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How Yoga Therapy Helps Control Impulsive Behavior

People often associate impulsive behavior with children. However, people of all ages can develop disorders involving impulse control, including adolescents. When impulsive behavior involves drugs or alcohol, the individual can develop an addiction to the substance and may require teen substance abuse treatment. Yoga therapy can help alleviate the stress and anxiety that drives impulsive behavior and help curb addiction. At Destinations for Teens, yoga therapy is just one of the numerous therapeutic services we offer. We give teens in our care the best chance to heal from substance abuse, as well as improve their mental health.

How Yoga Therapy Can Help Treat Addiction

Eastern medicine treats addiction as a part of the entirety of a person’s suffering. Positive and negative behaviors cycle continuously together. Addiction manifests when too much of the body’s energy flow toward attachment to pleasure as a way to balance aversion to suffering. An experienced yoga instructor helps students direct their attention and energy to the root of suffering. Through careful breathing and body control, students can correct imbalances in the mind and body and learn how to control impulsive behaviors. In essence, yoga therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy share many key traits. Rumi, a 13th-century Islamic scholar and mystic, once said, “Your task is not to seek love, but to seek and find all the barriers you have built within yourself.” This mindset of self-empowerment is the cornerstone of modern substance abuse therapy, which yoga therapy can supplement.

The Science of Pranayama

Pranayama is the practice of meditative breathing to harmonize the mind and body. Clearing of the mind helps relieve stress, manage triggers, and achieve a greater sense of self-control. Yoga therapy does this by harmonizing the sympathetic nervous system (which regulates the fight-or-flight response) with the parasympathetic nervous system (which regulates the body’s unconscious at-rest processes). A study conducted by the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation found a significant decrease in sympathetic activity for 25 male volunteers following a session of yoga. The results included significantly decreased oxygen consumption, lowered heart rate, and greater breath volume, all of which help reduce stress that can trigger impulses and addiction. People who practice yoga therapy habitually can develop a calmer state of mind and stave off cravings for harmful substances.

Yoga Therapy in Everyday Life

Even short sessions of controlled breathing can help teens manage their daily lives. Yoga therapy can be invaluable in common stressful situations. For example, yoga therapy can help teens effectively deal with stress from work or school, family issues, and symptoms associated with mental health disorders. Morning yoga can help prepare the body for the demands of the day, while evening yoga can help the body achieve a night of restful sleep and help teens wake up feeling energized and stress-free. The practice of yoga dates back over five millennia and to this today continues to help people relieve stress and improve their overall health. Destinations for Teens consolidates the wisdom and philosophy of Eastern yoga therapy with structured Western cognitive-behavioral therapy to create a comprehensive holistic therapy approach to impulse control disorders and addiction.

Find Out More at Destinations for Teens

For more information about the benefits of yoga therapy and other substance abuse treatment options, contact Destinations for Teens. We assess every teen’s condition and personality to determine the most effective, individualized treatment plan. Our teen residential treatment programs incorporate a variety of therapies in addition to yoga therapy, some of which include:

To learn more about our teen treatment centers, contact Destinations for Teens today at 877.466.0620.   Citations