Stress Relief: Yoga, Mindfulness and Exercise
Dear Stress, Let’s Break-up.
Stress is a known hazard towards health, which is why health professionals and researchers are always looking for ways to reduce stress. A new proof of concept study published in a scientific journal called Mindfulness showed the effect of combined physical exercise, yoga and mindfulness meditations for relief in employees who had recently suffered from work related burnouts and strain complaints (de Bruin, et al., 2017).
The treatment intervention used consisted of six weekly sessions of 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, 20 minutes of yoga and 80 minutes of mindfulness meditation including psycho-education. In addition, participants were asked to practice 20 minutes of both formal mindfulness (sitting and breathing) and informal mindfulness (doing a routine activity mindfully), 10 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of exercise at home.
Their results are two-fold, first, they demonstrated that the intervention caused improved workability. The improved workability is due to a reduction in subjective fatigue, increased motivation and daily activities, and improved concentration.
Second, they looked at alleviation of psychological concerns such as anxiety, depression, stress, sleep, and mood. They found significant alleviation of anxiety and depressive symptoms, reductions in stress, improved quality of sleep, and improved mood.
This is very promising for the idea that mindfulness, yoga, and physical exercise are great means to stay not only physically healthy, but also mentally! It’s time to break-up with stress, start practicing.
- de Bruin, E. I., Formsma, A. R., Frijstein, G., & Bögels, S. M. (2017). Mindful2Work: Effects of combined physical exercise, yoga, and mindfulness meditations for stress relieve in employees. A proof of concept study. Mindfulness, 8(1), 204-217. doi:10.1007/s12671-016-0593-x