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Yoga: Mental Health and Stress Strategy 3

Mental health and stress can be hard to deal with. This month I focus on yoga as as a strategy to help improve your mental health and decrease stress.

We know that mental health and stress go hand in hand. I’m sure you have experienced a dip in your mental health because stress got in the way, right? One of the biggest helps that I have had is yoga! Seems simple. ๐Ÿ™‚

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What is Yoga?

Yoga is an old discipline from India. It is both spiritual and physical. Yoga uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation. It helps to improve health and happiness.

Simple English Wikipedia

To me that all sounds lovely! Improving your health and happiness? Sign me up! Haha

Why Yoga?

Oh my goodness why not? It is so good for your mind and body. It really is. But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some awesome benefits that I found online. Some I have experienced (read the next section).

  • Improves flexibility, strength, and balance
  • Can help with back pain (and other types of pain)
  • Can help our hearts
  • Relaxes you and can help you sleep better
  • May help with improving your mood and increased energy
  • Helps you manage your stress!!! Did you read that??
  • Can help you improve and increase your self care

Personal Long Term Benefits

There have been a few times where I was doing yoga daily. I really loved it! Some of the awesome results for me personally were/are:

  • Feeling calmer after doing yoga
  • Learning different breathing techniques
  • My body and mind loved how I felt during and after
  • My children would join me at times
  • When starting to get stressed my body would automatically start slowing my breath down
  • Some aches and pains felt better
  • Overall more peace and calm
  • Has helped with some anger issues – helping me to stay more calm in stressful situations

Even though I don’t practice daily at the moment, I still feel great. My body soaks up every second when I do do yoga.

Where Can I Find Good Yoga?

If you have been around here for a bit than you will know that I really love Yoga with Adriene. She’s down to earth, has loads of videos, does a yearly 30 day yoga challenge thing, and it’s FREE!

If she isn’t your style then I suggest searching on YouTube, trying local yoga studios, or doing a search on google. There are so many free videos you could most likely find what you love for free.

What Do I Need to Start?

Comfy clothes is really the only thing you need to start practicing. Some things that can help are mats, straps, blocks, and blankets or pillow. But you can totally get your yoga on without all of those things.

How Does Yoga Help Your Mental Health and Stress?

When you practice yoga you are combing some stress reducing activities such as: breathing, exercising, and relaxing oneself. Our minds, body, and breathing can be affected by stress. Yoga definitely can benefit our minds, bodies, and breathing. You may also get a release of emtional energy which could help reduce stress.

Not only will it help with your stress but also your mental health. Some of these have been mentioned above under the benefits but they are worth mentioning again because they are amazing. These are not all of the benefits and ways to help with mental health, just some of the main ones I felt are important.

Morning Routine

Anger – It has been shown to decrease anger in adults and teens. When I’m angery my mental health goes downhill quickly. I blow up at my kids and then feel guilty. Then I get in this spiral of getting mad, blowing up, feeling guitly, getting sad and depressed.

Anxiety – Have you felt anxious? I’m sure you have at some point in your life. How about daily? What about doing something that may seem simple? How has it affected your daily life or the ability to live your life? There have been many studies that have shown yoga may decrease anxiety. (Here, here, and so many more).

Sleep – This is a hard one for me to see personal benefits because of nuring babies and being pregnant so much in the last 10 years. ๐Ÿ™‚ haha. Now that our last baby is not nursing at night and we usually get few to no interruptions at night I am looking forward to seeing how yoga will help with my sleep. I want to try doing a mini session as part of my might routine. I’ll keep you updated. Again, many studies have shown benefits and sleep improvments.

Mood – It has been shown that yoga has helped with depression. I am living proof that it certainly does. If for no other reason than this you should give yoga a try.

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What Are You Waiting For?

Oh my! I feel like I say that a lot. However, I’m totally serious! Why not give yoga a try? I challenge you to try to add a yoga practice in your week at least 3 times. I am taking this challenge as well. With a new workout routine that I have implemented I have lifting weights 6 days. It hasn’t left much time for yoga.

I need to change that and make time for something that has helped me in so many ways. It’s time to increase my practice and I hope you join me. Comment below if you are with me! Then follow along with me on Instagram as I share with you some of my favorite poses.

Xxx, Steph

Here are some more posts about yoga, mental health, stress and depression that may help you.

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