Tag: mental health

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety – Ultimate Guide! 

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety – Ultimate Guide! 

Today we will be talking you through tips for managing stress and anxiety. It is normal to feel stressed or anxious amidst a global pandemic where everything seems tragic, drastic, and messy on our lovely blue planet. The rising spread of COVID-19 and the fear it has…

Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Today we will be talking you through tips for overcoming social anxiety. All of us have spent a big chunk of the last 18 months locked away inside, not seeing anybody outside of our household. Even with the lockdowns now eased in July 2021, groups…

Box Breathing Exercise – For Stress & Anxiety Relief!

Box Breathing Exercise – For Stress & Anxiety Relief!

Today I will be talking you through the box breathing exercise for stress and anxiety relief.

What do Yoga teachers, meditation leaders, mindfulness practitioners, Navy SEALs, firefighters, paramedics, and elite athletes all have in common? Take a moment to think about the relaxed state many of these different categories of people can be in. Even in high-stress situation soldiers, firefighters and paramedics can keep their shit together and get the job done.

Often undervalued, breathing is one of the most important things you can do to control your anxiety and stress. The military has been using tactical breathing techniques for years. Soldiers rely on these techniques to reduce stress and calm themselves down in crises.

The exact breathing techniques have been adopted by elite athletes to gain focus and control in the heat of competition. Tactical breathing has been shown to help control anxiety and nervousness in high stress situations.

During stressful moments conscious breathing allows you to shift and release negative energy, instead of storing it in your body. This is important because stored-up energy often manifests as muscle tension and other physical ailments.



Box Breathing Exercise – For Stress & Anxiety Relief!

Box breathing is also known as box breathing or 4×4 breathing (or even four-square breathing!).

Did I mention that the box breathing technique is really simple? Here’s all you need to know about the technique itself.

  • Step 1: Inhale your breath (to a count of 4)
  • Step 2: Hold your breath (to a count of 4)
  • Step 3: Exhale your breath (to a count of 4)
  • Step 4: Hold your breath (to a count of 4)
  • Step 5: Repeat

This is what it looks like:



The benefits of Box breathing

Box breathing is a powerful tool for reducing stress, and it has an immediate impact. Square breathing is used by the US Navy Seals and in professions such as law enforcement and medical care, where managing high stress situations is a critical part of the role.

Here are some of the benefits identified by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Eases anxiety, depression, and other stress related issues
  • Increases alertness
  • Allows your body to release toxins more readily

The Mayo Clinic also identifies a neurological foundation to the benefits of square breathing:

Many studies have found that deep, yogic breathing helps balance the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary bodily functions, such as temperature control and bladder function. This may help ease symptoms of stress-related disorders and mental health conditions such as anxiety, general stress, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

All very profound!


Below are the benefits of box breathing as I experience them:

Reduces stress instantly

I think of the box breathing technique as ‘the body regaining control over the mind’. The deep breathing triggers a relaxation response which regains control over the body’s fight or flight response to short-term stress.

When I’m feeling stressed at work a few minutes of box breathing really helps. And it’s so practical because I can do it at my desk (I don’t need a darkened room, and I don’t have to close my eyes to feel the benefits).

Increases focus and control

If I’m feeling nervous or becoming frustrated with a certain situation, box breathing can help.

With the reduced stress comes an increased focus and control which enhances my performance with my work.

A useful weight-control ally

This may seem like a strange benefit! Here’s how square breathing helps me manage my weight.

Towards the end of the afternoon I often get hungry and low on energy. My previous habit was to walk over to the cupboard for some biscuits or a chocolate bar.

Now, when I get that little bit hungry / low energy feeling towards the end of the afternoon I do 5 minutes of square breathing.

It’s enough to refocus me and recharge me to get through until my next meal.

A quick and effective break from work

Ideally, we take regular breaks through-out the day, to recharge and refocus. But sometimes that’s just not possible. There’s just too much on.

When that’s the case, try just 3 minutes of square breathing, it really helps.


How to get started with box breathing

Try it out using the gif provided above. It’s really simple, but a little practice will give you the confidence to use it when you need it.

Sit comfortably in your chair, relax your shoulders, have your hands comfortable (perhaps resting in your lap).

Practice: inhale, hold, exhale, hold, repeat.

When you first practice, don’t worry about how long you are practicing, just focus on the rhythm (even just for 3 or 4 cycles is fine).


Here are some additional tips:

  • Don’t strain your diaphragm by over-inhaling or over-exhaling, experiment with the level of inhale and exhale that is comfortable for you.
  • If at any time you feel a little dizzy, just stop, rest in your seat a minute and come back to the practice later.
  • As you become more practiced, you might want to set a timer on your phone and explore longer sessions of square breathing (though I’ve never felt the need to go beyond 5 minutes).
  • You can also explore the durations of the inhale, the holds and exhale. You can explore a ‘bigger box’ (eg: a 5 x 5 square breathing practice), or you can keep the holds to a count of 4 and extend the exhale and inhale (creating an oblong breathing practice!).

This is a simple technique that can be extended as you become more confident.


Box Breathing Exercise – Final thought

Unarguably, box breathing is a great way to enhance your attention and concentration and lower stress and anxiety in tour daily lives. Like many breathing techniques, box breathing has been shown to bring short- as well as long-term health benefits to its practitioners.

While more research is required, the current findings are enough to regard box breathing as an extremely effective way to boost focus, deal with stress, boost mood and mental state.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.









10 Natural Grounding Techniques for Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

10 Natural Grounding Techniques for Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be diving deep into natural grounding exercises for anxiety. Grounding exercises are a way to stabilise strong emotions during stress, anxiety or trauma. Grounding is achieved by redirecting your attention away from what is causing your stress back to something more pleasurable…

Mental Health Tips for Men – Ultimate Guide!

Mental Health Tips for Men – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will diving in deep with mental health tips for men. If you’re a man, or you know a man, perhaps your brother, friend, son or uncle, who you know needs support, please encourage them to talk to someone they can trust. Whether that…

How to Let Go of Anger and Resentment – Ultimate Guide!

How to Let Go of Anger and Resentment – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will diving deep into the subject of how to let go of anger and resentment.

I’ve been there, you know that feeling in your chest just won’t go away, and it’s starting to slowly eat you up each day.

Anger, sadness, rage, anxiety, bitterness, tiredness, fear, resentment so many negative emotions mixed together. So much pain. So much pure and unexpressed suffering.

When will these feelings dissolve? When will you finally feel calm, grounded, and happy again? It all seems like too much for one person to carry.

You just want to enjoy life again without the tormenting weight of anguish and bitterness in your chest. You just want to feel whole again.

If you’re currently facing all these negative feelings inside, I want you to know that you’re not alone.

I know what it’s like to carry so much pain inside of you that you go physically and mentally numb.

I know how it feels to carry a shattered heart and a deep void of emptiness within.

I know what it’s like to be on the bleeding edge of despair and utter desolation. And I have seen this struggle countless time in other people too.

But although everything around you may have lost its colour, although you’re struggling to make meaning out of what has happened to you, there is hope.

Like the moon and stars in the night sky, there are still beacons of light to be found in your darkness.

One of these beacons is the practice of letting go.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist, therefore all the advice given is from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 



How resentment affects us

Resentment is created within us when another person, especially someone we care deeply for, does something that either harms us or those we care about.

There are many examples of this: your partner cheats on you, your best friend lets you down, or someone abuses you or keeps you from an opportunity.

This hurts immediately, however, the bigger story is what happens over time. A few things:

  1. You never look at the person the same again: If, in fact, you knew and looked kindly upon the person at one point, you’re now gravely disappointed.
  2. You find it harder to trust others: When someone like this happens, it extends off into how you see others, not just them.
  3. You hurt deeply, often blaming the person for your circumstances.

And if you continue to allow that resentment to sit unchallenged, it will fester and cause you much pain over time.

Holding on to anger and resentment makes us take impulsive decisions and leaves us irritated which compromises our professional and personal relationships. Therefore, it is really important to learn to let go of anger and resentment.


Is anger and resentment a bad emotion?

Absolutely not.

The ways that someone expresses anger can be a poor choice.

A lot of times anger comes out but really when you take a deeper look it’s because there’s underlying sadness, hurt, fear, or another emotion.


What are the signs of resentment?

When you feel the same emotion, such as anger continually or reoccurring you’re probably feeling some resentment.

When we don’t process that emotion of anger, it’s very common for resentment to build.

Other signs include the inability to stop thinking about the triggering event or circumstance, feelings of regret, tension in the relationship, or fear of conflict about the issue.


How to Let Go of Anger and Resentment – Ultimate Guide!

How do you let go of anger and resentment once and for all?

Letting go of resentment is a healing process in which you stop feeling angry towards another. You no longer want to punish them for what they did and instead understand more deeply what leads people to do things that hurt you.

It allows you to realise freedom, the freedom to love and care for yourself.

Depending on how deep your resentment runs it may take some time to heal.

Now let’s go in some practices that will help you let go of anger and resentment.


Forgiveness is a gift to yourself

If you can realise that forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, then you’ll be motivated to do it. To rid yourself of anger and resentment.

Anger should be like a sneeze; it comes out and then it’s over.


A lot of people, once they get hurt, if the hurt runs deep enough, then they carry, they nurse, as the phrase goes. They nurse that grudge, they feed that grudge with their precious bodily energy. They grow it, they just can’t let go of it. It’s like they have to keep visiting it every day, month after month, year after year.


Cultivate forgiveness

In a quiet moment, really reach to find compassion for the person’s shortcomings, not the deed itself. This may be very hard work.

What insecurities or fears motivated him or her? Why is the person’s heart so closed? What caused his or her moral blindness?

Try to discern the context of the person’s actions. At this point, you may be inwardly able to ask yourself to start to forgive. Perhaps you’re not there yet — that’s okay.

The request itself sets off a stream of compassion, a cleansing of your system. Repeat the exercise once a day for at least a week.

See if your energy improves. I’ll bet you’ll feel a burden lift.


Set your intention to release the resentment

The purpose of releasing resentments is to increase your energy and to feel better. Select a target: a critical mother, a controlling boyfriend, a cutthroat colleague.

Perhaps you’ve tried to discuss the grievance with no results. (Always attempt to work things out if the person is the slightest bit receptive.)

Or your target may truly be unapproachable. In either case, away from the person, air your resentments without sugar-coating it.

Do this in a journal, or with a therapist or friend. For example, say, “I despise the double-crossing conniver because…” Frankly, expressing your feelings is necessary to forgive.


Identify the source of anger

Identification of the source of anger is really important to know the track. When dealing with anger, recognise what makes you angry and what keeps you holding onto anger.

After recognising, the best way to let go of anger is to escape such situations, relax, and restructure your thoughts.

The other way to identify the source is to take a step back and think. While thinking and evaluating, you will be able to think about how to escape such situations.


Acknowledge your power

You may not have control over the situation or person, but you do have control over your actions.

Make the choice to “let it go” and focus on healing yourself. Replaying and recreating situations in your mind only give you a false sense of control and strength.

Embrace real power and dictate how you live, rather than being a victim to someone else.

Make a commitment to yourself to stop reliving the past hurt or fantasising about what you could have or should have said or done.


Understand it’s a process

There isn’t some magical way to come to forgiveness overnight. Letting go of the grudges you have will come gradually, so be patient with yourself. And ask that others also be patient with you.

Often times you’re the only person that knows you’re still carrying these feelings around, but if someone is actively seeking your forgiveness, don’t feel pressured to say you’ve gotten there when you’re still stewing.

This is often how grudges form. We don’t allow ourselves enough time and we expect too much of ourselves and others.

Top tip:



Acknowledge the joy in your life

When hurt, we tend to focus on the past rather than the present. We miss the blessings around us because we are so focused on the pain and perceived hell, we find ourselves in.

Rumination will not change anything except keeping you stuck in the pain. Sometimes it’s helpful to have a cue to bring us back to the here-and-now if we find our minds moving backwards.

This could be a simple affirmation. For example, it could be long – “I create my own reality and joy. I choose happiness in my life” – or short – “I choose happiness.”



Stay grounded in the present moment

Being mindful of where you are in life’s journey right now allows you to assess and identify which steps can be taken next.

You can’t change the past, and the future will unfold as it needs to. Believe in yourself and your potential.


Let go of the urge to fight. Accept things as they are, not as you want them to be. Stop trying to force things to happen.

As Jack Kornfield wisely said:

Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.”



Change yourself only

After all, the only person you can change is yourself. Why frustrate yourself trying to change someone else?

By forgiving yourself and moving forward, you become the best version of yourself and show others a higher way of being.

Others can follow if they want. Let go of the need to control what they do and how they are. That’s their choice and responsibility, not yours.



Ask for help

I know I’m not perfect. So, I called upon a trusted friend, explained what happened, and asked for their honest assessment of what occurred. I asked them point blank to help me see how I had contributed to this breakdown in communication.

A word of caution here:  pick people you know will be brutally honest with you, or they may just blow smoke up your backside, leaving you feeling more justified in your anger.

The goal is to gain clarity and move away from the anger, not towards it.

If you don’t have any friends like that, see a therapist or counsellor to help you navigate your anger and help you move past it.

At some point, we all need to let go of the blame and take responsibility for our behaviour and the role it plays in making or breaking the relationship.


How to Let Go of Anger and Resentment – Final thoughts

Forgiving and letting go isn’t something you do for another person – it’s something you do for yourself. It offers you freedom, so embrace it in a healthy way.

I’ve only started walking down this path, but the peace I’ve found on the way keeps me headed down it, with high hopes of leaving my biggest grudges behind.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.








Panic Attack Tips – Easy to Follow Guide!

Panic Attack Tips – Easy to Follow Guide!

Today I will be discussing panic attack tips and techniques that have helped me in the past when I would suffer with them. Panic attacks are truly terrifying, something anyone who has suffered having one will agree with. Your heart beats out of your chest,…

How to Stay Positive During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!

How to Stay Positive During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!

Today I discussing how to stay positive during a  pandemic. As COVID-19 spreads steadily around the world, many of us are finding ourselves spending more time at home due to government restrictions. I have taken advantage of this extra time to focus on how I…

Overcoming Negative Thoughts – Ultimate Guide!

Overcoming Negative Thoughts – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be discussing overcoming negative thoughts.

When you’re having negative thoughts, you know that getting your mind off of it is easier said than done.

In fact, research shows that when people are instructed not to think about a specific topic, it makes it even harder to get that topic out of their minds. But rehashing negative thoughts over and over in your head, also known as rumination, can be unpleasant and counterproductive—and in some cases, it can even lead to chronic depression.

Luckily, there are a few techniques that can help you stop negative thinking and refocus your mind on something positive, the best though, is to distract yourself with something else, something that requires focus and best of all, is productive and helps you improve your life.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified councillor/therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 



Overcoming Negative Thoughts – Ultimate Guide!

So here are some tips and tricks to get started. They worked wonders for me.  By following these guidelines, I have gone from being a pessimist and perfectionist, to having a strong and healthy mind where I have the self-belief and confidence to try new things (like this blog), to just go for it.

And my positive mindset means that when I do have negative thoughts (because I am just human, I can’t switch them off completely), I can redirect my thoughts without allowing them to infiltrate my emotions and ruin my good mood for the day.


Surround yourself with positive people

People who we spend most of our time with often determine our thought process. If a colleague of yours has a habit of judging people from their dressing sense, you are bound to feel conscious about your own dressing sense when you are around them.

Similarly, when you are with someone who doesn’t have a habit of fault-finding and always manages to appreciate little things in people, you will feel good about how they make you see things in a positive light.

Energy, negative or positive, spreads fast and you don’t want to be wasting your time sitting amongst those who aren’t helping you in beating negativity.



Recognise negative thoughts and silence them

If you want to maximize your positivity, I recommend that you start to learn to silence any negative thoughts.

You need to stop them telling you that you can’t do it, that you don’t have what it takes.

Paying attention to discouraging thoughts that don’t believe in you automatically decreases your self-confidence and prevents you from acting.

Negative self-talk, it happens to all of us and it’s hard to control.


Those negative thoughts come to our mind, most of the time without us even knowing why. But that’s’ ok, don’t beat yourself up for that.

However, it’s really important that you learn how to recognise negative self-talk as soon as it occurs, in order to lessen its power.

When you’re able to identify negative thoughts, it’s then much easier not to listen to them and to replace them with neutral thoughts – or even better – with positive thoughts if you can.

When you’re able to recognise negative self-talk, you can finally ignore your inner critic!

So that’s why being self-aware of your own thoughts is so important!



Learn from the past

It’s never fun when we make mistakes or fail. It doesn’t feel good, and we feel bad for a while. Still, it’s no use going back to it several times after the fact.

Let’s say you made a mistake at work and your boss scolds you. It sucks at the moment. But then it’s done and you go home. When we ruminate, we go back to the moment when we messed up and we get scolded, and relive the moment repeatedly.

This is what makes us feel even worse than the actual situation. It’s almost like we’re punishing ourselves repeatedly for that one mistake. Instead of doing that, take it as a lesson to learn from.

Think about the situation once again if you will, and think about how you can prevent that from happening again.

What actions can you take next time to make sure to do it right? Once you’ve figured it out, take note of the action, and let go of the mistake.


Practice being grateful

Take the time each day to write down some of the things that you are most grateful for. Whether it is sunny days, a good night spent with your family or friends, a job that you love going to, or even just the gift of life, write down some of the things that make you happy and that you are grateful for.

Practicing gratitude is one of the best things that you can do to immediately shift your perspective. It’s why I recommend keeping a daily gratitude journal, and it’s why I do keep one. It’s a great way to help remind you of all of life’s blessings and will help to keep them at the forefront of your mind.


Gratitude journals are a great way to bring some self-care into your daily routine and they only take about 10-15 minutes out of your day. Try adding them either into your morning routine or right before bed.

Either way, they are a great way to reflect on positives in your life and remind you that no matter how you feel there are positives to be thankful for.

Plus, they are easily affordable! This one is only £7, bargain! Or, you can also just use any notebook you have and write the date and 1-5 things you are grateful for that day.



Live in and come back to this moment

When you’re tapping into negative thinking then you’re often thinking about something that happened. Or something that may happen. Or both, all jumbled up as your mood and thoughts sink.

To snap out of that put your attention fully into this moment instead. Into what’s here right now.

Start making it a habit to spend more of your time in the present moment and you’ll, in my experience, naturally have fewer negative thoughts and be more open and constructive.

A couple of ways to bring yourself back to being mindful and this moment are:

Focus only on your breathing.


Take a 1–2-minute pause right now and take a little deeper breath than you usually do. Make sure you’re breathing with your stomach and through your nose.

During this time focus only on the air going in and out and nothing else.

Take in the world around you.

Take a 1–2-minute break, get out of your head and put your attention on what’s around you right now. Nothing else.

Just focus on the people walking by outside your window, the muffled words and noises from the street, the smells around you and the sun shining in and warming your skin.



Remember to let things go

As much as you’d like to control everything that happens, truth is you can’t. This is an especially tough pill to swallow for people who like to be in control all the time.

However, we need to remember that there’s only so much that we can control. Most other things are beyond our control, and that’s just how it’s always been and always will be.

See the beauty of letting go. Once you let go, you’ll feel free of the drama.


Set boundaries around social media

Just like it’s important to protect yourself from toxic relationships by setting boundaries, they also need to be set around social media.

Many of us are using social outlets for hours every single day. This can lead to comparing ourselves to others, negative thoughts, and even anxiety.

study found that when volunteers limited their social media use to just 30 minutes per day, they had major improvements in their well-being. Some even felt less lonely and less depressed.

What does this tell us? This is proof that stepping away from our phones and not immersing ourselves in the social media world all day can actually have a very positive effect on our mood.

The result may be less negativity, and you may even find you have more time and energy to put into things that truly matter (like self-care and spending time with loved ones).


Energise your morning routine

Mornings set the tone of your day. When you feel sluggish in the morning, you can bring the same disposition all throughout the day.

Pump up your morning routine to start the day with a bang. You don’t need to wake up as early as 4 AM as other successful people do. Follow what works for you.

Planning your day in advance towards a particular goal helps create a laser focus on what needs to be done. Some routines that you should do in the morning:

  • Meditation
  • Setting your top 3 priorities for the day
  • A 20-minute exercise ((At the very least)
  • Listening to a podcast or reading a book



Start meditating

I remember when I started meditating sitting for 7 minutes was excruciatingly painful. Now I sit for 30/40 minutes and I love it.

Meditation was the doorway to so many new things for me. It taught me to be more present in my daily life. It taught me to witness or observe my thoughts and feelings instead of getting hooked by them. It taught me to hear my own soul speak. It helped me more confident and not get wrapped up in negative thoughts.

I knew my meditation practice was making a difference with how I am in my everyday life. I once had a short fuse and temper, but now I am a more peaceful person.


It has had a massive impact on my life.

Instead of having emotional meltdowns, over certain situations, I feel complete peace. I smile joyfully and takes things in my flow.

That is the power of meditation. It naturally turns you into a calmer, confident, more peaceful person. Make it a part of your daily routine.



Practice a brain dump exercise

Brain Dumping is a form of psychological Self Care that gives you a feeling that you can free yourself of negative thoughts by writing them on a piece of paper.

Negative thoughts find a way to creep in when the mind is cluttered with all kinds of thoughts. You need to declutter your mind in order to make space for positive thoughts to set in.

Brain Dumping is one of the most useful ways to get rid of the negative thoughts and clear your mind.



Positive affirmations

Affirmations are a great way to appeal to the good side of any individual. The sad truth is, you often, by default, speak ill of yourself every day. Positive affirmations can turn the table around. They are like the essential elements for a plant to grow. Without them, the plant will wither and die.

Create a list of at least three affirmations per day. Recite these affirmations throughout the day when it’s tough.


Overcoming Negative Thoughts – Final Thought

Many a times, negativity makes you believe that the problem lies within you. But the fact is, it’s how you allow yourself to feel that determines what your mind will eventually think.

If you feel happy and grateful about everything that you have, negativity can come nowhere near you. Get over the feelings of regret, hate, jealousy and sadness and you will find yourself feeling more alive and positive.

What are you tips for dealing with negative thoughts? I would love to hear them.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@lawrence-wellness.com. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.






Simple Stress Management Techniques – Ultimate Guide!

Simple Stress Management Techniques – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will talking through simple stress management techniques. Stress is an inevitable part of life. It comes and goes at the worst of times. Unfortunately, it can be a hindrance by decreasing productivity levels, increasing anxiety, and lowering our overall mood. There are also…