July 2, 2014
Yoga for Anxiety and Panic Attacks by Timothy McCall, M.D.
From the online Yoga Journal, which I am very pleased to now be able to go back and look at different articles for various topics, I chose one of the articles that best applies to my life. I am a person who, without the practice of meditation and yoga, suffers from severe panic attacks and very high anxiety levels. A couple years ago, I had a panic attack so severe that I put myself in the hospital. It was later after that that I found meditation and yoga as a release. This article informs the audience of how yoga “burns off the nervous energy that can contribute to anxiety.” Refers to how your breathing is the key component to reducing symptoms of anxiety. Once students have been practicing, even for a short amount of time, they can identify the signs or feelings of anxiety or panic attacks coming on and care for them before they get out of control and overbearing. In the third paragraph of “Yogic Tools” it discusses how meditation and self-study, otherwise known as svadhyaya, help you understand the deeper causes of your problems and getting it under control.
In the second, and last, topic of this article called “Yoga Philosophy” is examining how seeing clearly is more helpful for these issues in a multitude of ways. Alternatively in the third paragraph of this topic in the article it says “anxiety can be a useful symptom, and the ability to get anxious has survival value.” Yes, I do agree with this, but to an extent. When your anxiety overcomes your daily life it becomes unbearable and not knowing when your anxiety will flare up causes more anxiety. This article also informs us that while we are worrying about specific aspects of our life, what will happen, where we will be, and so on, our fears might actually be what we need – for growth, experience, and self-awareness. The ending quote of this article by Ramana Mararshi “take care of the present and the future will take care of itself” is exactly what meditation shows us.
I enjoyed this article thoroughly, from every aspect. This article is relatable, understandable, and very well written. From someone who has had severe panic attacks and still suffers from anxiety, but has a better control over it, everything was exactly what I had experienced. Living my life in a constant state of fear was literally a living hell. I went to the doctors for my anxiety – before finding peace within myself to overcome it – and was put on heavy medications that were addicting. Yes, they covered the problem on the surface, but after a short amount of time I needed more dosages for it to continue to work. My family were the ones who brought it to my attention that I had a problem and that I needed another outlet; another solution really. I was having withdrawals from being taken off of the medications and that is the time I found meditation. After finding meditation, I found yoga. Both helping in more ways than I ever anticipated. Now, today, I have control over my anxiety and haven’t had a panic attack in over a year.
Since finding peace within myself from meditation and yoga, I have not given it up. I continue to practice, doing different variations from flexibility yoga to strength building yoga. I have taken multiple classes from bikram yoga to classes at the gym. Even taken yoga as my physical education credits in college. I continue to make it a very large aspect of my life and will continue to do so because of how much it has benefited me emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Without meditation and yoga I am very certain that I would not be in the place I am today.