Modern lifestyle has brought into use machines, made life easy and is limiting the scope of physical activity. Busy and hectic work schedule and mismanaged lifestyle accompanied with consumption of processed food has widened the scope for stress in people and specifically the younger generation. Research data by American Psychological Association states that around 61% of stress is caused due to work and job pressure. Apart from work pressure and job insecurity, there are significant other reasons causing stress. Broken or insecure relationships, financial insecurity, late night work schedule, pleasing others and developing impressions or failing to meet are a few reasons that are highly seen as a cause of stress.
Well, now to call it an everyday partner, stress is turning out to be the evil in human life. The transformation in the food habits and adoption of western culture had already brought quite havoc in the lives of people. Consequently, stress is adding as an inducing factor to disrupt the lives of people physically and behaviourally. Stress has two specific enemies to be termed in a layman’s language. One is cortisol and the other is adrenaline. The more a person gets stressed, the amount of these hormones increases and the body functioning gets disturbed posing serious health risks.
To be more precise, the fact that is of high importance is that there are risks of getting various diseases due to stress. The unmanaged lifestyle and work pressure not only makes the person feel worried but also gives a long term problem attached with it. A few of serious illnesses caused due to stress are:
Until now, we knew that long-term stress can result in heart attacks. But the closely produced fact found by scientists is that cortisol changes the colour of the white blood cells, thereby encouraging the cells to attach themselves with the blood vessel walls. This causes the formation of plaque, which is a key factor for heart related problems.
Depression and other mental disorders
Well, this is a previously known fact that stress is the major cause of depression and has everything to do with mental health. Also the research reports have stated that the cortisol level in severely depressed people was too high, which can result in permanent damage to brain cells. Stress plays with hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine that majorly affects the mood, appetite and sleep functioning of a person creating a chronic issue.
Ulcers and stomach problems
It has been found that stress is a major factor for weakening the immune system. As a result, the elevated level of stress in the body allows the bacteria to grow in the gut because of weak immunity. So, in problems such as stomach ulcer, indigestion, heartburn and ulcerative colitis, stress happens to be the ultimate reason.
Now, the question is do we have any solution for these stress related disorders? Can we not take the help of medicines? Is there a natural solution for this never ending stress issue? Fortunately yes, we have that effective solution that can give a new perspective towards life. And that magical solution is Yoga. Yoga has a solution for many illnesses and more importantly stress. It’s not just about the twisting and turning of the body but it’s all about the calmness that these activities provide to both body and mind. Studies have come out with the fact that people who practice yoga for at least 3 months have been found with lower cortisol levels. Although it is an ancient practice, it is giving after effects in the modern days and has been found reliable by many. Here are a few yoga asanas that will act as a cure for prolonged stress:
This asana stretches your thighs and ankles and thus helps in relieving the stress by calming the mind. Apart from stress, it is also beneficial for people with neck and back pain. You just have to kneel down and sit on your heels. Now, bend forward till your chest touches your thighs and keep hands on side. Breathe lo9ng and deep and then come to the normal state. Keep repeating it for 10 mins and you can find it as a good way of stretching.
Just like Balasana, this pose is a beneficial form for the spine and lower back. This asana is a great stress reliever, improves digestion and stimulates the liver. Sit down with your feet extended forward. Bend and hold your feet with your hand till your stomach touches your thighs. Stay in this position for about 30 seconds and then change back to normal.
This asana is also known a s eagle pose and is a best way for improving concentration and dealing with anxiety. Stand straight and cross your legs and hands like an eagle. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and then rest back to normal. It also helps to calm the mind by making it focus on the body.
To remove exhaustion and anxiety, this asna is the best remedy. This asana is a great posture corrector too and helps in lengthening the spine. You just need to sit down with a straight spine and extend your feet. Now gently bend your left foot and place it under your right knee and right feet under your left knee. Slightly twist yourself to either side and focus on your breathing. Hold one position for 60 seconds and then move to another.
The need of the hour is to improve our lifestyle, change our food habits and incline ourselves more to physical activities. Though we would find it hard to accept, in ancient times people were stronger because of mainly the physical activities and lifestyle. So, if ever you find yourself stressed, just go for a bit of yoga and relax your mind and body. It’s your body and you certainly need to take care of it.