how yoga can defeat depression

5 Incredible Ways How Yoga Can Defeat Depression

Life isn’t a bed of roses. We all go through our share of ups and downs and there may be times when the downs far outweigh the ups. Just when you begin to think you’ve finally hit a smooth lane, reality may come and hit you hard! While some may take things in their stride and bounce back, some may go into a shell and befriend their worst enemy called self pity! Depression is a common emotional condition that can have varying stages and degrees. Today, drugstores are flooded with antidepressants and there’s always a long wait at the shrink’s office. Why is that we sideline the best form of self healing called yoga? Here’s how this age-old spiritual disciple can help you overcome depression just the way it helped me:

5 Incredible Ways How Yoga Can Defeat Depression

  1. It Is A Mood Uplifter – Think you’ve got the perfect medicine to beat the blues? Nope, don’t rely on Zoloft or Lexapro. Embrace the power of yoga! Depression causes a drop in the levels of GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid chemical in the brain. This is the chemical responsible for regulating nerve activity, hence impacting an individual’s mood. Several studies have found that practicing yoga can help stimulate the production of GABA in the hypothalamus, thereby improving your mood. It also increases the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormone, into your bloodstream. No guesses why yogis are always smiling!
  2. It Boosts Psychological Well Being – Depression is one of the key causes of disruption in the mental peace and wellbeing of individuals. Good mental wellbeing is a result of a number of factors both internal (self motivation and drive) and external (material pleasures). Yogic relaxation therapy (Yoga Nidra) is a highly effective discipline that helps cure symptoms of depression and other psychosomatic ailments by improving mental harmony and inducing composure.
  3. It Helps Overcome Stress – Stress, though not a condition exclusive to depression is most often seen in people undergoing emotional agony. When you are experiencing anxiety, your body releases the stress hormone called cortisol which is responsible for causing palpitations, uneasiness, high blood sugar and weakened immune system. Getting your body back to its rested state may not seem under your control as the shift from the uneasy state to the rested state happens automatically. What do you do then? You certainly don’t have to stress out again, as yoga has the answers! Practicing certain yoga breathing techniques like Pranayam help the body make a shift to the rested state and induce calmness.
  4. It Reduces The Impact Of Personal Loss Or Tragedy – An individual who has suffered a traumatizing experience in his life, such as abuse or the loss of a family member in an accident, may develop a condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This condition is often associated with insomnia, nightmares and flashbacks. According to an article by American Psychological Association, Hatha yoga has been found to counteract PTSD symptoms. Yoga is becoming one of the most widely used trauma treatments around the world.
  5. It Reduces Social Anxiety – A very common symptom of depression is social withdrawal. People affected with this condition often avoid social contact and networking, which only worsens their emotional state and wellbeing. Studies have found that practicing yoga can help foster interpersonal relationships. Do yourself a favor and enroll in a yoga class today! Not only will it give you peace of mind, but it will also drastically change your approach towards the world around you. You’ll soon find yourself willingly connecting with people in your class and their remarkable transformational stories are sure to inspire you. Who knows? Someday, you’ll be sharing your story with everyone, too!

Are you a regular yoga practitioner? What are the positive changes that it has brought to your life? Share your inspirational journey with us in the comments section below.

Photo credits: RelaxingMusic

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