Yoga and Anxiety

People use yoga to help with their anxiety. It is useful, particularly in people living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Anxiety is the response of the body to stress and is part of the natural fight, flight, or freeze reflex.

When we worry too much about everything, it’s like intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Rapid breathing, fast heart rate may occur. Anxiety might resemble a feeling of distress, unease, or dread. Its purpose is to keep a person alert or during times of threat.

Anxiety can get in the way of everyday life. People who live with health conditions that can cause excessive anxiety, such as OCD or GAD. Doctors believe that exercise, including yoga, can help people to manage or reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Why yoga is beneficial for anxiety?

Yoga is a form of exercise that consists of stretching, breathing, relaxation, and meditation.

It is good for almost everyone. The advocacy group also said it could have a positive effect on people with mental health conditions, like:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Schizophenia
  • ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Researchers have carried out some studies on the benefits of yoga for anxiety. Evidence base is small but promising.

Experts believe yoga reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body which helps with anxiety. The body releases stress hormones as part of the fight, flight, or freeze response. This response can lead to anxiety disorder.

People with anxiety often experience fast heartbeat and rapid breathing which can be reduced by slowing and concentrating on the breath. The meditation part of yoga can also help people to clear their minds, make them aware of themselves and promotes calming effect.

All types of exercise trigger the body to release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters, a type of hormone that is mood-boosting and reduces stress.

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