Stress has become part and parcel of our lives. It is difficult to find someone who is not suffering from stress; some are bothered due to personal reasons while others are bothered due to professional reasons. No one ever promised that life was going to be easy, but the problem is people are not able to manage the stress.
Some say stress can motivate you to perform better and reach your goals but not knowing how to handle the stress can make stress a chronic disease with serious impact on health. Here’s a look at some of the reasons that cause stress:
– Being dissatisfied with your job
– Not happy in a relationship
– Long working hours
– Sharing load of too many responsibilities
– Risk of losing a job
– Suffering from a disease
– Being harassed by someone
– Being bullied by a boss
– Being bullied by classmates or seniors
– Performance pressure
– Failing an examination
– Not being able to meet other’s expectations
– Death of a loved one
– Financial crisis or responsibilities
– Sudden loss of money
– Accident/ theft
– Going through divorce
– Moving to a new place/ office/ college
– Emotional issues such as grief, guilt, anxiety, depression
What are the symptoms of stress?
The emotional symptoms of stress are as follows:
– Constantly avoiding others
– Becoming easily angry, frustrated or mood swings
– Feeling there is no control over your life
– Facing difficulty in calming your mind
– Feeling of low self-esteem, worthless, depressed, and lonely.
The physical symptoms of stress are as follows:
– Feeling fatigued and less energetic
– Tensed muscles and feeling pain or aches in the body
– Suffering from headaches frequently
– Difficulty in getting sound sleep or insomnia
– Frequent episodes of a cough and cold
– Feeling nervous with sweaty feet and hand
– Difficulty in swallowing
– Stomach upset
– Rapid heartbeat
The Cognitive symptoms of stress are as follows:
– Poor judgment
– Difficulty in focusing
– Negative thoughts
– Constantly worried
– Forgetting things
The behavioural symptoms of stress are as follows:
– Change in eating habits with either too much eating or eating too less
– Avoiding responsibilities
– Nervous behaviour such as nail biting or fidgeting
– Increased consumption of alcohol or cigarettes
What long-term stress does to your health?
– Long-term stress can lead to health disorders such as obesity or eating orders.
– It can also affect your skin and hair and lead to acne, eczema or severe hair fall.
– Stress can lead to an irregular menstrual cycle in women.
– It can lead to depression and anxiety.
– Stress can lead to cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
– Stress can also affect your blood sugar level negatively.
– Stress can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as GERD, irritable colon, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis.
How Yoga Helps?
While you can’t avoid stress from life, you can certainly learn to manage it. Yoga which is being increasingly accepted by people as a part of lifestyle has been found to be effective in combating and reducing stress. Yoga is a mind-body practice which combines breathing, physical poses, and meditation. It helps in lowering blood pressure and your heartbeat, which reduces stress. Yoga is not confined to the certain type of people, and it can be performed by anyone at any age.
Yoga is a comprehensive practice which has integrative health approach. It helps in achieving a peaceful body and mind which relaxes us and reduces anxiety and stress. Yoga consists of several styles, intensities, and forms. Hatha yoga is considered beneficial in managing stress. In fact, Hatha yoga is one of the common forms of yoga and perfect for beginners due to a slower pace and easy movements.
Yoga combines various methods for reducing stress such as breathing exercises, meditation, and stretching which helps in getting rid of stress. Even for people with physical limitations, breathing exercises and meditation can help in managing stress. For getting started, yoga classes can be a good medium, but if you are a yoga practitioner with a fair knowledge of yoga, here’s a look at the yoga poses which you can perform daily at home for keeping stress at bay:
- Easy Pose- Sukhasana
You can begin your yoga practice with a forward bend which increases the exhale and relaxes your body.
- Standing forward bend
Forward bend increases exhalation which relieves stress and turns us inward. When the arms are behind the back, the tension from shoulder reduces.
- Wide-legged standing forward bend
The yoga pose offers the benefit of a forward bend while your head touching the prop which helps in releasing pressure from the head.
- Rabbit Pose
This is one of the best poses to practice when stressed. It also helps when you feel exhausted and are in a panic mode. The pose is so relaxing that the body feels as if it wanted to go in this pose. You exhale and are curled up in a ball which is quite comforting. The pose also offers a shoulder release when your hands interlace behind the back.
- Thunderbolt pose with Eagle arms
This is an easy way to sit along with releasing the shoulder with help of eagle arms. The pose also helps in creating a broad back which is the complete opposite of what happens during the stress. When we are stressed, we push and squeeze our back.
- Side stretch
The side stretch will help in releasing your neck, head, and shoulder.
The plow pose is another effective pose that helps in getting rid of the stress. It releases neck, shoulders, head, and hamstrings. It also increases the exhale.
- Corpse pose
The corpse pose is a slight variation of the savasana which makes use of the blocks on head. One block to steady and the other that rests on your forehead for calming the mind.
Role of Meditation
Apart from these yoga poses, it is also helpful in spending sometime in meditation. Meditating relaxes your mind and also increases your concentration. While meditating, you focus on the present, which means there are no stress of the past and worry of the future. Regular practice of yoga helps in getting hold of your thoughts and prevents them from going in a negative direction.
You can control your mind not to pay attention to negative thoughts and think only positive thoughts. Being positive and calm helps in feeling relaxed. When you are peaceful and relaxed, you learn to tackle the stressful situations and people without getting affected by it. Yoga is the right solution for your stress.
If you are a beginner and wish to ace the practice of yoga under an instructor, you can choose a yoga class for learning yoga for stress management. In India, there are many yoga institutes who provides yoga teacher training india courses.
Here’s a look at some points to keep in mind while choosing a yoga class for you:
– Look for the qualifications of your yoga instructor
– Try to find out if the yoga instructor has required experience in training students.
– It is also important to consider if the class is demanding or suitable for the beginners.
– You must find out if the class will help in fulfilling your aims such as stress management and relaxation.
Keeping these points in mind will help you in finding the right yoga classes. You can also hire a personal yoga tutor who can come to your place and teach you yoga. The benefit being you can discuss your aim with them,and they can help you in managing stress with the help of yoga.
Yoga is an effective way of reducing the stress that too naturally without any medicines. Make yoga a quintessential part of your life and get rid of stress for life.
Devakar Sandhu is a renowned yoga practitioner with more than 10 years of experience in yoga teaching. He holds a certification in 200-hour and 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh Course.
He guides and suggests ways for lifestyle modification through yoga.