Many of us have heard about depression and anxiety here and there. We know it affects several people adversely and it is becoming very common these days. In every two months, we find a celebrity claiming that he or she suffered depression in the past. But how many of us actually know What depression and anxiety are? and How beneficial is yoga for depression and anxiety?
How many of us know what causes them and why these are widespread across the countries. The most important; how yoga can help in depression and anxiety.
Do you have any idea? No? Come on then, let us find out.
Let us first talk about anxiety. The word Anxiety is associated with mental health problems which make people think of it as some dodgy disorder. This is not the case. If you will search the Oxford definition of anxiety, it will show you this definition:
A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
Now according to this definition, almost all of us must have felt the feeling of anxiety at some point in our life.
For example, you have this feeling of uneasiness and nervousness when you have your first big job interview, or you are getting married, or you are giving a very important exam. Thus we can easily conclude that having anxiety is normal.
What makes anxiety a disorder?
All the feelings mentioned above including anxiousness, agony, and restlessness stay and do not fade away with time then it becomes an anxiety disorder.
Once again, taking the reference of the definition of anxiety under the psychiatry section of oxford dictionary, it says A nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.
One can notice that all the emotions of anxiety disorder are the same but in excess. Anxiety becomes chronic anxiety.
Symptoms of Anxiety
- Anxiety makes a person vulnerable and doubtful of his own actions.
- Always appear worried and confused.
- Gets tired easily
- Feel incapable of concentrating on anything
- Start losing sleep
Effects of Anxiety Disorder
Some of the common and regular effects of anxiety are:
- Frequent headaches, shaking and sweating
- Increase in blood pressure
- Pain in body
- The feeling of helplessness and self-doubt
- Feeling acute tiredness
- Life ending thoughts
Depression is among the top illness which is thinning out at an increasing rate every year. If you will look for the Oxford definition of depression, it will show you this definition: feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
These feeling, of course not new to any of us but similar to anxiety, their chronic stay makes them severe.
To understand in more, let us analyze the symptoms and effects of anxiety and depression.
Symptoms of depression
- Shows disinterest in any kind of interaction
- He\she does not find life amusing and fun
- Always upset about their future and unable to take decisions
- Frequent negative thoughts
- Changes in eating patterns
These are not limited and only symptoms of anxiety and depression. Every patient of anxiety and depression may perhaps show varied kind of symptoms but these are the common ones.
Effects of Depression
Some of the general and usual effects of anxiety are:
- Always feeling restless and stressed
- Always having an empty feeling from inside
- Weight fluctuations
- The feeling of being unwanted
- Unable to take decisions
Anxiety disorder and depression affect one’s life very severely. It makes day to day life a misery to live and slowly but surely it starts deteriorating it.
Yoga For Depression And Anxiety
As we analyzed depression and anxiety in the above sections, they are like any other illnesses that need proper care and attention. I am not claiming yoga alone can treat all the anxiety and depression patients in the world but it surely can them help in plenty of ways.
It is one of the engaging alternatives to fight depression and anxiety. As yoga takes care of the body as well as the mind, it makes it a potential aid in treating mental health. Yoga is also beneficial in other health issues mentioned in my article Health Benefits of Yoga.
If you are someone who practices yoga regularly or at least read about it, you will know that yoga immensely helps to restore and strike a balance among body, mind, and soul. It also provides relief in stress and tension.
How does Yoga Helps Cure Depression and Anxiety?
Some of the points that will illustrate how yoga can help to improve the condition of people suffering from anxiety and depression:
- Regular practice of asanas decreases stress-causing hormones that assist to counterbalance anxiety or depression.
- Yoga excessively enhances GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) which is a chemical in our body found in the central nervous system. It functions to stimulate relaxing and soothing upshot in the brain to give relaxation and free all emotions.
- Yoga helps the body in the relaxation response.
- It helps the mind to think and function effectively.
- Meditation and relaxation assist patients to concentrate on their work and life.
- It gives them a chance to improve their lifestyle.
- Breathing based yoga too helps in relieving stress and anxiety.
Never ever neglect the symptoms of depression or Anxiety. It is not a mere feeling or emotion; treat it like any other illness. It needs proper care and treatment like any of your disease will be needed, give it that.
Also, recovering from depression and anxiety is not a short journey. It might take weeks, months or years too, depending on each individual. It is a slow and steady course.
"Getting better from depression demands a lifelong commitment. I've made that commitment for my life's sake and for the sake of those who love me." — Susan Polis Schutz
Therefore, do not lose patience during this course. Talk to your family, friends and loved ones and be interactive.
"The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being." — Tenzin Gyatso
Include yoga in your day to day life to cope up better, but do everything under the guidance of a professional like a doctor or health instructor.
And always remember, “Once you choose hope, anything is possible." — Christopher Reeve