How Does Yoga Help Anxiety? Tips from a Certified Yoga Instructor

Anxiety is a natural response to stressful situations, but chronic anxiety can disrupt the quality of your day-to-day life. The problem may be intensified by worrying about what to do about the anxiety rather than the anxiety itself.
Fortunately, there is a way to cope with anxiety that can be used in conjunction with traditional treatments of therapy and medication or as a standalone technique—yoga.

Melody Smith, BA

Yoga encompasses many elements used in current treatments such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness, cognitive reframing, behavioral suggestions, concentration, and stress reduction. Individuals discover how to relax from physical tension as they move through each posture, or asana. A yoga practice also includes breathing techniques to lower stress in the physical body and sends a message to the brain to promote a state of calmness. Basic movements and relaxation techniques support short-term anxiety reduction, allowing you to fully engage with other healing practices. This safe and inexpensive modality can also be used as a long-term outlet for managing anxiety.

The mind-body practice of yoga aids in our awareness of the link between our brains and bodies. Simply increasing this awareness can decrease the frequency and severity of your anxious symptoms. For example, when your stress response is triggered, you may notice short, shallow breathing. This can heighten overall feelings of anxiety due to lowered oxygen levels in the blood. The practice of yoga can replace this reaction to stress by teaching you to take deep, slow breaths. 

With practice, yoga enhances mind-body awareness and offers forms of relaxation that can be used as a healthy outlet. Techniques learned on the mat give individuals tools to use off the mat that can significantly support anxiety management. By combining yoga and therapeutic practices, you can obtain support for effective anxiety management and acquire the peace and serenity needed to move forward.

There are many online resources including videos and websites to help you get started at home. Here is one of my favorites–Gentle Yoga Flow:

Premarital Check-In: Ask These Questions Before Saying “I Do”

wedding rings

Photo by Denny Müller
So you’re considering marriage – yay! This time in your life is so exciting but can also feel scary. How you feel about marriage is largely impacted by your life experiences as well as the experiences of your family and friends. Perhaps you’ve witnessed nasty divorces you want to avoid at all costs; perhaps you’ve met couples who have been happily married for 50+ years (they do exist).
Before ring shopping, venue searching, and finalizing your Pinterest board, I highly recommend having some important conversations with your partner. Some of the topics are more on the serious side while others can be fun to talk about!
Here is a list of topics and questions I recommend you both explore before tying the knot:

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Why Do I Have Anxiety?

If you’re enduring chronic anxiety, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why is this happening to me?” While anxiety is more common than you think, the unfortunate stigma around mental health has discouraged multitudes of diverse sufferers from talking about it or seeking treatment. This leaves you feeling as if you’re the only person fighting this battle. Seemingly isolated, you wonder why those around you seem to function without these thoughts. This leads to a place where you’re asking, “Why do I have anxiety?”

Continue reading “Why Do I Have Anxiety?”