Winter Wellness: Simple Strategies for Improving Mental Health
Life can come with many stressors, from our work life to our personal relationships, and even events around the world and in the news. While stress can sometimes feel ever-present in our lives, there are many simple ways to alleviate stress and calm our body and mind down.
Did you know that the calming poses and breathing exercises in yoga can actually help you to manage symptoms of stress? In this week’s guest blog post, Anastasia Burakova from CoreSpirit shares five ways yoga can help to alleviate stress. Read on to discover the power of yoga for our mental health.
Teaching you to be present at the moment
Many yoga poses encourage you to relax and focus on the present moment, creating a more tranquil state of mind. Practicing different styles of yoga regularly, such as restorative yoga, yin yoga, and vinyasa, can lead to a heightened sense of overall well-being in your life. Studies have shown that not only do these practices create calmness, they also help to create a positive sense of self through the increase in serotonin production in your body. As it helps you to refocus on your body chemistry and connect with the moment, this can work wonders as a tool for stress reduction.
Bringing you a sense of calm
During “inversion poses”, fresh lymphatic fluid flows through the body and fresh blood flows back to the heart and to the brain, therefore improving the function of the immune system as well as fostering mental clarity. It can help with minor headaches and even jet lag!
However, one of the most valuable benefits of inversions is that they calm the mind, which is at the heart of yoga practice, and is important to do when you find yourself in stressful situations.
Helping to control your mind and body
Since yoga poses are held longer than in most active physical activities, they have the time to penetrate your body's systems, including your mind, to create significant positive shifts in both physical and mental health. Yoga is becoming an increasingly popular practice, and for good reason. As well as all the benefits listed so far, it helps you to discover fluidity of movement and in turn, develop body control, focus, endurance, and balance.
Improving your sleep quality
Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? Or perhaps even after having seven to eight hours sleep, you still feel exhausted and have the urge to nap during the day? Yoga can be a wonderful antidote to poor sleep, as it helps to ground you by relaxing your nervous system and promotes a restful body.
By unwinding your mind and body, yoga can help you to fall asleep quicker, improving your chances of a peaceful night. As an example, the pose Shavasana - known as “Corpse Pose” - is a traditional resting pose that can help with sleep. You can try this by lying on your back with your legs and arms straight and palms facing upward, this is known as a restorative pose and can support your mind and body to prepare for sleep.
A positive impact on your relationships
It might not seem obvious, however yoga can help you to build more balanced and fulfilling relationships with loved ones. With a regular yoga practice, it creates the space for you to learn more about yourself, increase self-confidence, and build self-trust. As a result, this can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety which in turn can help you feel more energized and content when spending time with others. With an increased sense of peace, yoga can benefit both your personal and work life.
Start enjoying the benefits of yoga
Yoga is much more than an exercise routine. This ancient practice holds many benefits, both physical and psychological, that have contributed to the popularity of the practice.
We hope this article has highlighted how you can utilize yoga to feel well in your body, calm in your mind, and content in your life. Whether you choose to do a full yoga sequence or a series of breathing exercises, over time you can find yourself enjoying a calmer mind and healthier body.
Original Source: 5 ways yoga can help you cope with stress