If you’re like the quarter of America’s population who report suffering from chronic stress or anxiety, it can be difficult to find time dedicated solely to your physical and mental well-being – let alone finding the energy to endure a challenging core strengthening exercise.
All sorts of external pressures keep us from achieving our fitness goals year-in and out. And while mentally scheduling time to dedicate to a regular workout routine may seem easy, actually showing up and keeping up week-after-week is another challenge entirely.
This feat may seem overwhelming, or nearly impossible in the long-term. Especially after coming out of the jagged holiday season with mix-matched schedules that oftentimes come with added responsibility and expectations from friends and family members.
But, what if there was a way to incorporate a sure-fire way to ensure that your days and weeks are filled with the energy and mental focus to tackle your goals?
According to this study published in Time, research from Duke University Medical Center found that “yoga does, in fact, have positive effects on mild depression and sleep problems.”
Cortisol is better known as the “stress hormone,” that impacts everything from your in-the-moment stressors, sleep cycles and even your metabolism. Taking a few moments out of your day to slow down, breathe deeply and let your mind and body recharge will set you up for a day of perseverance and clarity.
Not to mention, it will hinder your temptation to reach for an extra sugar rush or caffeine jolt, which can leave you feeling even more fatigued when their stimulating effects wear off and keep you wanting more.
Further, the practice of yoga has been linked to mental stability and focus. According to this study published in Time, research from Duke University Medical Center found that “yoga does in fact have positive effects on on mild depression and sleep problems.”
So, aside from countless mental and physical health benefits your yoga class already paves a way for in your body, mind and spirit, it may also help you out-perform in other areas of your life.
Striking a pose goes way beyond the body. Here’s how yoga can help combat anxiety and depression:
Life is full of dynamic pressures.
Work, social expectations, daily commutes and finances – even fun activities, like hobbies and volunteer work – play large roles in how we allocate our time resources and mental energy.
Prioritizing room in your busy schedule for physical activity, ensuring a healthy diet and adequate sleep is difficult enough – but factoring in checks for your mental health?
Really, who has the time?
With the added pressures and demands of upcoming holidays with their mismatched routines and hectic traveling schedules, taking a break may seem like not only an unattainable goal, but some sort of cruel joke.
How is Stress Hurting Our Bodies?
The effect of mental strain on the human body is real, and according to The American Psychological Association, chronic. Stress in the United States is on the rise – with nearly four in 10 people reporting that they feel the strain every day.
Repercussions of this stress can manifest in several ways. The first and most seemingly innocuous symptoms come in the form of headaches, muscle tension and disrupted sleep.
But if left unchecked, these symptoms can bubble to the surface of your life in behavioral issues such as overeating, substance abuse, and “angry outbursts.” And the setbacks your personal health goals bear much more weight as a result.
How Can Yoga Help?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “a number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.” The practice’s focus on breathing and meditation not only relaxes the body, but also the spirit and overall sense of wellness.
And those battling depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can benefit from the “tamed stress response” that comes with doing yoga regularly according to a recent study from Harvard Medical School.
This can help regulate stress, making it easier for yogis and beginners alike to combat its tell-tale tension symptoms before they even begin.
Earn Focus. Save Time.
All-in-all, adding yoga to your workout routine is scientifically proven to help alleviate stress and help you focus on what truly matters in your life. Grab control of your stress and take back your time and energy. Take a break, and thank us later.