When things get tough, and anxiety and depression get hold of a person, it’s down to doctors to do their best to send that person away with something in hand that could help.
More often than not, that “something” is anti-depressants. The problem with this of course is that they don’t work for everyone, and without the right skills and support can just mean someone ends up on a long-term medication while still experiencing many of the symptoms they previously had. In fact, recent information revealed by BBC’s Panorama shows that over two million people have been taking these drugs for five years or more.
Add to this the difficulty many people have stopping this medication and we start to see a real problem forming for millions of people.
So, this raises a question… what can we do instead? How do we reduce dependency on medication? How can people build skills for self-support during times of anxiety and depression? How do you come off anti-depressants in a way that feels supported and safe?
The solution needs to be something that is sustainable, non-addictive and simple.
One such solution is mindfulness and conscious breathing. These techniques have been shown in multiple studies to reduce the effects of anxiety, stress and depression. They are simple to learn, easy to do and provide a highly sustainable way to support your own mental health.
These two techniques complement each other by having both long and short terms effects on how we experience anxiety.
In mindfulness practice, the emphasis is on changing the relationship we have with our thoughts, feelings, and sensations. By acknowledging and accepting these experiences rather than resisting or suppressing them, we can better manage our responses to them. We train our brains to be in the present moment and exist with ourselves in a non-judgmental way.
Breathing exercises form a good foundation for mindfulness practice and have the added bonus of deactivating our body's stress responses. Effectively reducing anxiety in the body. When we learn breathing exercises we give ourselves the power to take back control over our anxious feelings.
It's interesting to note that mindfulness practices form the foundation of many ancient traditions. Modern science is now catching up, recognising the profound impact these practices can have on our mental health.
Learning these techniques can be tricky but is absolutely worth the time and effort. To make it easier we developed our flagship innovative product, Luma³.
Luma³ guides and teaches mindful breathing using light and colour. It's a completely offline product that requires no subscriptions or accounts, promoting undistracted mindfulness practice. With four different breathing exercises based on well-researched patterns of breathwork, Luma³ is a testament to the power of mindful breathing in reducing stress and anxiety and boosting wellbeing. It’s a powerful tool for learning anxiety-relieving techniques - and it looks great too!
The journey towards mental health is a personal one, and it's important to consider all options and find what works best for you. As we continue to explore sustainable alternatives for mental health, it's clear that methods like breathing exercises and mindful breathing hold significant promise.