Yoga for Stress Management
The term “psychosocial health” may sound complicated but this phrase simply refers to the relation of individual thought with social factors. How a person thinks of themself in relation to others is an example of psychosocial health, making this concept part of the four dimensions of health. Healthy people tend to exhibit positive attitudes in relation to these dimensions and recognize and cope with stress more effectively than those poor psychosocial health.
According to Donatelle (2010), all four health dimensions are important since they interact in a manner that forms the basis of psychosocial health. When one of these areas is lacking the person might be inclined to feel negative. For example, if one does not feel good about themselves, this makes it difficult to feel positively towards other people.
The importance of psychosocial health highlights the need for a stress management program. Factoring affordability and practicality, many people could implement a program of yoga as a stress management solution. There are many facets and benefits, as well as some disadvantages and limitations for a yoga stress management program.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient form of meditation that combines mental and physical exercises in order to clear the mind and support a state of serene, detached awareness or calmness. Ultimately, the goal of yoga is to achieve a state of balance, purity, and wisdom. This technique has proven very effective in helping people learn to control stress.
People in the workplace often allow their emotions to get the best of them. Typically, this happens when a person feels frustrated. Stressor like driving and family issues can make one feel out of control and can cause a great deal of stress which leads into anger. Yoga allows the person to focus on his or her body through poses and exercises which seems to diminish the frustration and tension that is felt. Practicing yoga in the evening is a good way for a person to reduce daily stress and can work in most schedules. Time needed during each session, and frequency of sessions per week
Depending upon the type of yoga being chosen to perform the times vary with each session. Hatha yoga, the type that is commonly practiced takes about an hour per session. This is practical for people with only a few times a week to spare.
Equipment and space needed
The only equipment that is needed for the practice of yoga is a mat and comfortable clothing. If one has a room in their home that has a great deal of floor space, yoga can be practiced there. If one has a yard, yoga can be practiced outside. It is often easier to join a yoga studio if one is confined by space.
When learning yoga, the costs can vary to a large degree. Some studios offer classes as low as $10 per session, while other charge monthly fees. For the most part, the costs can be kept at a minimum and once a person has learned the techniques, they can perform them on their own and do not need to pay for a studio. A company could easily work a yoga plan with a private studio or with a gym that offer yoga.
Advantages of technique
The advantages of yoga include:
1. Low impact- less chance of injury
2. Low cost- does not require large amounts of money
3. Can be practiced in group or individual settings
4. Can be practiced across a lifetime
5. Provides a method for reducing stress as well as increasing physical health.
Disadvantages of technique
The disadvantages of yoga include:
1. Results take time and anyone seeking fast results may be disappointed
2. Yoga takes patience due to the need for flexibility
3. There is a considerable investment of time in order to learn the technique to its fullest potential
Effects of stress on physical and psychological health
The effects of stress on physical and psychological health are many and varied depending on different factors. Physical wellness is often affected in the following ways:
2. Back pain
3. Chest pain
4. Heart disease
5. Heart palpitations
6. High blood pressure
7. Decreased immunity
8. Stomach upset
9. Sleep problems (WebMd, 2011)
The psychological effects of stress can be equally negative in impact. These effects include:
3. Panic attacks
4. Feeling of guilt
5. Angry outbursts
6. Increased cynicism
7. Isolation/few close friends
8. Feeling overwhelmed
9. Unable to feel happy
10. Feeling of hopelessness
Choosing yoga for a plan also provides a low impact form of stress relief that incorporates meditative aspects which can teach one to relax. Yoga also fits may lifestyle needs effectively and time issues of busy people. The criteria of needs included physical difficulty, cost, ability to be practiced solo, sustainability, and improvement to physical and psychological health. For many people the practice of yoga is effective because it fits many lifestyles with relative ease. One area of effectiveness of yoga is that it seems to have an ability to quickly teach a person to calm down by centering themselves. Almost immediately after taking yoga for a few days, most people are able to begin attenuating themselves to a more mindful or relaxed state. Feeling pulse or heart rate rising are quickly learned benefits that grow in time with meditative practice but provide quick benefits for learning to alleviate stress.
While there are many other stress management techniques, these often do not work for many people for a variety of reasons:
Physical Exercise- While this stress management technique can be useful at reducing stress, it can also be difficult to maintain. For example, lifting weights or running can become more difficult as one ages.
Tai Chi- While this is another good stress management technique it is often difficult to maintain because it is very slow with results. Tai Chi can take years of practice to achieve large results.
Meditation- This form of stress relief can provide a solution for stress but overlooks physical well-being. This might be a good technique to use in combination with other stress relieving techniques.
Qi Gong- Similar to Tai Chis this technique is also very slow to provide significant results and often works better if used in conjunction with other forms of stress relief.
While there are other forms of stress management techniques such as time management, most of these lacked a physical health improvement and whatever technique is chosen should have the ability to improve physical health as well as relieve stress such as increasing endurance or cardio strength.
While yoga might seem to be an exercise limited to only a small number of people, this is not true with millions of Americans practicing yoga each year. Practitioners continue to grow in numbers and this only increases the psychosocial aspect of yoga since the practice is shared by so many. As an inexpensive and effective stress reduction solution, yoga becomes an appealing choice for mental and physical health.
Donatelle, R.J. (2010). Access to Health (green ed.). San Francisco, CA: Benjamin Cummings/Pearson pg 40
WebMd (2011) Stress Management — Effects of Stress Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-effects- of- stress
Article Updated: 9/21/21