How Stress-Relieving Yoga Helped Combat Stress & Panic Attacks
Given the potential link between excessive stress and heart disease, this mother’s story on the benefits of yoga on stress may help other women looking to do the same in their lives.
Ginger Phillips’ panic attacks started when she was 37 years old. These attacks ran in her family and each one stretched on for minutes, hours, sometimes days. At times, she felt like they were a constant presence in her life. The feeling was always the same: a sick stomach and a sense of doom.
Worried that drugs would cloud daily activities with her three children, Phillips opted to stay with the pain. It wasn’t until a serendipitous event inspired her to make one small change that she started to feel relief.
Earlier this year, Phillips found herself with a flat tire near her home in Atlanta. She brought her car to a service station, and, upon hearing that she would be forced to wait more than an hour, ducked into a nearby Walmart to browse the shelves.
“I saw a DVD for stress relief yoga (exact name: Yoga for Stress Relief & Flexibility), I took it home and tried it,” she says.
Phillips, now 44 years old, squeezed in the 25-minute DVD between when her children got home from school and when she was scheduled to start cooking dinner. Her husband returned from work after her first yoga session and looked at her with a face of disbelief.
“He asked me, ‘Are you OK? You look really different and relaxed and peaceful,’” she remembers.
Phillips felt amazing; her stress level had come down several notches, she explains. She felt emotionally centered and as though the physical tension in her body had simply melted away.
One Small Change, Several Giant Benefits
Ever since that day, yoga is a regular part of Phillips’ life. The practice hasn’t altered her daily routine; she still accomplishes necessary tasks around the house and runs errands with her children, but by incorporating yoga into her schedule, it has helped Phillips experience more relaxing family time, among other benefits.
“Our dinner time is more peaceful and fun now,” she says, adding that she hasn’t experienced a panic attack in many months. “I do yoga with my kids, too; it is a great way for us to connect and move more.”
Readers: What small schedule tweak can you fit into your daily schedule to help improve your overall health?