Anxiety, stress and depression can make it difficult for anyone to refocus their mind and ground themselves. There are several holistic ways to reduce the mental and physical health effects of stress, such as yoga. There are several styles of yoga for beginners which you can explore to find which one works best for you.
Yoga as a Stress Reliever
Yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety by encouraging mental and physical relaxation. The physical postures in yoga help promote flexibility while relieving tension and pain by teaching you to breathe deeply. Some of the poses can also help release muscle knots and tight spots, which help release emotions and tension. Exercise in general helps release mood-boosting endorphins and reduce cortisol levels, which can relieve stress. There is also a component of mindfulness and meditation to yoga sequences, which boosts your concentration, awareness, and centers your mind.
The Best 9 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief
- Butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana)
This relatively simple posture can ground you in a moment of anxiety and encourages a meditative state.
- Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
A great pose in yoga for beginners, this yoga pose in particular helps to alleviate anxiety and depression by accessing the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Harvard Medical School publiced an article on how Child’s Pose provides a sense of calm and stability. Another study in India showed a significant reduction in both blood pressure and pulse rate.
- Downward Dog (Adho mukha svanasana)
A foundational yoga posture, it can help relieve tension from your neck and back. By positioning your head lower than your heart, it has the benefits of inversions to relieve mental fogginess and mild depression.
- Cow Pose (Bitilasana) & Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)
Alternative these poses while breathing deep during cow pose and exhaling during cat pose can help calm the mind through focused breathing.
- Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Uttanasana helps calm the brain to relieve stress. It can relieve stress in the back body including the low back, calves, and hamstrings.
- Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
Hip opening yoga, such as Easy Pose, can help release a lot of emotional tension that is held there. It also helps reduce mental and physical effects of stress.
- Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
Ananda Balasana, Happy Baby Pose, is another hip opener which will ease tension, anxiety, fatigue, and lower heart rate, all side effects of stress.
- Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
Usually done at the end of a yoga sequence and is referred to as the most important pose in yoga. If done day after day, it conditions the body to release stress.
The Importance of Learning Healthy Coping Skills
Healthy coping skills can help you tolerate, deal, and minimize stressful situations in life. Learning how to manage your stress will make you feel better both physically and mentally and impact your ability to perform your best. There are several ways to cope with stress, including focusing on hobbies, exercising, or spending time with pests. Being able to cope with your stress in these ways can keep you away from relying on negative coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse and other self-destructing behaviors.
Negative Consequences of Unresolved Stress
Stress can contribute to long-term health issues, including heart problems, high blood pressure, headaches, diabetes, skin conditions, gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, depression, anxiety, and asthmas. It can also lead to mental health disorders like anxiety disorders, panic disorders and depression.
Stress and Substance Abuse
Stress can also lead many to drug and alcohol use to cope with their issues. When people rely on drugs and alcohol, it can lead substance abuse and drug addiction. Learning to cope with your stress in healthier ways can help prevent or treat substance use disorders. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, please give us a call today at (609) 993-0733.