*Disclaimer* – I am not a trained medical professional therefore if you are experiencing mental health problems then please seek professional help. Also do not use these alternative techniques to replace therapy or other professional support.
I’ll skip over the fact that I have mental health problems as you are probably aware of that now! I’ll also grace over the fact that I made a resolution to meditate and do yoga every day, with some exercise in between days too.
I wanted to do this post to give you 7 benefits of yoga and 7 benefits of meditation on my mental health.
I’ve been practicing yoga for a few months on and off, but from the 1st of January I made a commitment to do yoga daily. I’m determined to do it. Yoga is something I feel content with, here’s seven reasons why:
- It makes me focus on the exercises rather than my thoughts. I concentrate on the video not myself.
- It also makes me aware of my breathing patterns (which helps when it comes to meditation) and pushes away my racing thoughts.
- It increases my concentration on external tasks and not on my thoughts. After a yoga session my mind feels refreshed.
- It provides me with a much deeper appreciation for the present moment.
- Improves the mind-body connection. This may come from the fact that I synchronise my breathing with the movement I’m doing.
- It stabilises my mood meaning I don’t feel as anxious or anxious at all after I’ve finished. I’ve noticed that my OCD tendencies have improved too and I’m not doing my rituals as often.
All of this is preparation for my meditation practice. Meditation is important to me as a Buddhist but also as a person with mental health problems. I use two types of meditation, the traditional way and metta (kindness) meditation which is specific to Buddhism. It helps me focus on being kind to myself
Meditation is honestly one of the best things I have in terms of combating my mental health problems head on, here’s why:
- I focus on the here and now.
- I concentrate on one task and that is counting my breaths.
- It allows me to let go of my thoughts. It’s like being on the side of a motorway and watching the cars go by. I know the cars are there but I don’t acknowledge them. I let them pass by. I don’t attach meaning to them.
- Improves my communication with myself. This may seem like a weird concept but I feel as though I can understand my thought processes more. It gives me more control over what I think.
- Helps me sleep better. I find I can drift off to sleep quicker. I sometimes count to get to sleep too.
- It also stabilises my mood, similarly to yoga. I’m less anxious and my OCD tendencies are lessened.
- I feel more aware of myself and my surroundings even if I’m focusing on my breath. My senses are heightened which keeps me calm.
Does yoga or meditation help you? How?
Let me know below or on my social media.