When it comes to anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses, America is the frontrunner.
Does the uncertainty and chaos of life keep you up at night?
Is irrational worry your constant companion?
Could you use some calm?
If the answer is yes, you are not alone. According to one research program, anxiety-related issues are the number one mental health problem among women and are second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. Stress-related ailments cost the nation $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost productivity. And use of sedative drugs like Xanax and Valium have skyrocketed in the last 15 years. Even students are feeling it. One psychologist reports that the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s. Chances are, you or someone you know seriously struggles with anxiety.
I know what it feels like to be overcome by the worries and fear of life, which is why I am dedicated to helping yogis take back control of their minds and, as a result, their lives. Anxious for Nothing, my next 8 Week Yoga Class Series, invites practitioners to delve into Philippians 4:6-7. After all, it is the most highlighted passage of any book on the planet:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I will guide students through this Scripture passage and explain the key concepts of celebration, asking for help, leaving our concerns, and meditating.
Symptoms to know if you have anxiety disorder?
You feel unusually panicky, scared and uneasy.
You tend to get uncontrolled, obsessive thoughts of past traumatic experiences.
You wake up from frequent nightmares.
You tend to repeatedly wash your hands.
You have problems sleeping.
Your hands and feet stay unusually sweaty.
You get frequent palpitations.
How can yoga exercises help get over anxiety?
Regular yoga practice can help you stay calm and relaxed in daily life and can also give you the strength to face events as they come without getting restless. Yoga practice ideally includes the complete package of postures, breathing techniques, prayer...viewing life with new positivity and strength.
My Christian beliefs combined with yoga has changed my thinking, I feel much more settled from within, and I have faith that whatever will happen will be for the good. The following yoga techniques can help calm an unsettled mind.
1: Yoga Poses that relieve your stress.
These yoga postures can help achieve a happy and healthy mind and body. They help release tension and negativity from the system.
Downward Facing Dog
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Note: At the end of the yoga posture session, lie down to give your mind and body a few minutes of relaxation. This technique is helpful in flushing out body toxins, a primary cause of stress, from the system.
2: Breathe right to relieve anxiety
Taking your attention to the breath can help free the mind of the unnecessary clutter of thoughts that breed anxiety. Try this breathing practice: Alternate Nostril Breathing – effective in releasing stress from the system (where the exhalation is longer than the inhalation)
3: Meditate to enjoy the gift of a relaxed mind
Meditation can be an excellent technique to relax a distracted mind, give you a sense of calm and peace, and also observe with daily practice how your mind works to keep you involved in small, petty things around. It can also help you not worry too much or get anxious of the unknown future.
You might have often heard the term ‘adrenalin rush’. This happens when we get too anxious about a potential threat. For instance, while taking an adventure ride. At such a time, the level of adrenalin hormone goes higher, leading our heart to beat faster, making the muscles tense and our body sweat profusely. Scientific research has shown that regular meditation practice can help significantly reduce the level of this stress hormone.
4: Pray, keep faith and smile!
Prayer is the best form of reassurance and support to keep you anxiety-free. Developing habits of daily prayer or singing worship songs fill you with positive energy and also help still the mind. They also instill a sense of deep faith that all happens for the best and that God is sovereign. Moreover, make a conscious effort to smile more and more. It will instill confidence, calmness and positivity instantaneously. Try it out right now!
5: Think about what you can do for others
When we constantly remain stuck in ‘me and mine’, it makes room for stress and anxiety. We keep worrying about what will happen to us. Rather, shift your attention to how you can be of some use to others around you. Energizing yourself with some service activity can give you deep satisfaction and immense joy.
6: Know the impermanence of the world
When this realization sets in that everything around us is temporary and would change, we become relaxed and settled from within. A feeling of ‘this too shall pass and not remain forever’ arises in us and frees us from anxiety. Meditation can help us see this founding principle of life.
7: Remember a similar past situation when you could overcome anxiety
This fills you with immense courage that you can pass even this situation. Keep reminding this to yourself often.
8: Keep positive company around you
When you spend more time with positive-minded people, you are influenced by similar thoughts, which reflects in your overall attitude to life. Only a positive mind can breed joy, peace and relaxation.
Stop letting anxiety rule the day. Join us on the journey to true freedom and experience more joy, clarity, physical renewal, and contentment by the power of the Holy Spirit. Anxiety comes with life. But it doesn't have to dominate your life.