We all have heard about mental health (Brain Power) many times. But have you ever tried to understand what this term actually means?
What is mental health in the real sense and why is it important to us?
We all have mental health and it is as important for a person as physical health. It is not only about mental illness or mental disorders, even more mental illness or disorder is one part of a whole book.
Mental health is about being on a continuum rather than people being mentally ill or mentally well. Every one of us is on continuum; we face lots of ups and downs in our day to day life according to factors such as genetic factors, upbringing and our environment. At the end of the continuum we have mental disorders like depression or anxiety and at the other end we have states of positive mental health.
The aim of mental health interventions is to move people up the continuum to make them able to reach their full potential and live a satisfying life.
The world health organization describes mental health as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully and make a contribution to his or her community. Being mentally healthy means being resilient and able to cope with difficult times in one’s everyday life.
How does mental health affect physical health?
Mental health is always important but more significantly now, when our daily lives have been significantly disrupted due to the covid19 pandemic situation. Mental health and physical health are really connected with each other.
According to WHO, poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain and many respiratory conditions including copd, chronic bronchitis and asthma. Stress and anxiety can cause mental and emotional stress and lead to mental health issues. Stress and stress hormones like cortisol show an impact on blood sugar. Stress hormones can make blood sugar levels high and low. In teenagers blood stress and anxiety can also cause temporary blood pressure spikes which impacts their behavior that can lead to higher blood pressure and many heart diseases. Chronic diseases can lead to behaviors like overeating, eating unhealthy food, excessive drinking and smoking, all these behaviors are linked to heart disease. Luckily the bond between mental and physical health can be improved by adopting some physical and mental activities in our daily life such as going for a walk, playing your favorite outdoor game, meditation and Yoga.
Among all of the other ways to improve your mental health, Yoga is considered the best and easiest way which will improve both your physical condition as well as make you mentally stronger.
How yoga improves mental health?
Many people know only about the physical side of yoga but now let’s get into the mental health benefits of yoga in the war against the mental battlefield. Yoga is very good for anxiety because when we practice yoga the aim is to be present in the current moment and we do it by focusing on our breath or the posture that we were in. And when we focus on this current moment we get rid of the future and its worries that do not exist.
Like anxiety, the other very known mental benefit of yoga is to finish depression. In the state of depression what happens is that we start living in the past. We start getting sad for what has gone, we might be missing someone. As the result, our mental and physical health go down and down as days go by.
Yoga is going to bring you out of these two situations we have discussed above that are only real in your illusory mind. Yoga brings you into this present moment and you let all of that go. Yoga also improves your relationship with yourself. Every morning when you get up from your bed to do yoga, you send signals to your mind that yes I love my body and you have to improve it at any cost. And the last but not the least benefit of yoga is that it improves our relationships with others too. As yoga makes us more calm and patient, we are able to perform better in our daily life in our office as well as in any of social gatherings.
Yoga exercise to improve mental health?
In this world after the pandemic, it is hard for many people to escape the feeling of overwhelming stress. To cope with anxiety and stress you need great mental strength and the best way to do it is Yoga. Yoga will help you build such strength that will keep you grounded in reality.
Here are the five yoga poses which will help you deal with stress and retain mental balance.
· Balasana (Child’s Pose)
· Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
· Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)
· Janu sirasana (Head to Knee)
· Sukhasan (Cross Legged Pose)
The above suggested exercises are noted yoga exercises for the people having stress, anxiety and any other form of mental illness. According to many health experts of WHO, doing yoga is a better way to improve mental illness than going through a medical treatment.
Image Source: Pexels
Yoga is the key to emotional and psychological healing. The whole practice of it helps us to reach the true potential of our mind besides the calmness and increased focus. Yoga brings you from the sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system.
As soon as you start breathing deeply, your anxiety goes down and you feel more relaxed and calm. You will have a better control over your life because you have a good control over your emotions.