Over the last twenty years, yoga has become a widely respected health and wellness practice that is helping millions of people all over the world address many health issues. But as the world continues to speed up and people become overwhelmed with the amount of work and life responsibilities they must address, some are now using this ancient methodology to support them with their anxiety.
Stress, fear, and anxiety – if we start to enumerate all these moments in life when we experienced these emotions, we would lose count! Worried about the outcome of an examination or our parents’ negative reaction to the choices we make; nervous about a first date or a job interview – we’ve all gone through those moments that can cause a great deal of panic. A little fear is normal; in fact, just like salt in food, it is necessary to be disciplined, focused and dynamic.
This is a problem when this fear becomes so persistent and so intimidating that it interferes with our daily lives. So, it becomes an anxiety disorder, an excessive state of discomfort, worry or fear of the unknown, which needs to be treated, and this is where yoga can help.
“It is important to know that yoga alone should not be considered the only means of treatment” suggests Kirsty Davis from Yoga Training Guide. “Consultation with a doctor or specialist is also necessary.” The doctor will guide and help you understand your type of anxiety disorder – panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder among so many others.
Note: allopathic medicines can have side effects; you can consider other means of treatment such as homeopathy and Ayurvedic medicine.
How do you know if you have anxiety disorder?
- You feel unusually panicky, uncomfortable and afraid.
- You tend to be unable to control obsessive thoughts as a result of a traumatic experience.
- You wake up from frequent nightmares.
- You tend to wash your hands several times.
- You have sleep problems.
- Your hands and feet are abnormally sweaty.
- You have frequent palpitations.
How can yoga help overcome anxiety?
Regular yoga practice can help you stay calm and relaxed in everyday life and can also give you strength to deal with events as they come without fuss. Ideally, the practice of yoga includes the full set of asanas (postures), pranayamas (breathing techniques), meditation , the ancient philosophy of yoga, all of which has helped anxious patients to recover and face life with positivity and new strength.
Dana Finch, a stay-at-home housewife says, “I felt tense all the time and worried about little things. All the less important events destabilized me. My husband decided to consult a doctor who told us that I had generalized anxiety disorder. I received treatment, and I practiced yoga and meditation regularly for about six months. Today, I am experiencing a rebirth. My thinking has changed, I feel a lot more stable internally, and I regained confidence: whatever happens to me will be for my good. I am no longer afraid of the future! Yoga has given me this strength. “
The reason why yoga is so beneficial for anxiety is because it can help calm and regulate your breathing. Through the postures and breathing techniques, they can help give you a sense of control over your body so that your negative emotions do got get the best of you.