Friday, February 27, 2009

Using Yoga to Promote Mental Health & Fitness

When suffering from a physical illness we have obvious symptoms of pain and discomfort and rely upon familiar medical practices or natural remedies to provide relief. But psychological disturbance does not necessarily carry with it such readily discernible symptoms. This can result in the disturbance becoming clinical over time, demanding the need for psychiatric care.

In order that we avoid any anxiety about our own mental health, we need to know what the early symptoms of mental disturbance are-symptoms that have the propensity to develop into mental illness. This will enable us to be aware of any problem should it begin to develop in ourselves.

Not only that, but we need to know how we can empower ourselves to change our psychological states and habits so as to improve our mental well-being, in the event that we do develop a concern about our on psychological well-being. Studies show that the majority of people in these circumstances have little confidence about identifying or embarking upon a self-help program. Few people are aware that a proven system of psychological and intellectual betterment is at hand in the teachings of Raja Yoga.

So then, what are some of the common symptoms of mental illness?

Aside from the well known and generally acknowledged disorders such as serious stress and clinical depression which manifest in varying degrees of intensity, we can readily observe other signs of mental and emotional problems, for example:

-Exaggerated emotional responses
-Sudden mood swings
-Nervousness and fears of all kind
-Irrational speech and behavior
-Anxiety (this can apply to a limitless range of concerns)
-Chronic Allergies
-Morose or negative moods
-Lack of enthusiasm for life
-Inability to demonstrate affection
-Cruel or selfish behavior
-Chronic insomnia
-Lying, stealing and other unethical behavior
-Violent behavior
-Lack of creative activity
-Reluctance to talk in a one- to-one situation
-Extreme dependence
-Inability to relax

However it is important that people don't rush headlong into self-help situations should they be experiencing one or some of these symptoms, for they man well be the result of some malady that requires the care of a health professional. In the event that such is not the case though, then some serious thought can be given to following a program of self-help; and one of the very best self-help programs a person could possibly follow-one that has stood the test of time over hundreds, even thousands of years, is Raja Yoga. People need to open their minds to the possibility that this ancient teaching can help them. They need to take a really hard look at it.

Sally Janssen is a writer and educator who from an early age trained in Raja Yoga--that branch of the ancient science that deals with the mind and its complexities. She subsequently gained an international reputation for her skills and her wisdom in the training of the mind.

In her wonderfully readable book entitled Mental Fitness: The Complete Self-help Guide she presents simple, self-help practices that help to generate and maintain mental fitness just as the natural principles of physical fitness can be personally applied by us all. The book may be found here: This really is a must-read book for us all. Sally also welcomes you to visit her blog at

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