Researchers Find That Yoga Can Reduce Anxiety In Those With Anxiety Disorders


In a recent study published by the Public Library of Science, researchers have suggested that yoga and other various exercises can have a relaxing effect on the body for those with anxiety disorders.

The Study

The study, performed at Queen’s University, found that relaxation activities alter a person’s perception and allow them to view their environment as less threatening. Yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques were proven to be the easiest way to reduce anxiety.

The study used point-light displays, in particular a depiction of a human composed of dots, to represent major joints in the human body. Researchers have previously found that socially anxious people perceive the figure as facing toward them in a threatening maner.

“We wanted to examine whether people would perceive their environment as less threatening after engaging in physical exercise or after doing a relaxation technique that is similar to the breathing exercises in yoga,” Adam Heenan, a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology, said.

The Findings

People who walked or jogged on a treadmill for 10 minutes, as well as those who performed progressive muscle relaxation, perceived the dot figure as facing toward them left often.

Yoga can help a person with anxiety achieve a happy and healthy mind. Types of stress and anxiety relieving poses include the bow pose, fish pose, bridge pose, downward facing dog and headstand. These poses were proven to relax its practitioner and flush out toxins from the system, which can be a cause of stress.

“This is a big development because it helps to explain why exercising and relaxation techniques have been successful in treating mood and anxiety disorders in the past,” Heenan said.

The research was published in PLOS one, an international publication featuring primary research and including all types of scientific disciplines.

Source: Queens University

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