calm, even one hundred times in a row.

  • Have a walk

Yes, it is as simple as that. Michael Otto, a Ph.D. in Psychology from Boston University and author of “The Exercise Effect,” thinks that “It’s important that people understand that physical exercise is good not only for our physical shape.”

He suggests that any physical activity helps to improve mental health. Professor Otto is convinced that even jogging for five minutes, or a stroll in the fresh air after a difficult day at work can improve your mood and help to eliminate negative thinking. His assumptions were proven by experiments as people who took regular exercise were less prone to depression than those who didn’t walk and work out as part of their daily routines.

  • Be a friend to yourself

Often our first reaction to having a breakdown is to accuse ourselves of being lazy and we demand that we pull ourselves together. In other words, you would try to do your daily tasks through the force of will. But in this situation, it is not the best strategy as we feel vulnerable and as though everything slips through our hands while you have our internal critics getting in the way telling how weak-willed human beings we are. Try to imagine a close person who is in a bad situation, when you see that he or she needs support. Will you nag them, or will ask how you may help? Take care of yourself, be easy on yourself, and give yourself a break.

  • Take a test

Our recommendations will work only if you have seasonal blues or light anxiety. But only a doctor can determine how serious it is and if it is not a symptom of a more severe disorder, such as depression. There is a test called the ‘Beck’s Scales,’ a methodology developed by an American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck, in 1961, which includes twenty-one questions that will help evaluate the risks of developing or existing depression. If the results of the tests look disturbing, don’t wait to go and see a doctor.

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