How to Release and Let Go of Stress and Negative Thoughts with Yoga
Do you struggle to control negative thoughts and emotions? Practicing yoga can help you clear your mind of toxic thoughts, relieve stress, and empower you to be your best self. These five actions can help you clear your mind and focus on the positive.
Take a Deep Breath
Deep breathing, also called yogic breathing, helps you calm and center yourself when you're feeling anxious or stressed. Other benefits of deep breathing include:
- Increased Energy Level
- Lower Heart Rate
- Decreased Likelihood of Depression
- Better Sleep
- Improved Stamina
- Fewer Headaches and Gastrointestinal Problems
When you perform yoga poses, you'll align your breathing with the movements of your body. Deep breathing helps you move easily from position to position, facilitates the flow of energy, and relaxes your muscles.
Clear Your Mind
It's only natural to doubt your abilities occasionally or worry that you may have said the wrong thing during a conversation. Negative thoughts aren't inherently bad. In fact, some help you avoid dangerous situations or recognize problems.
Unfortunately, negative thoughts tend to increase stress and self-doubt, particularly if you can't stop replaying arguments in your head, second-guessing decisions, or reliving upsetting situations. When you're more focused on the negative than the positive, you may experience stress, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and other physical conditions.
Meditation, one of the key aspects of your yoga practice, helps you neutralize negative thoughts and works as a reset button for your brain. Many people find it helpful to repeat a mantra or focus on a peaceful image while meditating. If positive or negative thoughts cross your mind while you meditate, observe them without giving them any emotional weight. Acknowledge the thoughts, then let them drift out of your mind again. Meditation encourages you to focus on the present and discard thoughts of the past or future.
Focus on Sensations
It's difficult to think about your problems when you're concentrating on your breathing or the way your body moves as you transition from pose to pose. As you perform yoga, focus on the way the air feels passing over your body, the flow of air through your lungs, or how strong and powerful your muscles feel. When you're in touch with your body, you're more likely to feel calm, centered, and in complete control of your emotions.
Congratulate Yourself on Your Achievements
During yoga classes, you're always learning and growing, whether you've just started taking classes or yoga has been part of your life for years. Yoga offers plenty of opportunities to succeed and excel. In fact, celebrating big and small yoga achievements can bolster your self-esteem and help you feel more confident in other aspects of your life.
Don't Neglect Your Yoga Practice
Practicing yoga every day, or at least several times a week, will help you improve your mood and banish doubts and negativity. Yoga offers so many benefits for your physical and mental health and may even help reduce anxiety. Researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine discovered that adding yoga to the treatment regimen for generalized anxiety disorder led to a decrease in anxiety for study participants. Anxiety improved by 54 percent in participants who practiced yoga compared to 33 percent for those who only received stress education.
Performing yoga on a regular basis can change your whole outlook on life. In fact, you may notice that you feel more positive about life in general as you grow more confident in your yoga practice.
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