How to Overcome Bad Mood with Yoga?
A bad mood is not really a medical condition but is in fact a conversational term used to describe a person’s temperament at the time. People tend to use the term quite liberally however and a bad mood could be used to describe someone’s mood or behavior when they are irritable, stressed or suffering from depression and mood swings. The confusion is excusable, as conditions like depression, stress, manic depressive disorders and mood swings can make an otherwise jovial person almost unbearable – ergo the term ‘bad’ mood. Keep in mind that while all of us experience bouts of anger, frustration, despair and depression that could be characterized as bad moods, chronic depression and anxiety disorders are a lot more severe and shouldn’t be simply written off as a bad mood. If you suffer from any such disorder seek the help of professionals. In most other cases however, lifestyle changes and measures to control stress can help to reduce the incidence of such bad moods. While bad moods may not be a health risk in themselves when isolated, repeated bouts of anger, stress and depression can quickly spiral out of control and turn into chronic problems that require anger management, counseling or medical care.
Today, yoga has come to be viewed by many as a fitness regime and workout, but the scope of yoga is a lot wider. Traditionally, yoga has been used as a physical and spiritual approach to maintain an individual’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being. While most of us are aware of its profound effects on flexibility and physical health, most health care experts and yoga instructors alike have been quite vociferous about its effectiveness in combating mental health problems like anger, stress, anxiety and depression. Many of these claims have been supported by the growing body of evidence on the efficacy of yoga as an alternative treatment for stress related disorders.
What Causes a Bad Mood?
There are numerous possible causes of anger, frustration, stress and other emotions that are often clubbed together as mood swings or a bad mood. From the pressures of having to pay off home loans and mortgages to climbing the corporate ladder and dealing with social relationships and families, modern life presents us with an endless list of circumstances and situations that could cause a bad mood.
- General Well-being – The effects of aging and the onset of illnesses and diseases can greatly impact stress levels and many of us find it hard to cope with the pressure. Illnesses in the family can also contribute significantly to stress levels, as caring for or simply living with a family member who is unwell can take its toll.
- Social Relationships – Human beings are social animals and a lot of our health problems stem from problems in socializing. Communication problems and arguments with family members, spouses and even friends can drastically increase stress levels. Hostility and ill feeling between other members of your social circle can also cause stress even though may not be directly involved.
- Emotional Health – Social relationships are easy to establish but emotional bonds are not as easy to forge. Expressing your emotions is however critical to your mental well-being and an inability to do so can lead to severe depression and stress. Likewise, depression and stress may also affect your ability to express your emotions.
- Life changing events – Certain events like the loss of a loved one, changing residence or a new job can cause significant amounts of stress. At times the changes may even be positive, but could still be a source of stress, as in the case of receiving a promotion or getting a married.
- Financial Security – In our modern society almost every aspect of life is influenced by what we own and what we can afford. Under such circumstances, financial stress is almost completely unavoidable. Credit card debt, mortgage payments, EMIs and simply managing to pay the rent can make the pressure almost unbearable.
- Occupational Stress – Working in an organization always presents some amount of challenge and for most individuals these could include dealing with difficult colleagues and bosses and at times living up to unrealistic expectations. Many individuals also lack confidence and tend to worry and stress about their ability to cope with tasks at hand.
- Environmental Stress – People who live in cities that are plagued by crimes like theft, home invasions, rape and mob violence are more likely to be stressed because of constant worries about their personal safety or the safety of family members.
There are other factors as well that could contribute to and cause stress and depression. When dealing with stress however, it is important that you don’t just focus on external triggers. While certain circumstances are unavoidable, how we approach those circumstances and cope with them greatly affects not just our moods but also how successfully we deal with those situations.
- Vorkapic CF, Rangé B. Reducing the symptomatology of panic disorder: the effects of a yoga program alone and in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Front Psychiatry. 2014 Dec 8;5:177. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00177. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25538634; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4259001.
- Riley KE, Park CL. How does yoga reduce stress? A systematic review of mechanisms of change and guide to future inquiry. Health Psychol Rev. 2015 Jan 3:1-30. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25559560.
- Godse AS, Shejwal BR, Godse AA. Effects of suryanamaskar on relaxation among college students with high stress in Pune, India. Int J Yoga. 2015 Jan;8(1):15-21. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.146049. PubMed PMID: 25558129.
- Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief - (http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/how-to-practice-yoga-and-tai-chi.htm)
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