This article aims to inform, educate and empower its readers about the six best ways in which yoga can help manage stress.
We all experience moments of stress in our lives and are quite familiar with it. It’s a fact of life. With a rapid pace of modern living, looming big projects, less than eight hours of sleep and so much more, sometimes it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up. Sadly, the negative effects of stress are widespread and growing.
The Science of Stress:
It would not be wrong to say that stress is everywhere and it is something that we can’t entirely avoid. In fact, it goes hand in hand with the territory of being a person, doesn’t it? The overwhelming demands of life trigger a stress response and our brain undergoes chemical and physical changes affecting the overall body functions.
During the episodes of high stress, chemicals and hormones like norepinephrine, cortisol, and adrenaline rise within the body. The discharge of these chemicals and hormone contributes to several psychological and physiological changes.
Physical health effects:
Several health experts consider prolonged stress to be a chief risk factor for diseases such as cancer and heart attack.
Under constant stress, it may appear as the body is building resistance to anxiety but our nervous system continuously deals with an overload of stress that seriously affects the whole well-being in the later life.
One of the common physical responses to the stress is stiff muscles, headaches, migraine, and musculoskeletal conditions.
Psychological Health Effects:
Along with impacting your physical health negatively, the stress also contributes towards several mental and emotional disorders, including depression, panic attacks, phobias, and anxiety.
The emotional disturbances caused by stress make it difficult to focus and act decisively. It may cause irritability, making you easily frustrated with others and may even contribute to insecurity, conflicts, and relationship feuds. Do not ignore the psychological problems as these are crucial for a healthier soul.
Going out for long drives and feeling the warm breeze across the face while listening to soothing music is great but it’s important to find a long-lasting solution that reduces stress and shifts you into a healthier pattern.
One of the most practical and rewarding technique is the science of yoga that relaxes the tensed muscles and wobbling mind and encourages you to examine your inner self with honesty and compassion.
A regular practice of yoga yields promising benefits to the practitioners in regard to the stress reduction.
6 Ways Yoga Helps Reduce Stress.
Have a look at the pointers below:
- Relax the Body: It has already been stated above that the stressful periods negatively affect the body of a person and manifest in forms of headaches, stiff body, migraine, improper functioning of the internal organs, etc.
- The physical component of yoga (the yoga asanas) gently massages, stretches, and relaxes the body. The everyday practice of yoga with a correct technique therapeutically affects the whole body and produces a calming effect on the organs.
- Cool The Mind: Our mind is super-active and is constantly racing from one thought to another. The stress activates the sympathetic nervous system and makes it difficult for us to concentrate on a particular task.
- Learning to focus the mind at a point may seem difficult but with practice, it shall become easier. How? Meditation is an incredibly powerful tool for calming and letting go of all the old patterns of stress, suffering, and distractions. It brings the person to a spacious and relaxed state where the capacity of innate healing can emerge. It motivates us to make healthy shifts in life.
- Breathe Deeply: Stressful situations make our breathing rapid and shallow which can lead to more anxiety. Pranayama gives us the opportunity to breathe more effectively using the whole lung-capacity. Certain yogic breathing techniques are useful in lowering stress levels in people.
- Develop Mind-Body Connection: A stronger mind-body connection fosters harmony in the lives. Yoga practices encourage us to listen to our body needs, make us feel more connected with our core, and show us the route to exist in the present moment.
- Let Go Off All Negativity: Negative emotions like fear, anger, etc., can cause stress if not expressed. A buildup of anything creates pressure. Through the science of yoga, we can effectively release all the emotions especially from the areas like hips, shoulders (where we tend to hold maximum emotional tension).
- Sleep In Yoga Nidra: Delve into yoga nidra, a yogic sleep that is a wonderful alternative to medications to reduce stress-induced insomnia. Rest in yoga nidra that heals your body from deep within by reducing stress, anxiety, and restoring the body on a cellular level.
- We cannot completely shelter ourselves from stress but with the help of yoga, we can unwind externally and internally making way for a happier, and healthier future.
Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.