Mind & Body

Feeling Anxious?

If your worries are out of control, try these simple mind-settling solutions.
Feeling Anxious?
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Use Yoga
By combining relaxation exercises with controlled breathing, yoga can help you deal with both physical and mental stress. A study at the Boston University School of Medicine found that any type of yoga practice may increase brain levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is associated with relaxation and lowered anxiety. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a 27 percent increase of GABA in the brains of experienced practitioners following an hourlong yoga session, versus no increase in a group that simply read for an hour. “People with anxiety often have chronic tension in the body, and the contraction and release of muscles in the active practice of yoga can help,” says clinical psychologist, yoga teacher and yoga therapist Bo Forbes, Psy.D., founder of the New England School of Integrative Yoga Therapeutics and author of Yoga for Emotional Balance (Shambhala). “At the same time, yoga requires mindful attention to the present moment, which can break the pattern of worrying about the future.”