Yoga has helped people with the art of interconnecting the body, mind, and spirit to promote wellness. It began during the ancient times, over thousands of years ago, in India. It is the exercise of encouraging oneness with nature or the environment.
Nowadays, it is a well-known physical fitness workout used by people who observe a healthy lifestyle. Today, it is more than just an exercise. It complements treatment for mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, schizophrenia, and many others. Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC used to say, “Physical wellness is affected by physical activity, healthy nutrition, and adequate sleep.”
Even professional health care providers agree and use it as part of their patients’ treatment plan. They believe that the wellness of an individual is composed of the body and mind. Doctors prescribe yoga as an additional therapy to boost the effects of medications for severe mental health problems and prescribe it alone for minor conditions.
Many people also take advantage of the relaxation benefit of yoga. The chanting of “om” and meditation creates a physical, mental, and spiritual calmness. It gives the sense of connection to our body and mind. It helps us know and develop our physical abilities and allows us to ponder and reflect mentally and spiritually. “Many practitioners and teachers of yoga claim it offers benefits for one’s mental health. It seems like an obvious conclusion, given that most yoga focuses on exploring one’s inner world of consciousness.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. said.
Studies Show That Yoga Is Complementary To Medical Treatments For Several Mental Health Conditions Including:
Yoga can aid in the treatment of depression by promoting relaxation and reducing stress level. There are also studies that link depression to serotonin level in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain which affects mood and social behavior as well as appetite, digestion, sleep, and sexual functions. These activities contribute to a healthy routine. It is responsible for our happiness, and the deficiency of serotonin contributes to depression.
When a person sleeps well, he will be able to maintain a good mood the next day. Studies show that sleep deprivation can cause irritability which then leads to a negative outlook. Mood swings are also present in reduced appetite, digestion, and sexual functions.
Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that usually occurs at the early age of 16 up to 30 years old. It is a long-term condition that develops slowly that’s why people who have this condition can hardly tell and often take a while to seek help. It is a mental health condition that also affects the mood, emotions, and behavior. The patient is usually delusional and loses touch with reality and tends to live in fantasy.
Through yoga, an individual gets a better understanding of oneself and the reality surrounding him. It develops a self-awareness that it makes a person familiar and in control of oneself. Eventually, hallucinations and delusions decrease because of the enhanced ability to interact with self and surroundings.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental problem caused by traumatic events like the death of a loved one, accident, or a near-death experience. Symptoms can be severe anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and erratic behavior.
Yoga helps a person perform meditation which promotes peace and calm. It creates a moment of relaxation which helps with the anxiety.
Eating disorders are also mental health issues which can be caused by stress and depression, and they should be treated just like other psychological problems. If left untreated, these can develop into severe medical conditions due to malnutrition.
Yoga can connect the mind and body, and since it builds up abetter relationship between the two, it creates a better understanding of what the body needs. You will have the urge to be healthy and eat according to your nutritional needs.
Benefits Of Yoga To Mental Health
- Boosts serotonin production and release in the brain, therefore, making us feel happy and optimistic
- Helps diffuse stress as it promotes relaxation and calmness
- Relieves anxiety and depression by giving the body and mind the sense of peace
- Improves concentration through exercising the senses
- Develops self-esteem as it makes a person feel good about himself after being able to do several positions in yoga
- Enhances memory because it makes one aware of his senses, surroundings, and experiences throughout the workout and eventually practicing the mind to do this with daily actions
“Deep breathing encourages our body’s relaxation response. Other calming and stress-reducing activities include progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, Tai chi and yoga,” says Marla W. Deibler, PsyD. Yoga is an efficient wellness workout not just for the body but the mind and spirit. It allows one to be more familiar and connected with his body which creates a better grasp and understanding of his individuality. It develops self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-love.
Nowadays, yoga is practiced everywhere on the planet. Its benefits are known and used to treat not just mental health problems but other severe medical conditions as well. It helps with asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, migraines, liver problems, and many more. It does not do any harm, and people who practice it say that their day is incomplete without being able to do a yoga routine, so there’s just one disadvantage of yoga: It is addictive!