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How Yoga Can Help Improve Mental Health

How Yoga Can Help Improve Mental Health

Yoga is more than just a physical practice. It can be a powerful tool to support your mental health. Research has shown that yoga can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help improve sleep quality and increase feelings of well-being. If you're struggling with mental health issues, consider adding yoga to your self-care routine.

Yoga & Relaxation

Yoga can help improve mental health in a number of ways. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and can also help to improve sleep quality. Yoga can also help to increase levels of serotonin, a chemical that is linked with happiness and wellbeing.

To maximise the relaxing effects of yoga, try to ensure that your routine is short and gentle. Long, intense workouts have been known to increase stress hormones, despite their physical calming effect. Try to keep sessions short – around 30 minutes – and look for options that would suit a beginner.

Therapeutic Benefits of Yoga

There are many therapeutic benefits of yoga. It can help improve overall mobility, strength, and flexibility. It can also help to strengthen your body’s core, improve circulation, and strengthen your muscles and tendons – all of which can help to relieve pain.

Mental Health Benefits of Yoga

Research has found that yoga can help improve mental health in a number of ways. It can reduce anxiety and stress, as well as depression. It can also help to improve memory and concentration.

Slow Down Your Thoughts

One way that yoga can improve mental health is by slowing down the racing thoughts that are common in conditions like anxiety and PTSD. Slow, controlled movements can help shift your focus away from your thoughts and towards your body, allowing you to move away from entrenched negative thinking.

Build Self-Confidence

With regular yoga practice, you can build self-confidence and a feeling of pride for what your body is capable of. Whether you struggle with PTSD and feel like a danger to others, or anxiety and feel like everyone is judging you, yoga can help strengthen your sense of self. You may still experience these feelings, but you’ll begin to understand that you’re able to manage them and that you have the power to control your thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Reduce Physical Symptoms of Mental Illness

By practicing yoga, you can help reduce the physical symptoms associated with many mental illnesses. You may be able to alleviate headaches, muscle tension, or general discomfort. These effects can help improve your overall health and well-being.

How Physical Activity Affects Mental Health

Whether you go for a run, hit the gym, dance, or toss a ball with your kid, just about any form of regular physical activity can help improve your mental health. Physical activity:

  • Increases blood flow to the brain, which helps deliver important chemicals that improve mood and reduce anxiety.

  • Increases the production of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BNDF), which helps improve mood and reduce anxiety.

Lowers Levels of The Stress Hormone Cortisol

The effects of physical activity on cortisol are well known. Physical activity can help to reduce long-term cortisol levels, as well as the spikes in response to stress.

Helps Control Weight

Mental health disorders like BED, OCD, and PTSD are much more manageable when you’re not dealing with the effects of obesity or weight loss after a diet.

Works as an Alternative Treatment For Mental Health Conditions

Physical activity has been demonstrated to be as effective as medication for the treatment of depression. With time, many people with mental health conditions find that they no longer need to rely on medication to maintain a healthy mood and state of mind. They start to see that it’s possible to feel good most of the time, just by being physically active.

Yoga for Mental Health

With such impressive benefits, it’s no surprise that doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists are recommending yoga for the treatment of mental health conditions.

Lowering Stress Levels

With our constant exposure to stressors like noise, traffic, and distractions, it’s no wonder we’re constantly feeling a little bit stressed. Even if you don’t have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, you probably still experience stress and anxiety on a regular basis.

Stress Can Make Symptoms of Anxiety & Panic Disorders Worse

With short periods of calming breath work or meditation, you can relax tense muscles and steady your racing thoughts. By spending just a few minutes a day practicing yoga poses that focus on stretching and relaxing your body, you can calm your muscles and ease anxiety.

Relief From Depression

As if depression weren’t enough to detract from someone’s quality of life, the physiological changes that come with obesity can also exacerbate depression.

Depression is one of the most common reasons people with mental health conditions go into inpatient treatment; it’s impossible for them to get enough relief at home. When you give your body more attention than your thoughts, you can find real relief from depression and a sense of peace that can help you get through even the darkest of days.

Stimulate Beta Waves & Improve Sleep

By practicing relaxation-inducing as anusara yogic breathing exercises and meditation, you can train your brain to generate more beta waves, which are thought to be responsible for a sense of calmness and well-being.

This is why even a short yoga session can give you a sense of peace and calm that lasts well after you’ve finished. Over time, you’ll be able to better regulate your emotions and improve sleep quality.

How Many Hours a Day Should People With Mental Health Conditions Exercise?

It’s common knowledge among physical therapists and doctors that people with physical disabilities should exercise more than their fully abled peers. But what about people with mental health conditions? How much exercise should they get?

The truth is, the amount of exercise that improves physical health is much the same as that which improves mental health. Just like your physical health, your mental health is improved with a consistent routine of moderate to vigorous exercise.

Think of it this way: spending an extra 30 minutes a day exercising pays you mental health “interest” that could add up to improved mood, reduced anxiety and depression, and greater self-confidence.

Yoga is a Great Start, But it’s Not The Only Option

As with physical health, the best exercise for mental health is whatever works for you. If you like running, then run. If cycling makes you happy, then pedal away. Or maybe yoga is your thing. Whatever form it takes, as long as it’s consistent.

Join our Yoga Program

If you’re looking for inspiration for your home yoga practice, join our yoga program. Take a little time out each day to connect with yourself. Sign up to know more.

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