Yoga is Effective Treatment for Depression

Yoga is Effective Treatment for Depression

Yoga asanas or postures have been practiced for over 5,000 years. Yoga has continued to grow in popularity in the last 10-15 years it, particularly in the West, for many reasons. One compelling reason is that it has a significant positive effect on mood, according to recent research at Boston University School of Medicine

Stress is a part of life; in fact, stress is one factor that enables our emotional and psychological growth by developing healthy coping skills. On the flip side, our inability to tolerate stress is one key factor that leads to problems with mood.

Yoga lowers stress responses by decreasing physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga helps increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond more flexibly to stress.

In a research experiment in Germany, 24 women who reported problems with mood regulation and depression were asked to do two 90-minute yoga classes per week for three months. A control group of 24 women with similar mood problems were asked not to alter their normal routines. At the end of three months, women in the yoga group reported improvements in perceived stress, depression, anxiety, energy, fatigue, and well-being. Depression scores improved by 50%, anxiety scores by 30%, and overall well-being scores by 65%. Initial complaints of headaches, back pain, and poor sleep quality also resolved much more often in the yoga group than in the control group.

In my psychotherapeutic practice I often recommend a regular yoga practice or suggest certain poses that can be helpful for depression and anxiety. Even if you have physical limitations there are poses everyone everyone can do. Yoga is a prescription that everyone can take and that has lots of benefits without negative side effects. And of course it’s great for your physical health as well. 

– Peter Lear, LCSW

Mindfulness Versus Multitasking

Mindfulness Versus Multitasking

The opposite of mindfulness is going on autopilot, paying loose attention to what task or thing you are presently doing. Multitasking can only be so helpful and in some cases harmful. Never in the history of humans have we ever had access to so much information. We carry supercomputers (smartphones) in our pockets, after all. That our attention gets scattered is an understatement.

Mindfulness and Mental Health

Mindfulness and Mental Health

Mindfulness is an ancient practice that seeks to deepen one’s awareness of the inner workings of the mind to create a healthy separation of the mind’s fluctuations from how we experience life. All of us are subject to experiencing life through the filter of our minds, which means that whatever way our minds choose to interpret, analyze, or judge this is how we interpret, analyze, and judge our lives.

Mental Health 101

Mental Health 101

Most of us do a great job maintaining our mental health functioning AND most of us have periods when we don’t do so well for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it can be a relatively easy fix. A few basic changes can have a powerful effect. When dealing with any mood or anxiety abnormalities, employ the techniques of Mental Health 101. If you don’t see a significant improvement in a couple of weeks, it may be time to see a therapist.

Now Accepting New Clients

 

PETER LEAR, LCSW

303-981-7227

Email: peterlear@me.com

 

Labyrinth Institute
2687 Northpark Dr. # 103
Lafayette, CO 80026