The dictionary meaning of anxiety is ‘a feeling of worry’, ‘nervousness’ or ‘unease about something’. Real life examples – the feeling in the pit of your stomach before an exam or an interview or public speaking. Everyone feels anxious at some time or other. It’s just another emotion like anger. However, when these anxiety or panic symptoms multiply manifold, they are called as anxiety attacks or panic attacks. This may be an onset of anxiety disorder.
There are many kinds of anxiety disorders – Panic disorder which induces a feeling of terror or “going crazy”.; Social Anxietymay include awkwardness or discomfort during social interactions or fear of interacting with strangers; Specific phobias such as fear of heights, certain objects or generic anxiety disorders which induce excessive tension or worry.
The common symptoms for an anxiety disorder are:
· Irrational fear, tension
· Erratic Sleep
· Quickened heart rate
· Muscle tension
· Short breath
· Unable to calm down
· Nausea and dizziness
· Cold, sweaty hands/feet
Studies show that anxiety disorder can be due to constant stress or genetics.It is a serious mental disorder. However, everyone who is anxious may not be suffering from anxiety disorder. It is imperative to undergo a series of psychological tests to have it diagnosed.Once diagnosed, both medical and alternative therapies can be used for the treatment.
Yoga is alternative therapy for anxiety disorder. Yoga is known as the union of mind and body. In other words, yoga teaches to control the mind through body. Yogic techniques involve balancing postures, controlled breathing and meditative or relaxation practices such as yoga nidra.
Since yoga is a combination of physical and mental practices, it helps calm the mind and brings it to a peaceful state, thus, helping to reduce the panic and anxiety levels. It is advisable to stick to Hatha school of Yoga as the practice is slow and grounded and thus, suitable for beginners.
Few yoga poses that can help calm an anxious mind – child’s pose (a naturally calming pose), standing forward bend (induces sense of surrender), tree pose (balancing posture), downward facing dog (partial inversion, lets you focus on breath) and Savasana (letting go and stillness).
Ensure to learn yoga from a certified instructor who caters to your specific needs.