A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress very well

Dr. Farnaaz Sharief of the Red Suite, Rainham Health Living Centre explains the miraculous effect of breathing.

Stress is something we are all familiar with. I encounter it daily in my professional life as a doctor and in my personal life. My “To Do” list is endless and dealing with everything on it can sometimes be draining. It’s impossible to shirk off responsibilities, but it is possible to increase energy levels so we can deal with them better.

People often forget that breathing is our most important source of energy and learning to work with it, using simple techniques allows for more oxygen – and hence more energy to be delivered to our bodies.

I understood this simple, yet powerful principle early on in my career and found it allowed me to deal effectively with the pressures of daily living and maintain my peace of mind in stressful or challenging situations.

To spread the word, I set up the “Manage Your Mind Manage Your Life” workshop in Rainham. The good news is it’s free and every week people attend to learn practical, simple, yet powerful techniques that allow for a release of stress and a resurgence of a calm, focused, positive state of mind.

With over 1000 attendances since January 2013, we’ve reached out to people from all walks of life across Medway. The majority of participants are extremely satisfied with our workshop and would recommend it to others. Some have even begun to volunteer for the charity too. Local people who regularly practice the techniques have reported an 80 per cent reduction in levels of depression and anxiety.

We all know intuitively that happiness is good for you however, experts predict that in just 10 years, depression will be the highest ranking cause of disease in the developed world. This alone currently costs the nation £8.6billion a year – and with long waiting times for community counsellors, lengthy patient lists for cognitive behavioural therapy and only ten minute consultations with our GP’s – how close are we to really solving this problem?

I am so pleased and proud that in May 2017, Medway Clinical Commissioning Group endorsed the programme.

Caroline Selkirk, Accountable Officer said:

“Initiatives such as Manage Your Mind make a big difference in supporting the health of our community and as such, we are pleased to endorse the workshops. Manage Your Mind has been proven to tackle symptoms of depression and anxiety before they become more severe which is good for both patients and the community in general.”

Joining our workshop might be your first step to taking control, so if you’d like to give it a go please feel free to contact us on 07553959013 or kent@iahv.org.uk. You can also have a look at our website for more information: www.manageyourmind.org.uk

Come and say hello and remember to breath!

Dr Farnaaz Sharief


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