ADAA, or the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, informs that one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders is anxiety. A 2001 survey, coming from UCLA, shows that only about 25 percent of the people suffering from anxiety receive treatment for this condition. Sadly, the number of people affected by it is about 19 million.


pranayama

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In order of prevalence, the most common anxiety forms are:

– Unrealistic, excessive and persistent worrying, referred to as GAD, or generalized anxiety disorder
– Routines of repeatedly checking things, referred to as OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder
– Panic attacks, or a panic disorder
– Persistent emotions and mental stress, as a result of a survived psychological stress, referred to as PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder

How To Get Rid Of Your Anxiety, Without Medications

Pranayama is consisted of two words, having separate meanings. Prana – representing breath, energy, life force; and ayama – meaning control. Interpreted, pranayama means control of breath. Yogis often practice pranayama. Actually, it’s one of the 8 limbs of yoga. It uses the powers of the mind to control the breathing and the vital energy that keeps us united. Also, it nurtures our souls.

For centuries, the Indian yoga teachers have been connecting many different diseases with the disturbed nose breathing.  And, since the nose is directly connected with the nervous system and the brain, these yogis have believed that we can control our mind and body with the help of pranayama, which helps us deepen and slow every breath we take while practicing it. Thus, it can be very helpful for people suffering from some kind of an anxiety disorder.

How To Practice Pranayama

Find a place of peace and quiet. Sit in whichever position you find comfortable and relax your body. Breathe naturally, as you usually do, for a few seconds, giving the necessary time to your body and mind to stabilize.

Put your left hand on your knee or lap. Drop your index and middle fingers of your right hand towards the palm. Gently place the thumb on your right nostril and inhale slowly with the left nostril. Then, release the right nostril, and with your ring finger, cover the left nostril. Exhale through the right nostril. Then, inhale with the right nostril, while still keeping the left one closed. Release the left nostril, close the right one, and exhale. Keep your eyes closed while you perform the exercise. Repeat the exercise for about 5 minutes. This makes one cycle, but you can repeat as long as you need, or want.

When you finish, relax your hands alongside your body and take a deep breath with both of your nostrils. Continue to breathe naturally for a couple of seconds, and then open your eyes.

The Benefits Of Pranayama For Your Body

– This yoga practice activates the nervous system, by turning off the fight or flight stress response and stimulating relaxation.

– In an event of panic, the functioning of the respiratory system is one of the first things that betrays us and goes down. Pranayama strengthens the respiratory tract and it improves its endurance.

– It improves the body coordination and fine motor skills, as well as it improves attention. Hence, you can get better control over your body during a panic attack.

For more details, watch the following video:

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