This is my favourite post in this series of self help tips for your mental health. It calms me instantly.
I have been practising tai chi and qi gong for the last couple of years and I have found it to be hugely beneficial to my physical and mental health. I have attended classes and done it at home to varying degrees.
The breathing alone is great for anxiety, and in time you will become so focused on the movements that all negative energy and thoughts leave you, if only for the time of exercising.
I really can’t recommend it enough and find that I notice the difference in my wellbeing if I don’t do it for a couple of days.
Do consider going to a local class as it will get you out of the house and you will also be taught how to do it properly. But if that’s not for you or you don’t have it in you to commit that level of effort, have a look at some of the video links that I’ve posted below.
I know that everything can be an effort when you’re ill but all these are just a few minutes long and achievable for every level of fitness or dedication. Try a different one each day or use a combination of several.
You might also like to subscribe to my YouTube channel to see my playlists of more suggested exercise routines and various relaxation techniques.
Qi Gong – 7 Minutes of Magic (For Health) – This is my favourite quickie and perfect to refocus your mind to a calmer state. Lee Holden has a channel with some great longer routines too.
8 Simple Movement Qi Gong for Clearing Negative Energy – Although not a professional quality video, these are great breathing exercises that are quick and easy to learn and really do calm you. Cherry was my instructor and has many more videos online.
Qi Gong Therapy for Neck, Upper Back and Shoulders – Chances are if you are depressed or anxious you will carry tension in these areas. These are simple stretching exercises that can be done sitting or standing anywhere throughout the day.
Tai Chi Silk Reeling – I love the many formats of silk reeling and instantly get in a calm zone when practising, particularly with this hypnotic music. Watch the whole routine from 7.22 then go back and learn step by step. Some of it is in spoken Chinese with English subtitles.
Tai Chi Qi Gong Joint Loosening Exercises – If you can commit a little more time this is a great set of daily exercises to loosen up the whole body. If mental illness is leaving you inactive this will at least relieve some of the aches and pains that you will get from sitting around.
I hope you’ll give one or some of these a go. Use them as a starting point and check out some of the hundreds of others on YouTube if these ones aren’t for you. Stick with it and let me know how you get on.
Have you ever tried tai chi or qi gong?
Or do you have another form of gentle exercise that you find helps with your mental health?
Please let me know if these help or if you’ve got any links that you want to recommend to others suffering from mental illness.
SELF HELP FOR MENTAL HEALTH TIPS
SEE PART 1 FOR LINKS TO PROFESSIONAL & CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS