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Reducing your anxiety through yoga and mindfulness

How can regular mindfulness and yoga practices help you better manage anxiety?


In this blog article, the mental wellbeing benefits of yoga and mindfulness are explored, with a particular focus on how these practices help to relieve and reduce anxiety.


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Yoga & mindfulness in Exeter with BAM Therapy: Wellbeing Yoga Exeter

How anxiety affects the body and mind

Anxiety is a very common experience – lots of us regularly struggle with pangs of anxiety, worry, and panic. Anxiety can cause a variety of body and mind symptoms and experiences, including worry thoughts, ruminating on things that have happened, restlessness, breathlessness, chest pains and palpitations, fatigue, shakiness, butterflies in the tummy, and difficulty concentrating. If these experiences sound familiar to you, then you might like to consider mindfulness practices and yoga to relieve your anxiety and access a calmer, more soothed state.


If you’d like to read more about the experiences of anxiety, you might be interested in my other blog article that reflects on the body and mind processes affected by anxiety.


What is the evidence for yoga and mindfulness for anxiety?

Mindfulness and yoga both work on the processes which are affected by anxiety. Mindfulness practices involve paying attention to the present moment without judgment, and can include formal meditation practices as well as everyday informal techniques and tools. Yoga is a mind-body practice that often combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation.


There is a growing body of research that suggests that mindfulness and yoga can be effective treatments for anxiety. A 2017 study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) was as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for reducing anxiety symptoms. A 2018 study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that yoga was effective for reducing anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).


Wellbeing Yoga Exeter - making changes through psychology & yoga therapy

How yoga and mindfulness helps anxiety

There are a number of ways that mindfulness and yoga can help to reduce anxiety. Mindfulness can help to teach people how to identify and manage their thoughts and emotions. Yoga can help to reduce stress, improve flexibility, and increase strength. Both mindfulness and yoga can help to promote relaxation and well-being.


If you are struggling with anxiety, mindfulness and yoga may be helpful for you. There are many different ways to practice mindfulness and yoga. BAM Therapy offers psychology-enhanced yoga classes, courses, and workshops that integrate mindfulness techniques. The body and mind wellbeing yoga classes are in Exeter, Devon (UK) and online, and there is a strong focus on yoga and mindfulness practices for better mental health and wellness. Check out more information and the class schedule.


Everyday tips on how you can use yoga and mindfulness to lower your anxiety

Here are some tips and ideas for managing anxiety with mindfulness and yoga practices and techniques:

  • Find a quiet place where you can practice mindfulness or yoga without distractions.

  • Start with a short practice and gradually increase the length of time you practice as you become more comfortable.

  • Consider everyday practices integrated into your day if finding a bigger chunk of time is tricky: little and often will add up to positive changes over time.

  • Be patient and don't expect to see results overnight.

  • Make mindfulness and yoga a part of your regular routine.

  • Consider using guided practices such as mindfulness-based grounding techniques for managing anxiety.


 

If you are continuing to struggle with anxiety and its having an adverse impact on your day-to-day life and wellbeing, then it is important to get the right help including professional support.


Kayleigh is an experienced Clinical Psychologist working in private practice and can offer you psychological assessment and treatment that makes better sense of why your anxiety developed (we are all different and have unique psychological root causes) and includes individualised interventions to lower and reduce your anxiety. Contact Kayleigh to find out more.



 

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