Home Depression - General Scientifically Tested Methods that Help Reach Calmness

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Scientifically Tested Methods that Help Reach Calmness E-mail



The goal of this website is to give support to people who are feeling depressed and unhappy with their lives. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.



Proven techniques that aid in finding the peace of mind

Touching certain areas in the body

Several studies suggest that soft constant touching of the skin has an effect similar to light painkillers. This helps to explain why a mother's soothing rubbing often silences the cries of an injured child. Soft rubbing of the skin appears to release endorphins and other pleasure related substances in the body, and endorphins are effectively "dulling" the pain sensations.

It has been shown that touching gently certain parts of the body has a relaxing and soothing effect. These "key areas" include stomach and back. If you have a chance to ask someone to rub gently your back and stomach, do so, and you will see how well it works. If you have no one to help you to do this, then do it yourself. The way you touch is as important as where you touch. Strong rubbing does not appear to be as effective as softer, lighter rubbing.

Try it to see for yourself how well it works. Rub gently those areas of your upper and lower back that you can reach comfortably. Do this several times a day and you soon feel the positive effect it has on your general feeling.

The right kind of breathing

Most people do not pay attention to their breathing pattern. Altering one's breathing pattern has a huge affect on one's physiology. By regulating how much or how little oxygen your lungs are able to deliver to your body you can influence your mental and physiological state. Concentrate on taking deep breaths and feel how the air is moving in and out. When you breath in, push your stomach slightly out. This will cause the air to move deeper into your lungs (you feel the difference if you push your chest out instead of your stomach while you breath in: This will cause only the upper parts of your lungs to be filled and hence is not as effective in terms of relaxation).

Enhancing positive thoughts and letting go of the negative ones

We humans appear to have the tendency to hold onto negative thoughts instead of positive ones. This phenomena might have an evolutionary origin: In terms of survival, it is often more important to remember the "bad" incidents and avoid the circumstances that led to them. According to several studies, if a person experiences several positive/neutral incidences during the day and only one or two negative ones, the negative incidences are the ones that are most likely remembered.

So the negative events remain with us even if we do not put any specific effort into implementing them into our memory, whereas positive events can be relatively easily forgotten. A depressed person is concentrating excessively on negativities rather than positivities. Given this and our natural tendency to remember negative events more effectively, it is no wonder that a depressed person can easily become consumed by dark thoughts.

As it is in many cases, also in this situation the saying "knowing your enemy helps you to defeat him" holds true. When you are aware of the fact that your mind is by default concentrating more effectively on negative matters, you can alter your own behavior in such a way that the negative thoughts are no longer strengthened in your mind as much as before, instead the positive thoughts and associations are reinforced.

The saying "stop to smell a rose" is a good guideline: Whenever you experience something positive, prolong the moment and take the experience in without haste. In case of the rose, instead of just sniffing it quickly, take a deep breath couple times and concentrate on how the scent feels like. If you maintain your focus for few tens of seconds, the resulting memory trace is far stronger than a fragile memory of quickly sniffing the flower. The same principle applies to many other areas in life as well: Whenever you encounter something positive, hold on to the thoughts/feelings the experience creates in you just a little bit longer than you normally would. This way you help your brain to create and strengthen positive associations instead of strengthening negative ones.

To read more about depression and how to improve one's mood and general quality of life, see section General topics related to depression.



Comments (2)
  • MK
    I read about a study that said that gentle massage has similar effect than taking light painkiller, and the researchers speculated that perhaps that is the reason why mother's gentle touch can stop the child's cry after a small injury. I think it makes sense. That article also said there are some special areas in the body that are especially sensitive to this kind of light touch (those areas have higher density of certain kinds of sensory receptors that somehow are involved in the process), I think one of those areas was neck, and perhaps arms, I cannot remember for sure. It was quite interesting.
  • Ano  - massage helps
    I have noticed that if I feel down and then massage/rub my upper back gently, I start to feel better... Perhaps here is the explanation? It literally feels as if something is being released in my brain while I do it. I feel the same way when I spend time in the sun, especially during the first few minutes of exposure. And when I eat chocolate (although the effect is not so strong). Must be caused by increased serotonin level.
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