Is there a way to naturally boost the feel-good chemicals in your brain to reduce anxiety and your overall mood?
Absolutely. And one of the easiest ways to do this is with yoga.
Now is this the only exercise that works for this?
Not at all, there are various exercises such as pilates and Tai Chi that could work in a similar way, but Chris Streeter, MD, and her fellow researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine, carried out a study that compared the results of walking to yoga, and what they found was rather remarkable.
For the study, the researchers randomly allocated participants to either a yoga group or a walking group, and each group would perform the allocated exercise three times a week, for an hour at a time over a 12-week period.
Now, the interesting thing was that the participant’s brains were scanned before the trial and again after the 12-week trial, and their overall anxiety and mood levels were measured throughout the 12-week process. What they found was that the participants in the yoga group showed a considerably greater improvement in their anxiety levels along with their mood, as well as increased levels of GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), when compared to the walking group.
This is incredibly encouraging as it validates the therapeutic benefits and value of the mind-body connection through exercises such as yoga.
Bessel Van der Kolk, a psychiatrist, author, researcher, educator, and expert on PTSD has this to say on the therapeutic benefits of yoga,
“Yoga, at the end, was more effective in the treatment for PTSD than any of the drugs we had studied. But I’ve yet to see a psychopharmacology clinic being transformed into a yoga studio.”
In conclusion, while anti-anxiety medications work by affecting GABA levels in our brain, this study proves that the same results can be achieved naturally.
If you or a loved one is seeking guidance for anxiety, depression, or stress, then book your free session to speak to an anxiety and depression expert here at Anxiety Free Life
Book your free 30-minute session here