How does yoga help in overcoming anxiety and depression?
First of all let’s see what is an anxiety? Anxiety is a hyperactive fear in a person. Everyone have feared one or another things in the life. Fear is a normal instinctive reaction of any living creature.
When faced with potentially dangerous situation, feelings of anxiety are not only normal but necessary for survival. Human body is an amazing mechanism, it’s counted everything. Since the times people lived in the nature, facing predators and the danger from outsiders, anxiety was the tool for our body to stay on guard by switching on the Adrenalin rush to get us to the so called “flight or fight” mode. That’s when our sympathetic nervous system activated due to sudden release of hormone. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of Adrenalin. This result in increase heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing rate. Our hairs on the body stands up, sweating increase, pupils of The Eye widens, vision narrows (tunnel vision), hearing become more sensitive, your muscles become tense and ready for action – the body prepares itself to be injured and to expend energy in the large muscle groups of the arms, legs and shoulders that we use to either fight or run (flight). This tension can result in trembling or shaking later. Mind works fast and sharp, Taking an immediate decision – is it worth to fight or is there an opportunity to run away. That is all the magical process of our body to help us to survive in a dangerous situation.
See if you can remember time when you experienced flight or fight situation yourself. When you face something that frightening to you. Maybe you did a wrong step and almost fell on the stairway or perhaps on the way to work a big dog almost Jumped on you. Do you remember, how your breathing got faster and heavier, heart started beat faster, you body was ready to react immediately. It’s take 20-60 mins for body to come to the usual state.
Anyway, let’s see how does “flight or fight” mode works nowadays. Running away from the animal is the last thing we facing living in the urban cities. We have more psychological threats like preparing presentation at school or taking exams, worry at work or stressful boss, worry about money etc.
So how did we unleashed our anxiety at first place and let it take over us?
We all been kids. And as kids we need a strong, responsible adults around us, who can support us at the time we need or explain in unknown and scary situation.
Anyway some person might got in to the scary situation at some point of life and didn’t know how to deal with it and so happens he didn’t have anyone around who would help him or know how to help, or perhaps adults around him didn’t see anything scary in it and told him that he just being silly and should just go on or perhaps they got angry and told him to stop crying as men are not crying and need to be strong. What happens in situation like this is that the fear can stay inside him and grow bigger over time and eventually it will turn in to a Long term anxiety – feeling of the big empty hole in the chest that that somehow activate muscles in that area to contract with such a speed that influences the heart work faster and lungs get spasms. And that all together give to people affects like panic Attacks, difficulties in breathing, pain in the chest that sometime can radiate to another parts of the body. Person instead of having flight and fight situation for the 15-30 mins, starts living in it days to days, months to months and years to years.
That on the end can lead to depression or/and many serious physical illnesses, like adrenal glands fatigue, weakness of immune system, heart diseases, Thyroid problems and many more. And together with that anxiety can prevent person for years to take some important decisions in Their life or making wrong decisions leaded by fear. Which is make anxiety only grow until person ends up In The deep hole called depression.
The problem in our world is the way doctors dealing with anxieties and depression. The most common help a patient with this disorders gets are antidepressants!
It’s could be mild post natal depression and woman still would be suggested to take an antidepressants. And that’s without explanation to them what antidepressants can lead to. From physical side effects like insomnia, loss of sexual desire, weight gain etc. And some of the antidepressants lead to…drums…anxiety!!! That’s what person trying to get from.
Of course there some heavy cases where drugs are important point of start. Or at least it can go all together with yoga practice and important to have relatives or a community for support or psychologist.
However yoga does very well describing how does brain and body and even unseen matters work. And it’s would compliment anxiety and depression recovery.
Yoga gives a steady grounding point for the person with the deep fears.
8 limbs of yoga gives to a person an excellent learning of discipline and consistency. Which by following it with a good light heart can give to the person with anxiety a steady ground and reassurance that by following it he will gain confidence, his breathing will get stronger with performing pranayama, his mind get clearer and get back control by sticking to the meditation, his body function get alignment by doing asanas daily.
The hole body system transforms in a time, freeing person from anxiety and depression. Freeing his mind and body by learning of daily awareness, physical activity and cleanliness.
Yoga teaching humans of freedom and taking a control of their life.
Get free and Namaste.