Changing Your Bad Mood to Good With Yoga

A woman practicing the face-down pose

Banish Bad Moods with Yoga

Bad moods limit your potential. When you're feeling angry, discouraged, depressed, or frustrated, you're less likely to put in extra effort to succeed at work, make new friends, or strengthen your current relationships. Fortunately, it's easier to avoid bad moods when you make yoga part of your life.

Stressed Out? Yoga Can Help

You're much more likely to feel irritable when you're stressed. Stress increases muscle tension, raises your heart rate, causes rapid breathing, headaches, and triggers the release of cortisone, a natural chemical known as the stress hormone.

Yoga naturally combats these changes and reduces the effects of stress on your body. Performing yoga poses and practicing yogic breathing and meditation reduces cortisol levels, relaxes tight muscles, and decreases your blood pressure heart and breathing rate.

Yoga Relieves Depression

Yoga increases your level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and can decrease depression, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine. The acid acts as a neurotransmitter and helps cells in the brain communicate. GABA helps you stay calm, improves your mood, and lowers stress, anxiety, and depression.

During the study, 30 clinically depressed patients performed yoga for three months. At the conclusion of the study, participants reported an improvement in their depression symptoms. The researchers noted that GABA levels remained high as long as four days after the last yoga session.

In another GABA study, people who practiced yoga had more impressive improvements in mood and anxiety than people who walked for 60 minutes three times a week. The study appeared in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2010.

Practicing Yoga Triggers Your Body to Produce Feel-Good Hormones

Yoga increases the production of serotonin, a hormone that regulates moods. Your bad mood may be related to low levels of the hormone. When serotonin is perfectly balanced, you'll feel happier and calmer and notice that your sleep and memory improves.

As you move from pose to pose during a yoga class or home session, your body also releases endorphins. The natural chemical relieves pain and stress and boosts your mood.

Yoga Aids in Self-Improvement

When your life is busy with work and family obligations, it's easy to put yourself last. Yoga not only improves your flexibility but also enhances your sense of self. The mind-body practice may help you improve your coping skills, increase self-awareness, and enhance your ability to view challenging situations from a neutral perspective.

Yoga Classes Offer Camaraderie

Taking a yoga class creates a strong bond between you and your classmates. You'll share challenges and successes together and encourage each other to master more difficult poses and clear your minds while you meditate.

As your confidence level rises, you may find that you draw strength from within that enables you to face challenges without becoming overly stressed or anxious.

Would you like to improve your mental and physical health with yoga? We offer a variety of classes targeted to all levels of yoga experience. Contact us for information on classes and our schedule.

Sources:

Hormone Health Network: What is Serotonin?

Harvard Health Publishing: Yoga for Anxiety and Depression, 5/9/18

Boston University: Researchers Identify Link between Decreased Depressive Symptoms, Yoga and the Neurotransmitter GABA, 2/3/20

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Effects of Yoga Versus Walking on Mood, Anxiety, and Brain GABA Levels: A Randomized Controlled MRS Study, 2010

Yoga Journal: 5 Ways Yoga Benefits Your Mental Health

American Psychological Association: Yoga as a Practice Tool, 11/09