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Now breath deeply. Sunday July 28, 2013

You might not be conscious of it, but there's a good chance you are shallow breather. People who are depressed or anxious often have tight chests which makes it difficult to do full, easy breathing.

Here's an early morning routine that will really help. Lie on your bed on your back so that you head is hanging over the edge. Hold a small (5/10 lbs - 2.2/4.5 kgs) dumbbell in both hands. Extend your arms behind your head so that they are hanging down towards the floor. Take a dozen deep breaths. Try to expand your rib cage as much as possible. If you don't have a dumbbell, improvise with a another object.

Release the weight. Move fully on to the bed so yours head is supported. Take another dozen breaths. Repeat the whole routine three times.

Enjoy your breakfast.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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leti hawthorn Sun, Jul 28th 2013 @ 7:56am

PLEASE BE CAREFUL! Make sure someone knows you're doing this exercise or at least have a phone close by.

I would suggest caution when recommending exercise, particularly when suggesting something early morning, head over edge of bed and with a weight. It would be best if you could give some advisories too.

Don't do this exercise if you have any problems with your neck or if you have blood pressure issues, suffer from dizziness or are otherwise unwell.

If you are going to do this exercise please move gently.
Support your head by cradling it in your hands or with a towel or sheet.
Try the movement pattern without the weight - your arms will be heavy enough as you take them overhead and gravity acts to draw them towards the floor.
Avoid holding your breath at any point.
Support your head and bring your chin on to your chest before trying to move out of position and then take a few minutes lying flat on the bed before sitting up.

I hope this is helpful.

leti hawthorn
Health with Hawthorn and Moodscope User

Anonymous Sun, Jul 28th 2013 @ 9:54am

This made perfect reading for me this morning after a very disturbed night with teens - thank-you! My BP is soaring just now so breathing deeply is the name of the game in an attempt to get it back down to something near normal.

I did just want to point out that some of us use Moodscope because we are living with a chronic disease, other than depression, but it is one that has depression listed as a main symptom - Rheumatoid Arthritis.

My GP gave me a CBT site last year because he thought I was struggling to come to terms with having this disease. I found it unhelpful for me because nowhere was being in constant low level pain mentioned.

I plan to tell him about Moodscope tomorrow if I have time, because I think it's brilliant for someone like me who charts physical pain of arthritis alongside the ups and downs of this emotional rollercoaster. But more importantly I think it would really help patients of his who are bipolar. Thanks to all who run this site - you do a great job!

Anonymous Sun, Jul 28th 2013 @ 9:59am

PS - but I meant to say that I agree totally with the comment above by Leti Hawthorne (that was really my point about having a disease such as RA which makes all movement in the morning very difficult let alone using dumbells!)

Caroline Ashcroft Sun, Jul 28th 2013 @ 11:04am

Thanks Leti, that is very helpful I'm sure to all our Moodscope readers.

Caroline Ashcroft Sun, Jul 28th 2013 @ 11:05am

Thank you. We try our hardest!

Julia Sun, Jul 28th 2013 @ 12:34pm

I am sure the exercise done with care will greatly improve our breathing.
I have yet to try it!
When I first read today's blog, my immediate thought was oh no not another thing that's physically wrong with us depressives; now we can add shallow breathing to our list!
It started me wondering if there is anything good about being depressed or having a chronic disease such as Rheumatoid Arthritis? Surely there must be!
Things that instantly spring to mind without trying hard to conjure up self help mantras.
Perhaps when we hear some music which we love, our sense of enjoyment is higher than those who don't suffer. Maybe we fancy some of the medics we encounter (just one would be enough!). Definitely we meet nice people on Moodscope without making any effort other than a click or two of the mouse or touch screen.

{Steve Rapaport} Sun, Jul 28th 2013 @ 6:12pm

Grammar nazi here. Please *breathe* deeply. "Breath" is a noun, and rhymes with 'death'.

Because it's pronounced differently, it really throws me out when I read it in my head and it makes no sense. For the sake of we who can spell and pronounce, please proofread.

Caroline Ashcroft Sun, Jul 28th 2013 @ 8:22pm

Hi Steve, sorry, you are absolutely right, I don't know why I didn't spot that one. If you're ever at a loose end and would like to proof read our blogs please do let me know! :-)

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