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Mental Health Tools

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, singing or humming, gargling and stimulation of a bitter taste on your tongue all have a role in stimulating the parasympathetic branch of your nervous system.

 

In stimulating the PNS, we break the cycle of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which in our society, is on overdrive.

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Adaptation
to stressful stimuli or situations

The process in which rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing accomplishes this is that it strengthens our hearts conduction system much like how exercise works not only in the long run, reducing blood pressure and resting heart rate but so that when we come across stressful stimuli, we can better adapt to it.

 

The time it will take for you to calm your nervous system after a stressful stimuli will be reduced and your perception of a stressful stimuli will change in a way where it will make you more resilient and adaptive to stressors.

Instructions

In the quiet and comfort of your room or at the beach or a bustling train station. The point is to regulate your breathing and you can start by practicing it in a calmer environment. The more you train the nervous system, the better it gets. Much like practicing an instrument.

 

How to sit:

You can sit any which way in my opinion just as long as you do it. But ideally you want your legs parallel, both feet flat on the floor, with thighs slightly opened and chest opened with upright posture, making sure your chair is high enough for a decline in the angle of your thigh as opposed to incline or straight out. Sit up straight, as if you are squeezing something small between your shoulder blades (medial border of scapula). 

 

Breathing:

Breathe in through your nose and out through either nose or mouth. I do a combination of whatever I feel like at the moment.

4 seconds inhalation 5 seconds exhalation. With a small pause at the end of each. If you have larger lung capacity you pay add an extra second. A good breathing rate is about 6 breaths per minute. 

 

The Breathe + app guides you for this breathing routine should you have difficulty.  

 

Belly breathing:

If it helps, you can begin with one hand on your stomach and one on your chest. You want to breathe to fill your lower hand with your belly and exhale the same way. You want to make sure your diaphragm is fully engaged on both inhale and exhale. Exhale in a controlled manner like pushing molasses through a straw.

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Begin with 10-minutes a day!

 

If you can, do 10 minutes twice a day.

 

You want to work your way up of setting a goal of 20 minutes twice a day if possible.

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Tools For Anxiety

mental health tools

Apps to download

  • TappingSolution

  • Tapping W/

  • Headspace

  • Breathe+

  • Calm

Tools For Letting Go of Past trauma

What is EF Tapping Method?

EFT tapping is a combination of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology, now known as energy psychology. It's an easy-to-learn technique that involves “tapping” on the meridian points of the body while repeating statements that help us focus on an issue from which we're seeking relief.

Anxiety worksheets

What is Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE)?

A simple, innovative set of exercises that help the body release deeply held stress, tension and trauma. Following in the wake of yoga, meditation and mindfulness, TRE is growing in popularity as a means of managing stress.

 

Therapists that do Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE)

Christine Steward: cstewardtre@gmail.com

More info: https://trecanada.ca/about-tre/

Forms of therapy to look for:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy

    • Find a CBT professional here

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

    • Get EMDR experts here

Tools for Eating Disorders

Get your MD to refer you to any of the following psychologists or registered counselors:

Dr. Suja Srikameswaran   (former head of psychology Eating Disorders Clinic St. Paul's Hospital) 

https://www.changeways.com/ourteam/dr-srikameswaran.html

 

Dr. Karen Ergas, RPsych

http://reneweatingdisordertreatment.com/

Dr. Barbara Beach, RPsych

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/therapists/barbara-beach-vancouver-bc/189159

 

Kelly Adler, RCC

http://www.kellyadler.com/

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