Researchers have spent decades studying the effects of meditative practice on anxiety and stress. Studies have found that yoga may help relieve anxiety by moderating the effects of the stress response to lower heart rate and blood pressure and slow breathing. Yoga has been found to help relieve pain, increase pain tolerance, improve sleep quality and boost mood, which is why it’s an important part of our anxiety rehab programs.
Stress can be a huge contributor to anxiety disorders, especially traumatic events like natural disasters, major illnesses, or going to combat. Practicing yoga helps to dampen the physiological stress response by reducing the practitioner’s perception of stress. This means a lower heart and respiratory rates and lower blood pressure. Practicing yoga in anxiety rehab can help you feel calmer.
Yoga also helps decrease pain sensitivity. In a University of Utah study that compared yoga practitioners to fibromyalgia patients, yoga practitioners were found to have the greatest pain tolerance – even more than that of healthy people who did not practice yoga. These findings were confirmed by MRI results that showed lower activity in the pain-related parts of yoga practitioner’s brains.
The biggest reason people enter an anxiety rehab is to learn how to cope with the stresses of daily life and begin to feel better. Multiple studies have shown that when people suffering from anxiety or depression and other mental disorders practice yoga, they experience measurable improvements in happiness and feelings of overall well-being. Headaches, poor sleep, back pain, hostility, fatigue and anger also improved. A program of yogic breathing called Sudarshan Kriya yoga has been used to achieve complete remission even in people with the most severe depression and anxiety symptoms – those requiring hospitalization and electroconvulsive therapy.
Yoga practice has even been used to reduced PTSD symptoms in veterans of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC now offers a yoga-based treatment program to soldiers who come home with PTSD.
If you’re struggling with overwhelming feelings of anxiety, our anxiety rehab can help. Call us today at 1-888-699-5679.
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.