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4 Counseling Tips for Wellbeing in Manhattan Beach

Posted on: October 19th, 2017 by Dr. Angela Bisignano

Growing up in Malibu gave Dr. Bisignano great insight into the therapeutic effects of being near the ocean and in nature. “Being at the beach has a way of calming the nerves, bringing peace, a greater sense of wellbeing and mental health,” says Dr. Bisignano. Many people today are caught up in the hustle of life and often forget to slow down, relax and take in a little nature. “Spending time outdoors in nature is one of many good counseling tips,” says Dr. Bisignano.

4 Counseling Tips for Wellbeing in Manhattan Beach

Walk at the Beach

Walking at the beach can be beneficial for your mind, body and spirit. Mentally it can bring a sense of peace and serenity. It can ease anxious thoughts and bring clarity of mind. Taking a walk is a form of exercise that can also help with anxiety, stress, and depression. If you are feeling anxious or struggling with stress or depression try getting out and taking a walk on the beach. This can prove to be another of many good counseling tips. In a recent study done by Stanford University walking was shown to also increase creativity. Some people attest to the fact that while walking they do their best thinking.

Practice a Calming Breath

Another good counseling tip, and a way to help increase mental health and wellbeing is practicing a calming breath. Find a comfortable place to sit on the sand, perhaps on a beach towel or chair under an umbrella. Now try this breathing exercise.

Take a breath by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Next try focusing on a deeper breath from your abdomen, not your chest. This causes the lungs to press on the diaphragmatic wall; in turn pushing on the abdominal cavity. Imagine a balloon inflating and deflating. The abdomen then spreads outward in the front and the back where it pushes on the spine, putting pressure on the longest cranial nerve – the Vagus nerve. When this nerve is pressed on it activates the body’s relaxation system creating a sense of calm; decreasing anxiety.

Practice Gratitude

Keeping a weekly gratitude journal can improve your sense of wellbeing. Focusing your attention on the things that you are thankful for can increase optimism, help your mind dwell on good things and bring hope. Schedule a weekly time in your calendar to go to the beach. Once there you can intentionally write about 5 to 10 things you are grateful for. Some people write in a gratitude journal on a more regular basis. Practicing gratitude is another good counseling tip.

Soak in a Little Sunshine

Current research out of Harvard University indicates that if you are not getting some exposure to sunshine, about 15 minutes a day worth, you may be low in Vitamin D. One way to get Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is by being in the sun. The body produces vitamin D as a response to sun exposure.

According to new research being “D-ficient” may increase the risk of certain diseases, including some cancers, heart disease, as well as infectious diseases. While there has been much debate over the last couple of decades over too much sun exposure, current research indicates a little sunshine can go a long way. Soaking in a little sun can make some feel more vibrant; feeling a sense of wellbeing.

In conclusion

Whether you live in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, on the Palos Verdes Peninsula or any other seaside community spending time near the ocean can enhance wellbeing and improve mental health. If you don’t live near the ocean, scheduling a day to visit a beach may bring you a sense of calmness, wellbeing and peace. Spending time at the beach is one of many counseling tips to add to your mental health repertoire.

Dr. Angela Bisignano is a licensed psychologist. She practices in the South Bay of Los Angeles. She serves the communities on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach. Her practice is in Palos Verdes Estates. Dr. Bisignano specializes in marriage and couples therapy and relationship issues. She is an expert in the treatment of anxiety.


  1. Harvard T. H Chan School of Public Health. Vitamin D and Health. The Nutrition Source Retrieved from
  2. Oppezzo, M., and Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory, and Cognition. Vol. 40. (4), 1142-1152.
  3. University of Michigan Health System. Science Daily (2014). Walking off depression and beating stress outdoors? Nature group walks linked to improved mental health. Retrieved from
  4. Ware, M. (2017). Vitamin Health Benefits, Facts and Research. Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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