By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Stressed out? Tense? Anxious?

If so, here is a simple technique to help you relax. This technique will lower your heart rate, your blood pressure, and your potential for doing or saying something you may regret.

The technique is called “four square breathing” and is taught to military special forces units and first responders to help them stay calm in very stressful situations.

Four square breathing is a quick and easy way to get calm, cool, and collected and can be done virtually anytime and anywhere. I’ve used the technique very successfully with many clients over the years.

Here’s how to do Four Square Breathing:

1. Inhale through the nose for four seconds.
2. Hold the breath for four seconds.
3. Exhale through the mouth for four seconds.
4. Pause for four seconds.

Repeat for 1-3 minutes.

Tips to make this exercise even more effective:

1. Drop and relax your shoulders on each exhale.
2. Focus on a positive, encouraging, relaxing short phrase on each of the four breathing steps and say it in your during each of the four steps.
3. Listen to relaxing music while doing this technique.
4. Once four seconds per step becomes easy, you can increase the duration of each step to six or eight seconds.

I would love to hear any suggestions you have for relaxation. Contact me at Websites: and


By Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC

I received a great lesson on how to save a life earlier this week.

The lesson came in the form of a handwritten letter I found on my desk Tuesday morning.

The letter was left by someone who will remain anonymous. The letter told of how this person had been struggling with pain and addiction and depression and had lost all hope.

The letter stated that this person was seeking financial assistance and when there was none immediately available, she decided to take her life.

The letter told of the plan, the method, and the location of how and where she would end her life.

The letter shared that she was leaving our offices to go directly to end her life.

The letter stated that as she was leaving, walking out, I was walking in. She shared in the letter how I recognized her, said her name, said hello, then gave her a hug and a smile. I, of course, had absolutely no idea what was going on in her mind.

The letter shared that after the hug she continued walking towards the destination where she planned to take her life. While walking she reflected on the hug and the smile and that I remembered her name. She suddenly realized that she mattered to someone and that she mattered to God.

So she changed her mind. She chose to live.

The letter ended with the good news that she was doing much better and feeling very grateful. She wanted me to know all this so she took the time to write the letter.

Several days later she stopped by and dropped off a donation to help the homeless in our community.

So how do you save a life? With sincere love and caring for those you encounter throughout the day. You just never know what pain or trouble someone may be experiencing.

I think I’ll hold on to that letter.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC

Wellness is a hot topic right now. A quick Google search of the word “wellness” will net 490 million hits.
That is a huge amount of  interest in the subject of wellness.

So just what is “wellness”? According to the Oxford Dictionary, wellness is “the state or condition of being in good physical and mental health”.

While fitness programs focus on physical health, wellness programs, often designed by wellness coaches, take the process a step further by including focus on one’s mental health.

This is crucial because mental health and physical health are often closely connected, as we see in the proven link between anxiety, depression, and exercise. Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression in certain individuals.

Starting on a Path to Wellness!

Physical—the American College of Sports Medicine recommends the following for physical exercise:

  • 3-5 times per week.
  • 30-60 minutes per session.
  • 1 session per day.
  • Include aerobic (cardio), strength training, and flexibility exercises.
  • Find activities you enjoy.

Mental—for good mental health try the following:

  • Schedule regular time for rest and relaxation.
  • Engage in healthy community such as a small group at your local church.
  • Seek a counselor or therapist to deal with past hurts.
  • Spend time with family and friends.
  • Find your passion and purpose in life and live it out!

For more information on wellness programs please feel free to contact me at Websites: and

Consult with your physician or a qualified wellness coach before starting a new exercise program.


By Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CPC

Depression is real. Depression is one of the greatest afflictions and killers of our time. According to the National Institute of Mental Health 18.8 million Americans have depressive disorders each year. That is nearly 10% of the adult population in our country.

Depression is real, depression is prevalent, and clinical depression is not just a sadness that one can shake off. So what’s the solution? How can someone struggling with depression get help?

According to board certified psychiatrist Todd Clements, MD, when initially treating depression there are four areas to look at–Kills, Fills, Skills, and Pills.

Kills–What are the toxins in one’s life that could contribute to depression? A diet lacking in proper nutrition. Drug or alcohol use.

Fills–What can one add to their life that is healthy? Healthy fills include exercise, proper nutrition, nurturing friendships, and support groups.

Skills–What skills does the person afflicted by depression need to acquire? These are often life skills that can be taught by a counselor such as how to set healthy boundaries in relationships, how to process anger, and how to go through grief in a healthy way.

Pills–Does one need supplements or medication? In regards to supplements, there are numerous supplements that have been shown to improve brain function. High on the list is fish oil. Multiple studies published in respected journals tout the positive benefit of fish oil for individuals struggling with depression.

Prescription medication is the most controversial treatment for depression as it often carries a stigma that many prefer to avoid. The reality is the some people have a biochemical imbalance that may require medication. Similar to if one needed insulin to stabilize blood sugar.

Untreated depression really is a matter of life and death as it can lead to suicide and other self harm. If you struggle with depression talk to your physician to ensure you get the care you need and deserve.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you have any questions or comments please send them to