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  • Writer's pictureSammi @ Unwind

How Yoga Helps Ease Anxiety

During 2020, anxiety and depression increased by 25% globally.

Stress due to social isolation, changes in people’s work patterns, and reduction in engagement in the community played a part.

Other factors were:

  • Fear of death and suffering

  • Loneliness

  • Fear of infection

  • Worrying about finances

  • Death of loved ones

  • Grieving loved ones

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a psychological state characterised by current fear or a fear of the future. This occurs when experiencing stressful events.

Feeling anxious is a normal response to any stressful event, but once this feeling becomes overwhelming and impacts your day-to-day functioning, it can be detrimental to your wellbeing. This increases the likelihood of developing a more clinically relevant anxiety disorder.

How can we treat anxiety?

Anxiety can be treated with pharmaceutical drugs, however this often causes side effects and further complications, such as withdrawal, dependency, and metabolic abnormalities.

Therapy is a different type of treatment: cognitive behavioural therapy, which has been found to be very beneficial. Potentially due to targeting the underlying thought processes that increase the likelihood of an anxiety disorder developing.

If your anxiety becomes so overwhelming you to the point where you just don’t know where to turn anymore, please seek help from a GP, or the wonderful Mind charity.

If you would like to learn and develop holistic ways of improving and supporting your wellbeing and anxiety, read on.

Mindful Exercising

Mindful exercises are more effective in reducing anxiety than non-mindful exercises.

Mindful exercise utilises low to moderate intensity movements, with the focus on the mind and breath, including elements of meditation. Examples of mindful exercising is:

  • Yoga

  • Tai Chi

  • Qigong

Reviews of many scientific studies were conducted on both Yoga and Qigong separately.

Both techniques were found to be potential practices in helping individuals with non-clinical anxiety (I.e. non-diagnosed anxiety), as they both help to reduce symptoms of anxiety.


Yoga is a mindful exercise that helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and improves skeleton alignment and joint movement. There is now so much evidence for yogas positive impact on stress and anxiety that healthcare professionals actively suggest it as a supportive technique in recovery and healing.

How does yoga reduce anxiety?

Yoga's meditative quality allows individuals to start self-regulating their thought processes. If this is done in a positive manner it reduces dysfunctional, intrusive thoughts. Controlling what you are thinking and what intensity those thoughts come in, you can exert control over your level of anxiety.

Those intrusive, dysfunctional, ‘what if’ thoughts are targeted in therapy. For example, CBT helps individuals with anxiety to identify these thoughts and replace them with more positive, helpful ones.

[If you, a family member or friend require help within the Berkshire area, contact Talking Therapies. Here the team provides you with an online assessment with relevant self-help courses, a supervisor, and a therapist if you are in need of one. Here is the link to the Berkshire Talking Therapy website:]