Reduce Teen Stress with Yoga
Not everyone enjoys their teen years and, even those who do have some typical bumps in the road. Teenagers have busy schedules, academic pressure, physical and hormonal changes, and social issues to deal with almost on a daily basis. There are many ways that teens deal with stress, some healthier than others. One of the healthier ways that teenagers can get stress relief is through practicing yoga.
Why Healthy Teen Stress Relief is Necessary
Adolescent stress is a serious matter. Research has found that stress among teens can be tied to both immediate and long-lasting effects which might include behavioral problems, substance abuse, depression, and self-harm.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 11 percent of teens will suffer from major depression by the age of 18. Stress is also linked to changes in stress hormones, such as cortisol. Cortisol can affect immune system functioning and may have links to substance abuse and later adult health.
Yoga for Teen Stress Relief
The good news is that yoga has some serious stress-busting effects which benefit teens just as much as their adult counterparts. New research shows that teens who do yoga score higher on some psychological tests than those who don’t. For example, teens who don’t do yoga are more likely to have mood or anxiety issues than those who do participate.
“Not only are there benefits to teen yoga, but those who decide to take up the practice find that they enjoy it. In the same study, nearly 75 percent of the teens that took yoga stated that they would like to continue.”
How Yoga Helps Teens with Stress
It’s heartening to learn that yoga does help teens with anxiety and stress, but learning more about how this works could convince parents and educators that these programs are the right move. Yoga is a program that is part exercise, part mindfulness practice. Participants develop balance, flexibility, and strength as well as some other valuable skills.
It’s important to note that teenagers are still developing, particularly in the area of the brain that regulates mood. Yoga during teen years can help teens to strengthen connections in their prefrontal cortex, which is where essential skills such as self-control, creativity, and discipline are developed. By learning yoga and mindfulness, teens develop a new tool that helps them reduce anxiety levels and find a relaxed and focused state in often stressful situations.
Yoga is becoming a popular curriculum in schools, and some are even offering it as an alternative to traditional gym classes. Students that take yoga find that they are more optimistic, have improved self-esteem, and are able to self-discipline in what were once stressful situations. The teenage years are challenging for even the most well-adjusted adolescent and yoga offers some valuable tools that can help teens better navigate these trials.