Ways Yoga Helps With Anxiety
One out of four Americans will experience an anxiety disorder at some point during their lives. Such disorders are sometimes accompanied by panic attacks – intense feelings of panic that often come out of nowhere. Panic attacks can include a pounding heart, sudden sweating, dizziness, and shallow breathing. Living with anxiety and panic attacks is difficult, but there are a variety of techniques that can help to ease symptoms.
Yoga is an excellent way to reduce anxiety (and stress). Yoga forces you to focus on your breathing.
When someone has an anxiety attack, they make short, shallow breaths. This can actually make a panic attack worse because this type of breathing can cause a lightheaded, faint feeling. The most important aspect of yoga is focusing on the breath. When you’re feeling tired or a pose is particularly difficult, focusing on taking deep, slow breaths makes all the difference. Training yourself to follow your breathing during yoga class is a useful skill that can be applied to other areas of life. Whenever you’re feeling anxious or stressed, remember to take deep, slow breaths until you start to feel more relaxed.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters in the brain that have been shown to improve mood, reduce symptoms of depression, and relieve stress and anxiety.
Endorphins are essentially an all-natural antidepressant. Additionally, flexibility and strength gained from yoga can help to prevent injuries and reduce chronic pain. Who isn’t happier when they aren’t in pain all the time?
When we’re feeling anxious or stressed, we often tighten certain areas of our bodies without even realizing it. Prolonged stress or anxiety can lead to pain and muscle tension in the back, head, neck, shoulders, and other areas. Yoga helps relieve muscle tension by strengthening, lengthening, and relaxing sore muscles. Over time, yoga can also improve posture, which aids in reducing muscle tension. Yoga is challenging – even if you’re a more experienced yogi, you will probably have certain poses that are still tough for you. Engaging in something that is challenging – and sticking with it even when it’s hard – will give you more confidence and faith in yourself.