Heart racing. Body shaking. Head dizzy. Blank mind. These are some of the anxious reactions that happen to many of us. Be it right before a presentation or meeting new people, irregular breathing just comes naturally to some of us.
We live in very uncertain times. Financial, environmental, political, and medical instability is hitting almost everyone’s world right now. If you’ve been feeling this rollercoaster, trust us, you aren’t alone. This modern life can get stressful for anyone. For those struggling with mental health issues, even everyday tasks can sometimes become too much. It is pretty common to experience anxiety and everyone feels it and has experienced it to an extent.
People tend to turn to therapy and it’s a good thing. An expert is what you need to relieve yourself from these dark feelings. But along with that, according to so many studies, yoga is also very supportive of a healthy lifestyle. It relaxes your mind, body, and soul.
WHAT IS YOGA?
Many cultures associate yoga with spirituality. Yoga translates to “union.” According to Sadhguru, “Yoga is a mechanism and a technology to get you to that state of experience where you see reality just the way it is.”
There are many who practice yoga who will tell you that it has changed the way they feel and think on a daily basis. Yoga tends to relax your mind and calm your nerves. This relaxation results in beautiful and open thoughts and saves your mind and soul from anxious and dark thoughts.
WHAT BENEFITS DOES YOGA OFFER FOR MENTAL HEALTH?
The benefits of practicing yoga are innumerable. Yoga is excellent for joint and spine health. It can also be a great workout if you do power yoga. However, the mental health benefits that yoga provides are comforting. Practicing yoga every day can make a huge difference when it comes to reducing the symptoms of common mental illnesses, like anxiety and depression. Here are just some of the ways that yoga might be able to help you.
- RELIVES ANXIETY
The irregular breathing, the constant fidgeting, the leg shaking, biting the insides of your cheeks, and so on are symptoms of anxiety. Many of us feel these symptoms on a very regular basis. Many aspects of yoga, including deep breathing techniques and syncing breath with a movement, have a calming effect on the brain. Over time, these techniques can even shrink the amygdala, which is the brain’s fear center and is believed to be overdeveloped in those with anxiety disorders.
- ELEVATES MOOD
Psychologists and psychiatrists all around the world suggest doing exercise for their patients. That is mainly because exercise releases endorphins, which are commonly known as happy hormones. This can provide an instant mood boost and help with managing conditions like depression or seasonal affective disorder. Although yoga can be a slow practice, it is still a powerful form of exercise.
- IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF SLEEP
Just like stress, lack of sleep affects weight fluctuation and fatigue. Meditating improves the quality of sleep. By meditating just before going to bed, you increase your chances of better sleep and recovery from the day’s tiredness.
- REDUCE THE EFFECTS OF PTSD
Yoga may help you deal with multiple types of stress, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Various studies support this notion. They found that participants showed greater changes in measures of sleep, positive affect, perceived stress, anxiety, stress, and resilience than those who didn’t do yoga.
- CALMS THE NERVES
As we have discovered earlier how yoga relieves us from anxiety, it also calms the adrenaline feeling of fight or flight to rest and digest. It relaxes you, calming your brain and the nervous system. The trick is the breathing techniques used in meditation that help you to learn to control your breathing.
- IMPROVES CONCENTRATION
If you often find yourself zoning out or believe you have a concentration span of a goldfish (like me) while working, then practicing yoga might help you. Many yoga poses stimulate blood flow to the brain. This brings oxygen to the brain and can boost concentration and mental power. This is also great for circulation, especially for those who spend all day sitting.