Find Relief

If in crisis, try some of these tips to help relieve your symptoms before your first visit.

CONNECT

Did you know that human beings are inherently social creatures? Throughout history humans have traveled, hunted, and thrived in social groups and for good reason! Humans who were separated from their tribe often suffered severe consequences. The need to be in connection with others is built into our wiring as humans and new research in interpersonal neurobiology has shown that if you’re struggling, one of the best things you can do is connect with others. So, call a safe person or family member. Go for coffee with a trusted friend. Deep, meaningful relationships make us feel safe and seen.

If it feels like there’s no one available to talk right now, you can always call one of the numbers below. At the other end of the line is a listening ear ready to help.

  • Fraser Health Crisis Line: 604.951.8855 (24hrs)

  • Mental Health Line: 310-6789 (no area code needed; 24hrs)

  • 1-800-SUICIDE (that's 1-800-784-2433; 24hrs)

 

MOVE

Research is continuously showing how exercise improves emotional wellbeing. Working out promotes feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain that improve your mood and make you more relaxed! Physical activity has shown to reduce anxiety and depressed mood, enhances self-esteem, boost energy and even increase brainpower!

Find something you can reasonably commit to at the start. Is it likely you will run 10 miles a day 5 times a week? Unless your Clark Kent, probably not. So find something specific and achievable to begin with.

Go for a walk, try some yoga at home using a youtube video, or go try a new work out class with a friend.

Remember, as always, consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

 

MEDITATE

Its no secret that meditation has taken off in mainstream culture over the last few years. But its more than just a cool new trend! Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic and Christian traditions have long understood the value of contemplative mindfulness, and in todays age the neuroscience is catching up!

We now understand that meditating actually helps changes your brain and with it, the way your body responds stress!

MRI scans have shown that consistent mindfulness practice appears to reduce the brains fight flight response in the amygdala. This primal region of the brain is associated with fear and emotion and is the primary region involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress. As the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex – the brain region associated with higher order functions such as awareness, concentration and decision-making – becomes thicker!

As a result of meditative practice, our stress responses gets weaker, while the connections between areas associated with attention and concentration get stronger! Pretty cool huh?

This is why Meditation works wonders on symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Try Meditating Today!

My favourite way to meditate is using guided meditations such as those you can do using the free app Insight Timer -> www.insighttimer.com, but you can also meditate on your own in silence or with music.

Find a quiet place, preferably with no distractions. Then begin to notice your breath. Focus your attention on your breathing, and when your mind wanders (it will, and that’s normal), gently bring your attention back to your breathing.

Your mind may wonder a thousand times - that’s ok. Meditation is the practice of gently returning to your point of focus (i.e., your breathing), no matter how many times you must do so.