Yoga for Anxiety and Depression: What are the Benefits?

11benefits of yoga for anxiety and depression
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In the modernity of life, we knowingly and unknowingly are trapped in the epidemic of depression. The majority of the people are socially isolated, sleep-deprived, and sedentary.

Almost 3 in 10 people have at least been diagnosed with depression at one point in their lives.

Anxiety on the other hand can turn out to be an underlying indication of a disease where feelings get overpowering and interfere with normal life.

Nearly women by 37.1% and men by 29.9% feel high levels of anxiety in 2022-23. 

Why do anxiety and depression occur due to our current lifestyle?

  1. Consumer culture
    The access to credit has become simpler and most people are spending the money they don’t have. This has caused major stresses in life.
  2. Nature isolation
    People in modern life are away from nature in the urban built environment. This has also led to increased stress among the people.
  3. Toxic relationship
    A relationship has a major influence on your health. The toxic relationships affect your mental health leading to depression and anxiety, its harm is no less than smoking or alcoholism.
  4. Social media impact
    With the increase in social media usage, people are forgetting the difference between reel and real life. We tend to compare our lifestyle and appearance based on someone’s reel life, and it’s harming our mental health leading to anxiety and depression-like situations.
  5. Mindset
    The way an individual perceives a situation has an impact on how the body accepts it. It can be challenging when people move towards a perfectionist attitude as it leads them to a stressful life.
  6. Traumatic event
    Events such as divorce, death, changes in health, personal injury, and pregnancy are some events that are happenings of life that are inevitable situations that can cause stress.
  7. Lifestyle choices
    High dependency on caffeine, alcohol, smoking, poor nutrition food, sugars, and late-night sleeping habits, can create problems, and further lead to stress.

5 Benefits of Yoga for Anxiety

It’s simpler to tell an anxious person to think rationally but is that a way out? They need to be made aware of their feelings, actions, and thoughts that have caused them anxiety. Once they identify it, they can self-soothe themselves. Yoga is a way out for them, let’s see how:

  1. Improved cognitive ability: As we age the brain shrinks but those who do yoga seem to have reduced shrinkage of certain parts of the brain. Thus improving cognitive ability.
  2. Mood improvement: Like other exercises, yoga also aids in reducing stress hormones and in oxygenating the blood in the brain. Besides that, it can elevate the brain chemicals to improve your mood.
  3. Regulating Stress: The nervous system that makes us feel calm and safe can be stimulated via yoga. The specific nerve is called the vagus nerve. On stimulating, it can enhance how sensations are perceived.
  4. Connects mind and body: Breath can connect both mind and body. When you do pranayama, it can calm the sympathetic nervous system, reducing anxiety. 
  5. Mindfulness and self-regulation: Meditation can bring you back to your body and away from your thoughts. Thus while doing poses, you can be in the present, and allow the mind to be aware of the movement.

6 Benefits of Yoga for Depression 

There has been evidence showing how yoga can reduce depression symptoms. It is compared to being as effective as an exercise and an antidepressant. 

  1. Relief from depression: Yoga has shown immediate and long-term relief of the symptom, it reduces the severity and increases remission rates.
  2. Improving sleep quality: To a few women practicing it for one month has resulted in improving sleep quality. It has reduced the symptoms of depression and anxiety and has elevated positivity and tranquility.
  3. Relief of depression during pregnancy: Based on a study, pregnant women on bedrest also undergo depression sometimes, only a few yoga sessions as of 3 were enough to reduce the depression symptoms.
  4. Promotes restoration of health: In the rehabilitation process to recover from drugs, if people have practiced yoga for 60 minutes, thrice a week for 5 straight weeks. Yoga was found to have reduced depression symptoms and its impact on hormones, and the nervous system.
  5. In reducing cortisol levels: Depression arises when the neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin are decreased due to an increase in cortisol. Yoga can help reduce the levels of cortisol. 
  6. Improves mind stability: When one increases concentration and learns mind stability, it can help in stress management. So when meditation is carried out, it can decrease compulsive and maladaptive behavior.

The Wrap

The culprit of anxiety or depression is stress that occurs excessively. Yoga is one of the means to heal both anxiety and depression conditions.

There are various forms of yoga and not everything works on mental health, you need to find the right ones who teach its benefits on mental health to heal it.

Fitness with Nidhi can assist you in a personalized yoga plan for recovering your deteriorated mental health. She is an internationally certified fitness coach and a yoga practitioner who has been helping a lot of people with their physical and mental health. Discover the best of you with Nidhi, contact us today!

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About the author

Nidhi Gupta is an ACE certified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 10 years of experience helping people reach their fitness goals. She is passionate about helping people live healthier lives and loves sharing her knowledge and expertise with others. Get in touch with her to learn more about how she can help you on your fitness journey.
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