There has been so much that is said and done about happiness in the world, isn’t it? People search for various ways to stay calm and happy in life. Have you ever wondered why do they do this? Why is it that people are always on a lookout for happiness in life? The answer lays in the truth, it is the truth of life that says that to be happy is the only secret to a happy, healthy, and long life. But this is a thing that is easier said than done!
A few decades back, life was simpler; man used to find his happiness in all the little pleasures of life. But in the present world, life has become way more complicated. In the competition of who is better and the survival of the fittest trend that we follow, it creates havoc in our hearts and mind. We are most of the time feeling restless in our lives. Earlier if things didn’t work out, man would always find an equal alternative. But these days, it’s quite the opposite! If things don’t work out, people have begun to fall prey to anxiety which also results in depression. Some end up living a dark life because of this and are never happy again. Whereas some even take the extreme step of ending their life. Whatever the result of anxiety is, it surely is tragic!
Today, one can find millions of ways that are marketed to battle anxiety problems. And most of these come with a price tag attached to it. How would we know how to battle it the right way and which method of treatment or practice to choose? The only way to know that is to understand anxiety in the first place.
What Is Anxiety?
It is a feeling of unease, nervousness, or a sense of worry. This occurs if a person is feeling any imminent threat. One needs to understand that anxiety is different from fear. Our body’s immediate response to any kind of danger is known as fear. And anxiety is the natural reaction of the human body to stress. Again, normal anxious feelings are different from anxiety disorders. And anxiety disorders are regarded to be one of the most common mental health problems in today’s world.
Signs Of Anxiety
When you are not able to control your feelings of nervousness, fear in a certain situation that you’ve already faced before, you are certainly battling anxiety. You will find yourself breathing too fast or can feel the heart beating fast. You may sweat more than normal in such tense situations. Your chest might also feel a bit tight. If you’ve felt any of these then you know that just as much anxiety is a physical state it is a mental state as well. We feel this because of the chain of reactions that occur in our body on a biological level. This reaction occurs in our body when we start worrying or come face to face with a stressful event in our life. Many psychological symptoms help indicate that a person may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, here are a few of them:
- The anticipation of the worst
- Feeling very apprehensive
- Upset stomach or nausea
- Twitches or tremors
- Passive aggression
- Feeling of dreadfulness
- Obsessive thoughts
- Ruminative thoughts
- Feeling restless
Risk Factors Linked To Anxiety Disorders
- It could be possible that you pass on the problem of anxiety to your future generations. We’re sure you don’t want to do that, do you?
- It could lead to you initiating traumatic events in your life which will only worsen your condition further.
- Misuse of alcohol, drug, etc.
- Anxiety also impacts the structure of your brain and this will play a negative impact on the overall health of the body.
Amongst the many solutions and approaches available, yoga is considered to be the most ideal one. Let’s read and understand why…
How Does Yoga Help Battle Anxiety?
The foremost principle of yoga is to learn to breathe freely and this is the exact motivation that is required for someone who is battling anxiety. Yoga will allow us to move and breathe in sync. This activates what is called the parasympathetic nervous system which will allow your body to relax by calming down the tension of the muscles. It also releases happy hormones called endorphins. Pranayama breathing practicing several yoga asanas help relieve the anxiety and stress that the body is facing. Here are five such effective yoga poses that will help alleviate anxiety in the body.
More popularly known as child’s pose, this yoga asana is regarded as the place of rest in the yoga world. Many people perform this asana to regroup and relax in between the challenging asanas they perform in their yoga classes. This pose helps to release the tension one experiences in the neck, back, shoulder regions of the body. These are the areas of the body where stress is held captive. Doing the balasana pose promotes relaxation by pushing conscious breathing. Doing this calms down the nervous system of our body and activates the parasympathetic system in return.
How To Do The Balasana:
- Ensure that you are using a thick enough yoga mat or a blanket so that your knees feel supported and comfortable while performing this asana.
- Now keep your knees together or in the shape of a V.
- Stretch your arms upwards and slowly bend forward by stretching them as far as are capable of.
- Soften the stretch, feel comfortable, release the tension, just let go, and close your eyes. Now release your arms, head, shoulders, neck, back, and yes, also your thoughts.
- Hold onto this pose for as long as you can. When you are done, with the help of your hands, slowly wake your torso up. And sit back on your heels.
This one is popularly known as the tree pose and is fundamental for reducing anxiety. It’s the yoga pose of balance which helps promote one’s concentration, awareness, and focus. It does so intending to move your thoughts away from the negative energy in the body that is promoting anxiety.
How To Do The Vrikasana:
- Stand tall while keeping your feet at hip-width apart. Now shift the weight to your right leg. Bend the left knee and balance the sole of the left foot on your inner part of the right thigh.
- Center your pelvis region.
- Place the hands in the Namaste form with both your thumbs right at the center of your heart.
- Hold onto this position for 2-3 breaths. And then repeat the same with another leg as well.
- Virabhadrasana III
This is also known as the Warrior III yoga pose. If you are good at balancing legs and are looking for something that would challenge your abilities more than this yoga asana is for you. It improves the coordination, posture, and balance of your body while enhancing your core strength. It helps in healthy digestion and improves your gut health which is important for fighting anxiety.
How To Do The Virabhadrasana III:
- Keeping the feet at hip-width apart, turn towards your left widen the stance by four feet. And then turn your right angle at 90 degrees angle to ensure your toes are pointing towards the forward of your mat.
- Now align the torso and the pelvis region while bending your right knee, ensure that both your feet are placed on the mat.
- By raising your arms above your head, gently press your weight on the right foot and lift the left foot as you slowly lower the torso forward allowing your body to be parallel to the ground.
- Leave your arms reaching forward.
- Straighten our right leg and hold this position for 2-3 breaths and slowly release.
- Viparita Karani
This pose is also known as the Legs up the wall pose. It forms a vital part of restorative yoga sessions. This asana is excellent for relieving the tension in your back and easing any symptoms about anxiety. You just need a wall to perform this pose.
How To Do The Viparita Karani:
- While rolling out the yoga mat ensure that it is directly resting at the wall in the end. Sit down with any of your legs resting as close as possible to the wall.
- Remember to just raise your legs onto the wall and in one steady movement. Resting your shoulder and heads onto the mat is important while doing this.
- Ease forward slowly till your buttocks reach the wall. Relax by closing your eyes.
- Staying in this pose for longer than 10 minutes is great.
- To come out of this asana, just swing your legs to your left or right.
This pose is also known as the seated forward bend. Doing this will help calm the brain, relieves stress, and any signs of depression. It also reduces fatigue, anxiety, and headache.
How To Do The Paschimottanasana:
- Sitting upright on your yoga mat, stretch out the legs in front of you. Your sitting bones need to connect with your yoga mat.
- Reach out your arms along the spine and stretch the heart forward.
- Push yourself and stretch as out much as you can. You shouldn’t feel the pain but only the stretch.
- Stay in that position for some time and then relax.
The above-mentioned yoga poses will help a great deal when it comes to relieving the problem of anxiety in you. Being consistent with them is the key to better health mindfully.