Life can be wonderful, but it can also be challenging and painful and all of us experience stress and anxiety at times. Therapy and mediation can help, but I believe it is also essential to develop a good self-care plan, especially for those of us who have experienced trauma. Research has shown that there are reliable methods to help us relieve stress and improve our mood. These include:

Exercise: It is a well-established finding that exercise helps relieve depression. The key is regularity; intensity is not necessary – walking is very helpful. New brain imaging research shows that exercise causes the release of endorphins – natural chemical compounds that help us feel good.

Yoga and yoga breathing: Recent research shows that yoga can be an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, insomnia, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). It also helps reduce blood pressure. 

Meditation: more research is needed, but meditation can help reduce anxiety and promote a feeling of well-being by changing brain activity.