Breathing Room

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Ok, so not that deeply.

The guys at http://www.stopandbreath.com offer the following advice to harness the mindfulness potential of your breathing:

Learning to breath properly is easy and will reward you with immediate results. Simply follow these 7 easy steps….

  1. Stand or sit comfortably with a straight spine.
  2. Relax your shoulders and place your hands on your lap or at your side.
  3. Exhale completely, drawing the diaphragm in and up.
  4. Slowly inhale through your nose by contracting your diaphragm out and down. Your belly should rise, followed by your mid-chest and finally your upper-chest as air fills your lungs.
  5. Pause.
  6. Slowly exhale through your nose while drawing your diaphragm and up.
  7. Repeat this process 3 time, taking consecutively fuller breaths with each inhale.

Congratulations, you’ve just taken 3 deep breaths! Many people have not taken the time to breath this deeply since childhood!

 

 

It’s Time to Change

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Brits, it’s time to talk.

Time to Change have launched a national campaign to end mental health stigma. It’s the start of a potentially brilliant movement. We’re so much better than outdated attitudes to mental health that still proliferate in our society. Read about the campaign and make a pledge here (PracticalDepression has just made their’s). More about it in the news here and here.

We simply cannot continue to ignore statistics like these:

  • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year.
  • The average age of onset for depression is 14, as diagnosed now, compared to 45 in the 1960s.
  • 116%: the rise in young people who talked about suicide during Childline (UK) counselling sessions in 2013/14, compared to 2010/11.
  • In Britain, 9.7% of people meet the critera for diagnosis of mixed anxiety and depression, according to a 2009 survey.
  • At any given time, 6% of fathers and 10% of mothers in the UK have mental health problems.
  • In 2015, 75% of all suicides in the UK were male. It is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.
  • Of the 13,972 suicides in the UK between 2003 and 2013, almost a third were classed as ‘patient suicides’, meaning the victim had been in contract with mental health services in the year before their death.
  • By 2030, it is estimated that there will be around two million more adults in the UK with mental health problems than there were four years ago.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, in 1990, 416 million people suffered from depression or anxiety worldwide. 23 years later, this had risen to 615 million.
  • Mental health budgets weer cut by 8.25% in England from 2011 to 2015.
  • More than 2,100 beds for mental health patients have been closed from 2011 to mid 2016 in England.
  • 38% of people with mental health problems say they’ve been treated negatively as a result of stigma, according to a survey released by Time to Change today.
  • More than 50% of them lost contact with a loved one, and a fifth lost their job.
  • Thankfully, attitudes to mental health are, slowly, changing. The number of people acknowledging they know somebody close to them who has had a mental illness rose from 58% in 2009 to 65% in 2014.

 

Reasons to be Mindful

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‘So, to be purrrfectly clear, why am I doing this?’

Tiddles here is wondering why he should practice Mindfulness. Thankfully for him Michael Chaskalson from Mindfulness Works Ltd. has the answers. He suggests that:

  • People who are more mindful have greater awareness, understanding and acceptance of their emotions, and recover from bad moods more quickly.
  • Mindfulness is correlated with emotional intelligence, which itself has been associated with good social skills, ability to cooperate and ability to see another person’s perspective.
  • People who are more mindful have higher, more stable self-esteem that is less dependent on external factors.

Tiddles: take heed. Readers: get mindful!