The number of people in the UK today seeking help for depression, anxiety, and other common mood disorders are soaring.
Indeed, according to the World Health Organisation, mental health disorders affect one in four people at some point in their lives.
What’s more, the problem isn’t restricted to a specific section of society.
The simple truth is, you can experience mental health struggles at any age. For example:
In childhood, when you face distraction and stimulation through tablets and screens, your relationship with your parents is strained, or you suffer from common disorders such as ADHD and anxiety.In your teens, when you want to fit in, be connected on social media and be ‘liked’, and face exam pressure.In your 20s, when you worry about getting a job, buying a house and fear missing out.In your 30s, when you’re juggling family and work commitments.In your 40s and 50s when you hit menopause, and experience children leaving home, or you take on new life projects.In your late 60s and 70s when changes like a retirement transforms life.
When you’re stressed and anxious you might experience:
A sense of dread and not being able to cope.Insomnia.Panic attacks.
If you’ve experienced trauma, you might suffer from:
Migraines.Muscle tension.And a feeling of a heavy heart.
So what can you do to alleviate the effects of common mental health issues?
In compliment or independent of prescribed solutions, proper rest, nutrition and exercise, you can protect and restore mental health with specific movement sessions, relaxation techniques and positive thinking.
In other words, you can rewire your mental state if you can find a new relationship with your breath, body, thoughts, and emotions.
So what relaxation techniques can help you improve your mental health?
First off, yoga as a therapy has been fast growing in popularity.
Why? Because researchers have found yoga offers an immediate reduction in stress. What’s more, it helps you to access inner resources you can use to regulate emotion, improve mood and well-being.
To put it another way, there is so much more to yoga than you may imagine.
It covers not only physiology but also the breath, energetics, nutrition, lifestyle changes and deep relaxation. Moreover, yoga shows us how to focus on patterns of the mind and the way we relate to changing feelings and desires.
How does yoga help you psychologically?
As a preventative measure, yoga’s relaxation techniques help you to stay calm in your daily life. They also equip you with the strategies you need to deal with everyday challenges.
And if you’re experiencing mental health struggles, including more serious, long-term challenges, you can use yoga as a therapy to manage your response to stress and anxiety.
Yoga deep breathing techniques calm your nervous system and ‘fight, flight and freeze response’ to stress. They also help you to stimulate your body’s calming system so that you can ease anxiety, alleviate depression and improve sleep.Physical poses (asanas) ground you and release muscle tension. Most importantly, they stimulate blood circulation to the brain so that you can produce mood-elevating hormones.Short meditations help you to increase self-awareness, focus on the present and quieten your mind so that you can gain a new perspective on stressful situations.Massage helps relax tight and painful muscles and also calms the mind.
I live in Lewes. Where can I access yoga as a therapy?
Lewes District Council awarded the lease of the former Turkish Baths to a yoga and the arts community enterprise.
The team behind the enterprise plan to run yoga, meditation, movement and massage classes to provide relief to those suffering from everyday mental health struggles.
Everyone is welcome, regardless of background, age, belief, financial status, physical or learning ability.
Supporting people with mental health issues, where you are in life and helping you to make life a bit more manageable, is just one of the social and community benefits Unity Lewes aims to deliver.
Are you willing to support the Unity Lewes project?
Unity Lewes is crowdfunding on Chuffed.