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Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness for Depression

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mindfulness for depression

After leaving residential treatment, young women often look for alternative ways to manage depression beyond traditional psychotherapy. Transition programs encourage residents to get involved in recreation activities to help them find a sense of purpose and improve their overall physical health and wellbeing. Yoga and mindfulness are becoming popular activities among young women, but recent research suggests that it may be more than just a trend in the wellness world. Yoga and mindfulness are effective strategies, when combined with other treatment methods, for reducing symptoms of depression by helping people build self-awareness and understand the mind-body connection.

Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness

According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, recent studies suggest that yoga can:

  • Reduce the physiological impact of stress
  • Help with anxiety and depression
  • Encourage concentration and staying present
  • Increase energy
  • Improve body image and body awareness

How Yoga Affects Symptoms of Depression

In research conducted by the American Psychological Association, it was found by overviewing many different studies that practicing yoga can lessen symptoms of depression. The type of yoga used was varied forms of yoga that focuses on physical exercise, along with breathing and meditative exercises.

In one study, 52 women, ages 25 to 45, participated. Half of them partook in the same type of yoga in the last study and the other half were the control. Depression levels were recorded at the beginning, along with weeks three, six, and nine. They found that even those with high levels of depression experienced a significant decrease in symptoms over time.

In another study showing the benefits of yoga, researchers measured how practicing yoga affected levels of depression, anxiety, rumination, and worry. They found that even four months after the treatment of yoga, participants had decreased levels across the board.

Yoga as Recreation

One of the biggest barriers for young women who have struggled with depression once they leave treatment is finding healthy social activities that they enjoy. Having turned to risky behaviors or lost interest in hobbies they used to participate in, they often feel like they leave treatment with a blank slate. They may have been introduced to yoga as a physical activity with therapeutic benefits, but it can also be a great way to integrate into the community. 

Asheville, North Carolina, where Journey Home East is located, is home to dozens of yoga studios where residents can take a variety of classes. Finding a balance between recreation and self-care is key for managing symptoms of depression–and yoga integrates both goals. Lessons learned through mindfulness can be applied to helping young adults practice awareness and concentration in other areas of their lives.

Journey Home East Can Help 

Journey Home East is a transitional living program for young women ages 16-21 that focuses on helping women transition from long-term treatment to the real world. While they are at our program, we help build confidence in young adults. The idea is to ween them off support systems of being in programs for many years and hone in on functional living skills they need to be independent. Journey Home East provides academic support, health coaching, relationship building, dating safety, and personal safety tips. Students have the opportunity to equip themselves with the skills they need to lead healthy and successful lives post-treatment. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 1-855-290-9684 to learn more about how recreation programming helps young adults manage symptoms of depression!