Being a teen in the modern age is no easy feat. A recent study conducted by the American Psychological Association found the overall level of teen stress ranked at 5.8 on a 10-point scale, compared with just 5.1 for adults. A major reason behind these high stress levels in teenergers is schoolwork - of which exams are one of the most stressful components. While a little pressure and stress can be a healthy motivation for study, too much of it can take its toll on mental, emotional, and physical health. If your teen is coming up to - or in the middle of - their exam period, why not introduce them to the wonderful world of yoga - an effective stress-reliever for people of all ages and abilities.
The benefits of yoga in relieving exam stress
Let’s start by looking at a study conducted on high school teens concerning yoga and stress relief. Published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, this 10-week study showed that students who took a regular PE yoga class reported having less negative emotions than students who did no yoga.
Additionally, the teens who didn’t take the yoga class scored higher for mood problems and anxiety than the teen yogis. Even better, roughly 75% of the teenagers involved expressed the desire to continue with yoga practice after the study - it is addictive, after all.
Yoga releases endorphins
Ever heard of the “yoga high”? Just like any form of exercise, practicing yoga releases endorphins in the body, feel-good chemicals which ease stress and anxiety. A 2014 study found that yoga reduces the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body. The endorphin rush coupled with the reduction in cortisol accounts for the yoga high you may feel after a particularly good yoga session.
Yoga heals the adrenal glands
As your teen works hard to prepare for exams with practice tests, they may fall into adrenal fatigue, which can occur during prolonged times of stress. Adrenal fatigue essentially means the body struggles to rest and repair itself properly. Yoga is a healing practice that can replenish overworked adrenal glands, and help balance the body, allowing it to rest and restore itself.
During exam time, good stress management techniques are just as important as study and revision. Regular yoga practice will do wonders for your teen’s mental and physical health - and ultimately, give them the clarity of mind needed to successfully prepare for and sit their exams.