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How Practicing Yoga Can Help Overcome Overwhelm

yoga-combat-stress-overwhelm

Stress, anxiety, and overwhelm are things that many of us are experiencing in an elevated way this year. With so much uncertainty and a never-ending stream of global updates to digest, it’s no surprise if you’ve found your emotions and mental health to be out of balance.

There are several ways that you can protect against this, and one wonderful way is to adopt a yoga practice.

Making time for daily yoga can be a gentle way to help lift stress from your mind and body. It can encourage you to stay active, and also bring some structure to each day.

When we are feeling as though things are getting on top of us, it can be much harder to make time for the things that we truly enjoy — the things that will likely make us feel better.

I know for myself, that when I miss my daily yoga practice, I feel less energised, less grounded, and less able to focus on the important things in my life. That’s not to say that I hit the mat for hours every day, and sometimes even just a ten minute burst is all it takes to lift my mental and physical energy.

I am also aware of the change in myself when I make the time to practice yoga every day. I feel happier, healthier, and also as though I’ve done something just for myself, which is a simple but effective form of self-care!

yoga practice stress mindful

Following up your yoga session with a short meditative practice can go a long way to enhancing these feelings of peacefulness, and allow you to truly reflect on the events of each day.

Additionally, meditating can help you to release negative feelings, and to better protect the mind against these stresses in the future.

Yoga & The Nervous System

The parasympathetic nervous system is largely responsible for how calm and relaxed we feel. This is just one part of the autonomic nervous system, and works in contrast to the fight or flight response we get from the activation of the sympathetic nervous system.

When your parasympathetic nervous system is activated, then your heart rate and your breathing will slow. Additionally, blood flow is enhanced, which aids the essential functions of the organs in the body. Essentially, your body enters a natural state of relaxation — and what doesn’t sound great about that!

When the parasympathetic nervous system is active regularly, then you become much better able to maintain calm, and to better process stress and overwhelm.

Practicing yoga helps us to reach this state, as we invite calm in and expel negativity. Our minds are focused on the practice, and our bodies are benefiting from the physical challenge.

Be In The Moment

Living in the moment can be hard to do at the best of times, and is something you may find especially challenging right now. If you are stressed out about the future then clearly you’re not alone, and there’s so much to consider about moving forwards into 2021.

Although it’s difficult not to have these worries and concerns, living in this semi-constant state of stress can be a serious drain on our energy — both emotional and physical.

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Being able to give your attention to the present moment can help you to avoid these cycles of negative thinking, and to maintain a more positive mindset.

Yoga is an absolutely fantastic tool for helping us to be in the present because it requires your full attention. You may often notice that when you are doing yoga that your mind wanders. This is totally normal and is something that everyone experiences to some degree. However, when you lose your attention in this way during a yoga session, you are taught and encouraged to bring it back to the task at hand.

These lessons that you learn on the mat can be taken with you into all other areas of your life!

Sleep Better

When you are stressed out and overwhelmed, then it is normal to expect that your sleep is affected. We may find it harder to get to sleep, or to have a more disturbed sleep cycle than we are used to.

Not only can your sleep pattern influence how you feel physically, but it can also have a big impact on your mental health and emotional wellbeing. You will likely already know that feeling tired throughout the day can seriously affect your mood!

Yoga is proven to be great for enhancing feelings of peacefulness and relaxation, and this can help us overcome stress to have a good night’s sleep.

If you want to check out some of the best yoga poses to enhance your sleep cycle, then click here to read my past post on the topic!

Making Positive Changes

If you have read this post and would like to make yoga a more consistent part of your day to day, then that’s great. The benefits of having a routine that prioritises staying active can be far-reaching.

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Even with the best of intentions it can be hard to start a new habit, and this is something that is best worked towards in a gradual way. My post from last week — Four Ways To Make Space For Meaningful Change — explores how to succeed with this, and how you can get started!

New Year’s Day Workshop

For more advice and guidance on defeating stress and overcoming overwhelm, I’d love to invite you to my upcoming workshop.

In this workshop we will look to remind ourselves that there is always a solution waiting for us. The only insurmountable obstacles are the ones we create in our minds.

Perseverance and mindfulness will never fail to see us through the other side of hardship where joy can thrive.

We will begin with a mindfulness flow followed by discussing tools to take away to allow your 2021 to be filled with hope.

Click here to book your space!

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