Every day, students and adults are bombarded with various stress-inducing distractions and situations. Journaling about them and practicing meditation and yoga are helpful ways to reflect on your actions and emotions, while also narrowing down what works for your health. Though mediation and yoga are not substitutes for professional help from a medical expert, integrating these methods for calming down and focusing into a daily routine may be a beneficial idea that can leave a positive impact on one’s health and mentality.
Studies have proven that meditation and yoga have real health benefits—physically and mentally. Yoga and meditation lower blood pressure and increase overall heart health. Chronic and inflammatory pain is also reduced from doing yoga. After participating in both, individuals are likely to experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety with lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, as reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2006.
Meditation and yoga can be utilized to increase stress management, in and out of the classroom. Practicing these often leads to more focus and concentration daily. In 2013, a study led by the Association for Psychological Science found that students who underwent at least two weeks of mindfulness exercises developed better short-term memory and sharpened verbal reasoning. The ability to fall asleep is usually easier, and the quality of a night’s rest improves.
Journaling is another outlet of mindfulness that can alleviate stress and provide insight into what is contributing to your mental health. This can be accomplished through a physical or digital journal, but recycled papers or recording your voice can also be used to recap your day.
Stopping to breathe and taking a break often can seem like a waste of time in a busy schedule. This mindset should not stop anyone from giving these practices of mindfulness and relaxation a try. It might seem daunting at first and difficult to consistently keep up, but start with baby steps. Conducting online research in regards to the different types of yoga and the possible steps of meditation can be the first step. Even journaling a few minutes every day will lift the weight off your shoulders.