As COVID-19 continues its rampage across Europe and the rest of the world, many of us are experiencing heightened stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Apart from the unpleasantness of these emotions and experiences, stress can compromise your immune system in a number of ways. It’s imperative, therefore, that we find ways to reduce stress while staying calm.
Fortunately, yoga happens to be an effective way of getting your stress under control without forcing you to leave the safety of your home or quarantine zone. All you need is a little dedication, discipline, and a bit of space. That’s all.
Here’s a look at why yoga is an excellent way to reduce stress at this point in time and whenever you feel overwhelmed.
Yoga helps you feel calm, more accepting and less resistant
In large part due to its inherent deep breathing techniques and greater mindfulness, yoga is known to help you feel calmer and more accepting of the things that happen around you.
In this way, it reduces your resistance to what happens around you. What this means is that yoga helps reduce stress by preventing you from trying to escape or avoid unpleasant circumstances, emotions or experiences. This brings about greater acceptance and calmness.
It releases endorphins in the body
Endorphins are known as the body’s ‘feel-good hormones’, which means that when they are released, you are flooded with positive feelings and sensations.
Various forms of exercise, including yoga, are known to trigger endorphin production. In addition to ‘runner’s high’, there’s also what’s known as the ‘yoga high’, for those who practise this ancient art. Yoga also has the added benefit of reducing cortisol, the stress hormone.
Give your body a good stretch
If you’re unable to keep up with your exercise or jogs, yoga is a great form of exercise during this period of self-isolation.
It gets your blood pumping and gives you that boost you need to keep your immune system as healthy as possible and prevent you from feeling restless or frustrated. It’s also common for your body to absorb the stress and tension you feel in your mind and as such, one great way to reduce stress in your body is to release it through purposeful yet languid stretches, while practising deep breathing.
In addition to giving your body a good stretch, yoga can also connect your body with your mind and help you feel like one, synchronised, and healthy self.
Finesse deep breathing techniques
Deep breathing is hailed in the medical field for its twin benefits for the body and mind. Given its central role in yoga, this form of exercise can really help you dive into this practice and train yourself to take deep breaths, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing.
In addition to helping you stay calm, deep breathing can reduce stress, boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, increase energy, and may even relieve pain.
Deep breathing may also help you identify if you have any breathing difficulties, which could be indicative of certain symptoms of COVID-19.
Yoga increases your tolerance to pain and unpleasantness
Apart from reducing the tenor of mental pain and stress, yoga can also reduce stress brought on by physical pain and discomfort. According to certain studies, it has been found that experienced yoga practitioners have a higher level of pain tolerance and low pain-related activity in the brain, compared to people who don’t practice yoga.
If you’re someone who’s easily affected by pain and discomfort, yoga can help you increase your tolerance and reduce the stress on your body, especially during times like this.
Practice yoga to reduce stress and enjoy a number of other benefits for your mind and body
With the benefits of yoga having been firmly established and verified by scientific study, begin leveraging these techniques to reduce stress and stay calm amidst the uncertainty we’re facing.