Stress, Addiction and Yoga
What is Stress?Stress is our body’s way of responding to a demand or threat. When we feel threatened, our nervous system responds by releasing a flood of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action.
Substance abuse and stressThe latest scientific research indicates that stress can increase vulnerability to teen addiction and those who become addicted may already be hypersensitive to stress. Studies on this subject indicate:
- Addicts turn to drugs and alcohol to dull stressful feelings
- For people with drug and alcohol addiction, stress increases drug cravings and may trigger relapse
Yoga For Stress ReductionStudies show that stress and addiction are so closely intertwined that to recover, people with addictions must learn new ways of coping with stress. A regular yoga practice characterized by slow, deep breathing has been proven to slow down the nervous system and reduce the levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the body. Consequently, incorporating yoga into the recovery process helps addict’s better handle stressors as they arise during the day. That’s why Next Generation Village partners with Kula for Karma to provide yoga classes to all patients at no cost.
A Quick ExerciseDeep breathing is easy to learn. Practice the routine in advance; then use it when you need it most. Here’s how deep breathing exercises work:
- Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose
- Hold your breath briefly
- Exhale slowly, through your nose, focusing on the sound of your breath
- Repeat the entire sequence 5 to 10 times, concentrating on breathing slowly and deeply
References http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh312/119-136.pdf http://headsup.scholastic.com/students/stress-and-drug-abuse https://www.hbo.com/addiction/understanding_addiction/141_stress.html http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-causes-and-effects.htm http://www.mindbodygreen.com