3 South Asian Techniques That Can Improve Mental Health – NAMI CCNS
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3 South Asian Techniques That Can Improve Mental Health

People struggle with mental health and feel like they're powerless against their own minds. They may think that the only solution is to try to fake happiness and peace of mind or find a shortcut through things like overeating and taking drugs. However, there are ways to put your troubles to bed without escaping reality. These three South Asian techniques can be very good for your mental health.

Yoga

The practice of yoga does a lot for your body, as you can see by depictions of people making themselves limber as they flex into all sorts of positions. But the mental effects are part of why so many people have a daily yoga routine. Yoga can help you unwind by increasing your serotonin levels. You can also think more clearly based on how it engages your brain cells. To get the most out of your practice, you need to be focused on just yoga for up to 30 minutes. Some good techniques for mental health include the cat pose, corpse pose, and upward facing dog pose.  I personally recommend Bikram Yoga, as it's truly a challenge where mental focus and physical endurance intersect into one guided session.  I was an Army physical fitness badge owner, and I swear by Bikram Yoga, even for us men!

Chakra Manipulation

When people talk about needing to open our hearts and minds, they might be talking about chakras. Chakras are energy centers in the body and are responsible for meshing physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, psychological, and non-physical energies. Hindus and Buddhists believe that opening these chakras help to make us happier and more connected with the world. To manipulate them, you sit down and go through each of these emotional centers, opening them up one at a time so that you can feel more connected to yourself and others.  If you're looking for a good book to read on chakras, here's our recommendation: The Ultimate Guide to Chakras: The Beginner's Guide to Balancing, Healing, and Unblocking Your Chakras for Health and Positive Energy

Chakra

Transcendental Meditation

The classic image of someone meditating seated with their eyes closed and chanting a mantra, such as "om," accurately describes transcendental meditation. Founded by Indian spiritual leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, this practice champions letting the mind focus on a mantra for 20 minutes, twice a day. If you've been trying to force your thoughts to be positive or chastising yourself for negative thinking, TM shows that it's okay to just be in the moment. There's no need to concentrate on anything but your mantra and breath.  Through time, you slowly learn to separate who you are from the daily grinding thoughts that run through your head during these sessions.

Improved mental health doesn't mean that, all of a sudden, everything you've ever wanted comes to you or that you're happy all the time. There can still be negative feelings, like feeling disappointment. But working on yourself means that you can be far better protected against times that might have previously made you feel like surrendering. These techniques are just the start of helping your mental health.  The most important part is simply to start!

If you struggle with mental health, you’re not alone. Help is in reach. Find resources today.

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