Do you remember those days when you just can’t take it anymore? Your boss has given you an impossible task, your house is a mess, you have tons of work piled up on your desk, and your friend is giving you a hard time about not showing up to something she planned a week ago. You can feel your mind and your body melting under all the thoughts and feelings that are plaguing you. You can’t take it anymore, you just want to escape all this stress.
Stress, scientifically, is a response to threat. It increases adrenaline in our bodies which makes our muscles tense up, increases your heart rate and make your palms sweaty. This is a normal, and even helpful response when we’re faced with real danger (like being held at gun point or are about to be attacked by a wild animal) but isn’t useful and only damaging when we experience it at the levels that we experience it now.
Stress is harmful to the body and the mind. Stress can increase the risk of heart disease, hypertension and cancer. It also causes depression and leads people to alcoholism. Clearly, stress is no friend of ours. But, we don’t really choose to be stressed, so how can we stop it? While there’s no way to really stop stress, there are methods to help us handle stress so that it has less of an effect on us. One of the most popular and beneficial methods is yoga.
So how does yoga help?
The poses and postures in yoga help our bodies loosen and relax. These poses also help increase our energy levels. Paired with proper breathing techniques, the physical aspect of yoga, helps us maintain our bodies by toning our muscles, increasing our flexibility, and relaxing our bodies. When practiced every day, yoga asanas are a great way to destress our bodies.
But, yoga doesn’t solely help our bodies. Yoga also includes breathing techniques and meditation that helps our minds. Stress doesn’t only affect our bodies, but is constantly plaguing our minds as well. It is important for us to handle our thoughts, and understand ourselves better so that we can handle stress better in the future. Meditation helps us become more mindful, self-aware and compassionate towards ourselves. It helps us understand and organize our thoughts so that they’re not as stressful anymore.
Practicing yoga every day helps us deal with our stress better in the future. An understanding of our minds and bodies will definitely help us deal with everything that happens in our lives. Yoga teaches us to relax our minds and bodies, something that we definitely need to do in the face of stress. Not only does it help us deal with a stress, but also improves both our physical and mental health.
So the next time you feel like you just can’t take it anymore, pick up your yoga mat and practice this age old Indian technique of relaxation!