According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people around the world have depression. 16.2 million adults in the United States (that equals 6.7 %!) have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. Nearly 50 % of all people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
And, if you think, “that’s not me, ” it is also estimated that 15 % of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.
Short on time? Scroll below and get your poses, my friend!
Depression and anxiety are on a rise. Looking around you, you may notice more and more people you know on mood specific medications, working through addictions, or simply having a challenging time at life.
It is also true that not all levels of challenges may show up in this way. It is no coincidence that self-help books, natural mood stabilization supplements (i.e. CBD oil), and even stress balls are more prevalent than not.
Depression and anxiety can be totally and completely debilitating — even costing lives in the more extreme cases. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
There is much that is connected to why these mood imbalances affect people in varying degrees. From how you perceive a situation to your unique chemical breakdown in the brain to what foods we choose to feed our bodies — it is much more complicated than it appears. One piece of the puzzle has been shown to be so deeply connected that it is often a go-to prescription for any one who struggles with their moods — Exercise.
Depression and anxiety is a result of long-term stress and mental fatigue. Anyone who has suffered from these knows how stressing and taxing it can be on the body. Specific exercise styles are perfect activities for depression and anxiety. Running, for example, has been linked to being just as effective as psychotherapy in treatment. But, not everyone likes to run or should be running!
If part of your main struggles revolve around too much stress and/or adrenal fatigue, practicing a stretching or yoga program may be the perfect combination. People with these mood imbalances see no end to apprehensions, nervousness, fears, worries. Yoga helps by calming the nervous system, decreasing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, slowing the breath and relaxing the muscles. Gentle body movement, specifically yoga, can boost the brain’s dopamine level and provides endorphins (dopamine is the precursor of serotonin). Yoga redistributes the blood flow, oxygenates the entire body and improves the function of circulatory system.
Even though this light activity can give well-needed relief, choosing specific poses or stretching positions can enhance the effects. As anything that is complex, exercise is one part of the puzzle, but it is a piece that you can start working on in this very moment.
Yoga Routine To Decrease Stress
Click on each title below to discover how to perform each exercise.
This is a good warm-up exercise because it revitalizes your system and lifts your spirit. It also creates a sense of empowerment and stability (two areas that significantly decrease with depression and anxiety).
Reverse Warrior pose helps relieve lower back pain and creates an alignment throughout the body. It stimulates blood flow to all parts of the body. Since it calms your soul, it also helps to alter your mood. Reverse Warrior helps to improves self-esteem and perseverance.
3. Downward Dog
Downward dog enables fresh blood to flow into your body. It strengthens your abdominal muscles and improves your digestion. A calm belly is a happy belly. It also stretches the neck and cervical spine, releasing the stress in them, thereby reducing anxiety and calming your entire being.
Cobra pose stretches out the abdominal area/core and awakens the fire within your soul allowing you to concentrate and focus better. It increases energy and decreases anxiety as it strengthens the back.
Shoulder stand is an inversion pose and that allows for blood to flow into the brain, bringing you a feeling of vitality. It also helps to relieve irritability by quieting and nourishing the nervous system.
This pose is used to counterbalance the shoulder stand, so follow shoulder stand with fish. Fish pose helps stimulate the pituitary and pineal glands located in the brain — therefore also regulating emotions and provides a sense of well-being.
7. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose helps calm your brain. It gently stretches your lower back and hips, enabling your body to relax even more. Peace and calm take over your entire being, helping you deal with your stress better.
Learning new ways to exercise and to open up your energy, to strengthen the right muscles, and allow your body to connect into mind may be exactly what you need to help ease some of the stress that comes with depression and anxiety. Each day is a choice and a choice to do something that will heal your mind and body. This may be exactly what the doctor ordered!
Did you know that stress ages you? Here is my morning routine to slow the aging process (and make you happier and more energetic!). Click the link below!
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