How are you feeling today? Are you feeling sad or happy? Is there something you are looking forward to? Take a step back and assess the answers to these questions. A person with negative thoughts or a pessimistic attitude towards life comes from a place of rejection, low self-esteem, failures, stabbed emotions, and perhaps an ailment that bogs them down. Our brains do a lot of unwanted prattling and if left to its own devices, you would never know when it will go into a negative vicious circle.
Researchers have proved that Yoga & meditation help people battle unfair life situations and negative emotions. It would be wrong to say that these ancient practices cure all, but definitely help people in gradual recuperation. So, it’s a possibility that you might be someone who never meditated once in your lifetime or did any Yogic poses. However, if nothing worked out then probably it is time for you to try something different. Here you will get to know how Yoga or mediation can help you deal with life and negative emotions.
1. Open Monitoring Meditation
An interesting research by the University of Southampton proved that Open Monitoring Meditation techniques or Mindfulness Meditation helps quell negative thoughts and obsessive behavior patterns. The observation involved a group of 77 people who did deep breathing exercises and were specifically asked to redirect their attention towards their inner self, and notice the thoughts and emotions prevailing at that very moment. With continued practice, the respondents learned to deal with their sudden emotional outburst, observe things from a different perspective and make space for a better analysis to take place. People were happy to be able to successfully address their personal experiences with an open mind.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
The very same research by the University of Southampton came up with interesting inferences from testing Progressive Muscle Relaxation techniques. A small group formed out of the total 77 individuals was asked to share their deepest fears that they have conjured up for years. While discussing their emotions, it was important for them to observe their heart beat, current state of mind, and mood swings. A combination of deep meditation sessions and long hours of counseling revealed that the deep-seated fears and shadow thoughts put a lot of stress on certain muscle groups. This helped both the experimenters and respondents to devise meditation techniques and Yogic poses that could possibly help them clamp down the unnecessary strain. A continued set of practice helped a majority of respondents and they were able to manage a greater percentage of intrusive thoughts.
3. Amygdala Functionality
A major breakthrough research conducted by Harvard in the year 2010 implicated that stress and negative thoughts wreak havoc on Amygdala, an almond shaped group of nuclei located in the temporal lobes of your brain. This part of the brain is associated with seated emotions like fear, anxiety, and mood swings. A special longitudinal MRI study investigated the correlation between human stress response system and the Amygdala gray matter density. Apart from this, a stress intervention technique like Yoga & meditation was introduced to check for any possible benefit. The results were amazing and enunciated the dated theories about meditation and certain Yoga poses like Savasana. It was observed that continued practice of this ancient art of well-being reduced the volume of Amygdala and enlarged the space volume of other parts of the brain associated with positive mood changes and arousal.
4. Meta Awareness
A research by Harvard medical school correlated Yoga, especially raja Yoga & Hatha Yoga with the psychological health of an individual. The study showed that practicing Yoga every single day affects the cognitive and emotional systems of the human existence. Moreover, the behavioral patterns of the respondents also saw a lot of improvement while on a Yoga & meditation regime. A dedicated Yoga ritual increased the level of meta-awareness, which enabled individuals to adjust their responses against a comparison of their current status and their goals. This clearly means that now the respondents knew how to control their anger or their stress response systems in times of despair or peer-pressure. The study proved that such level of awareness can greatly help people in controlling impulsive behavior and reflecting on their past for a better future, without losing the focus on the present. With that said, there is no trace of unwanted worries or negative thought patterns over an incident or a person.
5. Positive Reappraisal
Kripalu Yoga, one of the prominent styles, incorporates a technique called “riding the wave” that involves implementing conscious changes in the behavioral patterns to allow a high tolerance level. Moments of stress and despair causes certain muscle groups in the human body to contract and ache as well. The Yoga technique coupled with deep meditation reframes the discomfort experienced in the muscles to a temporary sensation. The improved physical responses to stressful neuroendocrine activities results into safeguarded cognitive resources and reduced negative emotions. Yoga and mindfulness are two of the proven ways to enhance the sense of compassion, impose clarity on decision making, and increase emotional awareness within oneself. The study, at last, proved that meditative intrusion that includes mindfulness and yoga can help develop qualities that enable better stress management and control impulsiveness. This together puts a person into a state of clarity and positive mindset.