Relaxation and Mental Health: How It Can Improve Your Mood and Well-Being

Relaxation is an important aspect of mental health and well-being, and it can have a positive impact on mood and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. When we relax, our bodies and minds are able to rest, rejuvenate, and heal.

Relaxation can come in many forms, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or a warm bath. It can help to calm the mind and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. For example, deep breathing exercises can help to slow down the heart rate and reduce the levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, in the body. This can promote feelings of calm and relaxation.

Meditation, in particular, has been shown to have a significant impact on mental health. It can improve mood, increase feelings of well-being, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing on the present moment and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment, has been found to be particularly effective for reducing stress and improving mental health.

Yoga and physical exercise can also be a form of relaxation, and they can help to improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, and to promote feelings of happiness and well-being.

In conclusion, relaxation is an important aspect of mental health and well-being, and it can have a positive impact on mood and reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Whether through deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or physical exercise, finding time to relax and recharge can help to improve mental health and overall well-being.

Have you had long Covid? These breathing exercises may help you!

By Soul Essence New Eltham

You can use many breathing techniques to help your lung capacity and help recover from the effects of Long Covid and other illnesses. Some are easy to learn, and some take more practice.

Deep breathing can help the following: –

  • getting oxygen deep into the lungs, which helps you clear out mucus and other fluids.
  • strengthening the diaphragm, a major respiratory muscle located under the lungs.
  • increasing lung capacity by bringing much-needed oxygen into your bloodstream.
  • helping you feel calmer, which may be beneficial for coping with long-term illness and recovery.

We are often not aware we are shallow breathing. Especially when we are concentrating at work, typing at our computer, playing computer games, and even eating our meals. Shallow breathing can increase your chances of anxiety and panic attacks, dry mouth and fatigue, aggravate existing respiratory conditions, and often leads to cardiovascular issues. Considering all this, we can see why taking part in breathing exercises is important.

Meditation is often done by putting your focus on your breathing, particularly when practising Yoga. However, we can do meditation and breathing exercises without necessarily doing Yoga. Breathing exercises may help improve the symptoms of long covid, ongoing stress and anxiety caused by lockdowns and covid symptoms.

Soul Essence runs meditations which help improve your breathing and will also work with you on a one-to-one basis to improve your breathing technique.

Book a session now!

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Here are a couple of breathing exercises you can try at home.

Diaphragmatic Breathing (also known as belly breathing when doing Qigong)

You can do this standing, sitting, or lying down

  1. Relax your face, neck, jaw and shoulder muscles through meditation or a relaxation technique.
  2. Rest the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth or behind your top front teeth.
  3. Check your back is straight; support if necessary
  4. Close your eyes if sitting or lying down; if standing, bring your eyes to a soft gaze.
  5. Breathe at your normal pace for a few minutes
  6. Place one hand on your chest and one on your lower abdomen
  7. Breathe deeply in through your nose, feeling your chest and ribs expand. You should feel your belly expand against your hand
  8. Breathe out, feeling your stomach contract inwards
  9. Breathe slowly and deeply this way for 5 to ten minutes

Humming OM when exhaling

  1. Sit upright with your back straight. Use support if necessary
  2. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth
  3. Keep your mouth/lips closed
  4. Breathe in deeply through your nose, keeping your lips closed.
  5. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
  6. Once lungs are full, exhale humming OM. Make sure you keep your lips closed.
  7. Repeat for several breaths.

If you find these helpful or want to know more about the breathing exercises and meditation I offer, please contact me.

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How Mindfulness and Meditation can Help your Anxiety.

Anxiety can drain you mentally and energetically. However, research has proven meditation and mindfulness can reduce your anxiety.

Mindfulness and meditation can be done in the comfort of your home with little equipment. You can use mindfulness throughout the day. When you are making a drink, really listen to the water being poured into the cup, and the smell of the coffee or tea, the same when you are making dinner. Whatever you are doing, try to come out of autopilot mode.

Your Intention.

Start the day by setting your intention. Your intention can be repeated as an affirmation or written down in your journal. You can even write it on a post-it and put it somewhere you will see it regularly.

Your intentions can be; I look for the positives in negative situations. I accept myself and know I am enough, I will drink enough water today, I will do my best to achieve my goals. Make it something relevant to what causes your anxiety.

Meditate or Practise Mindfulness Each Day.

You can use an app for meditation, there are several free ones available, or you can just listen to meditation music or focus on your breathing. There are many classes if you need some help or inspiration to meditate. Soul Essence runs a fortnightly Tuesday evening meditation group online via zoom. Face to face meditation started in February 2022 once a month.

Do Something Creative.

There are many adult colouring books available now. Colouring can be very relaxing, as can plain doodling. You can make some lovely patterns of doodling. I am sure many of you have done this during a boring meeting. This could be helpful if you are at home alone and find it difficult to switch off and need something to do with your hands.

Doing a Walking Meditation.

Go for a walk and really focus on the nature around you, if you are in a town, try and find a park. Walking around the block in a town is good too, but keep your focus on what you can hear, smell, and feel. We need to keep our minds in the present on what our senses are picking up.


When you are walking home, or doing things outdoors, take some deep breaths into your belly, look up to the sky, whether it is light or dark, and notice the clouds floating by or the stars shining. Focusing on our breath helps us to relax and become calm. Take our attention away from our anxiety and problems.

Social Media

Social Media can be helpful when used for the right reasons. It can also be one of the main causes of anxiety and stress. The more platforms you use, the more you are likely to create stress and anxiety. Set yourself a limit on social media platforms. Either use one of the apps that monitor your time on social media or log out each time. Having to put your password in each time will make you think about why I am logging in. You will realise how much you go on these platforms without thinking and taking in other people’s negativity.