You now know that exercise of all kinds has some very positive effects on lowering anxiety. Getting yourself moving and in a different setting can have quite the impact on your brain chemistry, your attitude, your energy and your emotions in general. One focused exercise practice has been shown to be particularly beneficial in the management of anxious symptoms. In one study involving hatha yoga, participants said they felt an overall improvement in their quality of life, along with less stress and anxiety, after just ten sessions. That’s a powerful testimony to the benefits of this practice.
Have you tried yoga? Take a look at what it can do for your peace of mind.
With yoga more than other types of workouts, you’ll learn to focus on your breathing. If you’ve done any reading on anxiety self-management techniques, you know that controlled breath is important. Slow, steady breaths lead to a feeling of calm because they slow down your nervous system. Correct breathing techniques are a part of yoga practice that can benefit you to learn, as they will serve you well when you’re dealing with the rough and shallow breaths caused by anxiety.
Not only is the breathing involved in yoga slow and controlled, so are the movements. Postures and poses in this form of mindful exercise are done in ways that allow you to focus on each segment of your body. This attention promotes relaxation and eases the tension that builds up from anxiousness or stress. Combining these motions with the attentive breathing gives you maximum benefit and creates a cycle of wellness in which your newly relaxed body encourages more positive thinking.
Performing yoga is a form of self-care, which is something those of us with anxious souls so often neglect. Activities in which we care for ourselves like getting pedicures, eating well, visiting with friends or an exercise like yoga involve setting aside time to treat ourselves well. This time replenishes us, rather than taking away from our wellbeing the way so many of our daily obligations can do.
Rumination is a practice in which thoughts, usually negative, play in your mind over and over. You probably already know how difficult it can be to break these nasty thought cycles.
Fortunately, yoga has a way of doing just that rather easily. When you’re focused on your breathing and body movement, your mind tends to be in the here and now. The ruminating stops and you become mindful of the way your body feels, the sounds in the room and the manner of your breath. It’s quite calming.
These are just some of the many benefits of yoga for lowering anxiety and stress. Start a yoga practice of your own, with the consent of your doctor, and you’ll see for yourself how yoga can help.