Last updated on November 24th, 2023.
Exercise of all forms has a wide range of benefits, making it vital to achieving happiness for many people. Whether someone is looking to lose weight or just blow off some steam, physical activity is a wonderful avenue. As such, yoga yields different benefits as well.
Stress management can be helped by regularly practicing your yoga due to its help with mindfulness, breathing, and other mechanisms. Being consistent and open-minded to yoga can transform how one handles stress.
Thankfully, yoga is relatively easy to get into and can help people rather quickly. Read on to learn more about yoga and its benefits for stress management.
Typical Causes of Stress and Anxiety
Unfortunately, life and society can cause stress and anxiety in a seemingly infinite number of ways. Stressors and triggers can be found at any time and place and can include the following:
- Difficult working conditions,
- Lack of fulfillment,
- Financial instability,
- Marriage and divorce,
- Losing a family member or loved one,
- Low-self esteem,
- Traumatic events.
While not everyone will go through every single one of these, everyone will go through at least one of these and will have to find ways to cope with the stress they cause. If and/or when you are experiencing one of these situations, be sure to be mindful of your stress and address it as soon as you can.
Stress and anxiety could also lead to depression. However, there are 7 healthy ways to handle depression without medication besides yoga and meditation.
The Types of Yoga Used for Stress Management
While almost any type of recreational physical activity will help with stress management, specific types of yoga have been identified to specifically help with stress. They include the following:
- Restorative: involves holding simple poses for a long time, allowing for relaxation and blood flow into injured areas,
- Vinyasa: uses smooth movements and transitions to allow people to find peace and focus on the mind,
- Yin: movements and positions are passive, allowing one to give into gravity and relax their muscles.
7 Ways Yoga Helps With Stress Management
Since yoga is commonly known for its ease and calming nature, it should be no surprise that it can help with stress management.
1. Mindfulness and Meditation
Considering the fact that yoga is usually passive and slow, this gives one a chance to reflect on themselves and their situation in life. Doing this allows for mindfulness, which helps people be more objective about their problems and take care of them as needed. This can also be achieved through meditation, which some combine with yoga.
Breathing is a crucial part of life. We do it involuntarily, but we notice immediately once we have troubles with it. When it comes to stress, many try to take deep breathes before acting on a difficult situation and others sigh while taking care of a large work load.
Deep breathing helps bring oxygen to your lungs, brain, and heart, helping you be more relaxed. It can also decrease cortisol levels, which increase stress. Yoga techniques often employ deep breathing for these effects of stress management.
3. Prevent Anxiety
If you are dedicated to practicing yoga, your overall mindset will be improved and more relaxed. As a result, your body would be more in control of its fight or flight response, allowing you to be more rational during anxious times.
Once you have become more comfortable with yoga and the breathing aspect, you can do it spontaneously whenever needed. Even if the pose is very simple, taking a few moments to do an easy pose and breathe, you will be better equipped to handle stress. Using this as a coping mechanism can be a great habit to develop.
4. Physical Exercise
As aforementioned, recreational physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and get rid of any emotional tension. By releasing endorphins, physical exertion gives you a natural sense of euphoria and happiness that cannot be artificially replicated.
Of course, not every type of yoga will produce the exact same results, as they have different focuses and goals. However, that variety and range mean you can find something that suits your requirements, whether it be something passive or actively engaging. Integrating poses that release endorphins will be a tremendous benefit to your overall health.
5. Clearing Your Mind
Stress builds up over time with each stressor intertwining with each other, spilling over into every part of your life. It can get to the point in which you cannot do one task without worrying about another.
Following a guided yoga routine can help you stay focused on one thing, keeping your mind free from stressors in your life just as meditation does. Similar to what was discussed earlier, you can do this as momentary relief from immediate problems in life.
6. Reduce Negativity
Negativity plagues everything in life and exacerbates stressful thoughts, whether they be minor or major. If we continue life without addressing them, it only gets worse and leads to more negative thoughts.
Taking time to get rid of these negative thoughts is important and possible to do during yoga. By focusing on the present, you can look at the issues in your life in a more detached and helpful way, especially once done consistently and made a part of your daily life
Yoga can help with stress management on its own, but the relationship that you have with yoga can help as well. Progressing in anything, whether it be a sport, career path, or finishing a book, can enhance one’s self-esteem and sense of fulfillment.
Making yoga something that you strive to be better at, rather than just a chore, will make you excited and happier as you improve. Being able to do a new pose or lasting longer will allow you to feel more control of yourself and your life, making stress easier to combat. Think of it like a self-help book for the body!
When starting yoga, it should be approached as something fun that you sink your teeth into, embracing the process and welcoming all the benefits that come with it. Developing a deep connection to yoga will enable you to deal with stress more effectively and lead a better, healthier life.
Stress could be the cause of many addictions, illnesses, and dependencies. Take a look at the difference between addiction and dependency to inform yourself and others around you about the symptoms and prevention strategies.