At some point, everyone comes face-to-face with anxiety, whether it’s due to a relationship, an upcoming test or work stress. One way to combat these stressors is yoga. Here are 5 five ways it can help you conquer your anxiety.
1. It Improves Your Mood
Yoga utilizes breathing and meditation techniques that help to slow the things that increase when you’re stressed: heart and breathing rate. When these slow down, your level of stress goes down too. When these techniques are put into effect, GABA, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, is boosted, combating symptoms of depression.
Also, any form of physical activity – including yoga, of course – has the ability to boost the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain. The increase of oxygen helps you to blow off steam, leaving you feeling happier afterwards. Ever heard of a runner’s high? It works just the same way!
2. It Loosens You Up
When you’re stressed, muscles in the neck, back and shoulders can tighten up. The poses done in yoga are meant to stretch and loosen the muscles to gain flexibility and to allow you to relax more easily and effectively, thus relieving even more stress.
3. It Eases Your Mind
In Sanskrit the word “yoga” means “union.” The main purpose of yoga is to allow you to get your body, mind, and breathing united and in sync. To do this, you have to focus on yourself and be in tune with your body’s rhythm. Once you’ve gotten your mind, body, and breathing in line, you’ll ultimately become more relaxed because you’ve focused on your own well-being rather than the test or work project that’s been stressing you out.
4. It Helps You Hit the Reset Button
Everyone’s had one of those days where they simply can’t focus on anything. Because yoga requires you to focus directly on aligning your body’s functions and forget the outside world, it gives you a fresh perspective and a new outlook. After performing the exercises, you’ll likely sleep better too!
5. It Boosts Your Confidence
Much of the time, stress is the result of worry that you can’t accomplish something. During yoga, most people focus on the muscles from the neck and forget about the mental muscles! As tension in the mind loosens, people can connect better with themselves and later, with others. Practicing can build confidence in your own bodies and mind, giving you a better outlook on your abilities. Hitting that difficult yoga pose is empowering!