A lot of us suffer from mild anxiety from time to time, but chronic anxiety takes a great amount of effect on the body, draining the body’s energy and keep the it in a constant state of stress. The effects of anxiety are magnified when the body is not exercised: tension in the muscles builds, breathing remains constricted most of the time, and the mind has no rest from the whirling thoughts and feelings that feed the anxiety.
Yoga helps reduce stress in the body, breath, and mind by building coping skills with a small daily routine of exercise like breathing, yoga and meditation. It helps you access an inner strength that allows you to face fears, frustrations and challenges of everyday life. The problem starts when this fear becomes persistent and so intimidating as to start interfering with our everyday life. Then it becomes an anxiety disorder, a state of excessive uneasiness, worry, or fear of the unknown, which needs to be treated, and this is where yoga can help.
Regular yoga can give you the strenght to face everyday life as they come without getting restless. It can also help you to stay calm and relazed in daily life. Ideally, yoga practice includes asana (body postures), pranayamas (breathng techniques), meditation and the ancient yoga philosophy which has helped anxiety patients recover and face life with positivity.
Here are some ways that yoga helps with anxiety and manage stress.
1. Yoga helps you to focus on breathing – The most important aspect of yoga is focusing on the breath. When someone has anxiety attack, they make short and shallow breaths. This type of breathing can cause a lightheaded faint feeling. Focusing on taking a deep slow breaths when feeling tired or a pose is particularly difficult makes all the difference.
Whenever you’re feeling anxious or stressed, remember to take deep, slow breaths until you start to feel more relaxed.
2. Yoga reduces muscle tension – Without realizing it, when we’re feeling stressed or anxious, there are certain areas of our bodies that we feel tighter. Prolonged stress or anxiety can lead to pain and muscle tension in the back, head, neck, shoulders, and other areas. Yoga improves posture which aids in reducing muscle tension by strenghtening, lengthening and relaxing sore muscles.
3. Yoga gives you endorphins – Essentially, endorphins are all-natural antidepressant. Called neurotransmitters, endorphins have been shown to improve mood, resuce symptoms of depression, relieve stress and anxiety. Flexibility and strength gained from yoga can help to prevent injuries and reduce chronic pain.
4. Yoga is challenging – Engaging yourself in something that is challenging and sticking to it will give you more confidence and faith in yourself. When you’re feeling uncomfortable, accept the discomfort. If you have suffered before, I am sure you will get through it again. Accept the discomfort instead of trying to fight it. Just Breathe.
5. Yoga emphasize community and faith – When you’re suffering from anxiety, you may feel that no one is there to understand what you feel. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. One way to overcome this is through Yoga. With yoga classes, you will have a chance to meet new people and develop a sense of community. At yoga classes, the instructor tend to emphasize finding peace and strength within yourself or a higher power. Having faith in something greater than yourself can be helpful when trying to cope with anxiety.
Complete relaxation and meditation is also essential – even a few minutes of meditation during your work day can make a difference. This daily training in focusing the mind on stillness will teach you how to consciously quiet your mind whenever you feel overwhelmed. Meditation puts you in touch with your inner resources; this means less dependence on medications, greater self-awareness, and a fuller, happier life.