It’s that time in the semester where midterms and exams are starting to take place. Along with that may come stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues on the rise. Students may look for ways to calm their nerves and have their mind at peace during a heavy workload. An article from Syracuse.com shares how in the midst of mental awareness week at Syracuse University, students are embarking on yoga to help them meditate and find peace within themselves. This yoga event was a way for students to come together and escape from their chaotic schedule of school, work, etc.
While being in college, yoga is a great way to not only exercise but also to free your mind, de-stress, and stay grounded during tough times. Students can set aside anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to an hour of their day to practice yoga at their own convenience (in their dorm rooms or any quiet open space).
As I’ve listed how reading can help improve your mental health, so can yoga. Not only are you able to get a workout in, but you’re also finding ways to alleviate your mind from any negative thoughts or problems you may be dwelling on in the time being. Yoga Journal and Power Yoga looks at the impact that yoga has on mental health. It can help ease symptoms of mental health conditions, while providing benefits to our overall well-being. It provides a deeper connection between the mind to body through the different yoga techniques. Some ways that yoga has been shown to improve and benefit mental health are by:
1. Reducing depression and anxiety: Through yoga, self-awareness is developed where we are able to focus on the emotions and moods that we are feeling such as negativity, dwelling, etc. One that is experiencing anxiety may have tightness in their chest and sweaty palms, all which can be reduced during yoga by focusing on our breathing. Yoga works to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure while increasing brain activity.
2. Building self-awareness: As mentioned earlier, yoga can help one become more centered and focused on themselves. It allows people to get to learn more about themselves, in and out while appreciating the qualities that they have to offer. By practicing this, you are able to build upon your confidence, which can build self-trust.
3. Improving romantic relationships: When you’re more comfortable and centered with yourself, your energy will be transferred to others around you – this creating a positive affect. By practicing peace and being centered through yoga, you learn to be compassionate with your partner. Your mood and outlook will reflect onto them.
4. Reducing stress: Our stress is “tamed” and calmed down through using different yoga techniques, which helps out with our nervous system. The reduction of stress is set in place, as our cortisol (stress hormone) levels are decreased.
5. Conquering trauma: Through traumatic experiences, our mind can lead to fear, which can ultimately lead to a complete shutdown. Yoga instills individuals who have experienced trauma to relearn how to manage thoughts of fear through the mind and body to a more healthier mindset.
Yoga With Adriene on YouTube demonstrates a 15 minute practice of “Yoga For Depression” on how to manage, balance, and ease the body through different yoga techniques. Check it out here below!