Yoga as a treatment method for mental disorders

Subject: Sports
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 8
Word count: 2223
Topics: Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Social Psychology, Yoga


Many external and internal factors, namely the increased speed of life, a vast number of stress-increasing factors, economic recessions, relationship issues as well as rapid changes that make the world differ from what it was like yesterday, make a vast number of people suffer from the severe cases of depression and increased anxiety level. Psychological concepts such as the general adaptation syndrome, social comparison theory, self-perception theory, and obsessive self-perception provide a solid basis for depression as well as anxiety case studies. Self-verification, system justification, and self-determination theories provide the basis for studies connected with the most effective intervention methods. The latter involves the process of meditation and breathing techniques present within yoga practices as the major methods of depression and anxiety symptom alleviation. Recent psychological research data proves that yoga could be considered an efficacious method of depression treatment due to its ability to stabilize breathing as well as teaching people how to control their bodies and emotions. Based on Self-Verification, System Justification, and Self-Determination theories mentioned above, current studies infer that majority of the analyzed cases within the framework highlight that victims of mental disorders such as depression exhibited significant improvements after yoga classes.

Yoga as a Treatment Method for Mental Disorders

Some people experience depression as a very serious condition closely associated with apathy. At the same time, they see life as a senseless phenomenon, and the world around is often generally perceived as illusory. Regarding such cases, people experience difficulties in sleeping. For example, insomnia is the most vivid sign of depression. People become exhausted by such suffering and attempt to find a way out of this state. For this reason, people use antidepressants and even substances inducing altered states of consciousness. In the view of Gilovich, Keltner, Chen, and Nisbett (2015), a victim of such psychological disorder often seeks relief in traditional religions or their newest trends. One of such recent revelations based on psychological intervention method is the ancient Indian meditation practice, better known as yoga. Regarding a vast number of empirical and theoretical studies, yoga proves itself an efficient method of intervention in depression treatment as a part of the extended treatment program as well as a separate form of the symptom alleviation.

Relevant Social Psychological Theories That Affect People’s Attitudes and Behaviors

Depression and anxiety represent the basic forms of psychological disorders. Their severity may vary depending on a vast number of personal and environmental factors. Both disorders have a detrimental effect on the normal functioning of a person. Particularly, depression compromises an individual’s capability to establish social connections. As highlighted by Jost and Hunyady (2003), the victims of these psychological conditions suffer from the inability to interact with the other members of the society, which eventually leads to the significant aggravation of one’s condition. General adaptation syndrome is a psychological concept deals with the phenomenon of the organism’s adaptation to the stressful conditions and its transition into the permanent state of being stressed as a form of the norm. As observed by Seaward (2017), the general adaptation syndrome encompasses three stages; namely, alarm reaction, resistance, and exhaustion. Seaward (2017) gave attention to the data presented by Selye, who developed the initial concept of the general adaptation syndrome. Based on the findings of this study, it is imperative to note that individuals must develop strategies for coping with stress. There is a need for people to engage in different forms of exercise and meditation activities such as yoga with the core objective of regulating the stress levels. As a result, yoga practices are a perfect remedy for depression.

The social comparison theory gives attention to people’s tendency to compare themselves with others. Ryan and Deci (2000) asserted that individuals are likely to compare themselves with others in different domains such as the level of intelligence, physical appearance, wealth, and social status. When making such comparisons, individuals develop specific judgments towards the self. A social comparison may trigger the development of depression if the individual recognizes that he or she is worse than everyone else in the society. The repeated comparison may lead to low self-esteem due to the negative personal perception. People engaging in constant comparisons, eventually fail to recognize their uniqueness, self-worth and may develop depression. According to Swann, Polzer, Seyle, and Ko (2004), the self-perception theory has its basis in the fact that people interpret their actions in different situations. People interpret their actions in the same manner in which they make judgments about the actions of others. For this reason, it is possible that an individual can develop a negative self-perception. Particularly, the manner of interpretation that a person carries out depends on the existing social standards. Self-perception can eventually become negative if a person is too hard on himself by negatively interpreting different actions. When that happens, the person becomes prone to depression.

Obsessive self-perception is evident in individuals who exhibit high levels of interest in their affairs. The obsession with the self may compel the individual to overlook important aspects of their behavior or personality. Psychologists have described obsessive self-perception as a precondition for different psychological disorders (Seaward, 2017). A person who registers an obsession with the self eventually develops a distorted view towards the self. Individuals with this condition require professional help for them to have a balanced view towards the self. Obsessive self-perception may be destructive and may trigger the development of depression.

Literature Review

Psychologists have explored different theories that serve as the foundation for developing effective intervention strategies for different psychological disorders. A study by Levecque (2006) highlights that the self-determination theory as an important theoretical framework that should govern effective intervention strategies for people with different psychological disorders. Self-determination focuses on various elements that promote motivation and enhance a person’s personality. One of the significant elements is behavioral self-regulation. Individuals who exhibit self-determination can rely on their inner strength and resources to overcome difficult situations. Self-determination places emphasis on an individual’s capability to embrace effective and healthy behavioral patterns. In psychology, the theory is of great relevance in promoting a high level of motivation among individuals to think and act in appropriate ways (Cramer, Lauche, Langhorst, & Dobos, 2013). The theory focuses on three significant psychological needs; namely, competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Individuals with psychological disorders can draw upon their inner resources to meet these needs successfully and register normal functioning. A study conducted by Ryan and Deci (2000) presented evidence that the self-determination theory is a reliable theoretical framework in psychological counselling and the development of proper intervention strategies for people with depression and anxiety.

Additionally, the self-verification theory has proven highly influential in helping individuals to seek self-enhancement. The basis of the theory is that people would like others to perceive them positively. In certain conditions, people strive to enhance themselves so that they can be perceived positively. In the case of psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety, the theory can help individuals to register positive progress. Particularly, some of the common causes of depression include the feeling that the individual is perceived negatively by others. As highlighted by Gilovich et al. (2015), the self-verification theory can motivate such individuals to enhance their personality to develop a better outlook on the world. The self-verification theory can serve as an important basis for promoting self-enhancement and improving a person’s self-consent. The theory introduces conditions that may promote positive change in the manner in which a person perceives the self. The theory is of critical importance in the development of intervention strategies that help individuals with depression to develop a better self-concept.

The system justification theory has proven to be an additional basis for developing community-based intervention approaches to promote health and mental wellbeing. According to this theory, people belonging to different communities exhibit the desire to develop favorable attitudes that define their identity as a group. Such people are likely to express positive attitudes towards the existing social order. People are likely to adjust their thoughts and behavioral patterns to achieve a positive image. As highlighted by Ryan and Deci (2000), the system justification theory helps in the development of community-based interventions as it serves as a motivation for people to embrace positive behavioral patterns. For instance, a community would easily embrace a healthier lifestyle to promote positive attitudes and identity towards the group. The theory has been a fundamental guideline in determining the most effective community-based interventions that people can embrace easily. There is a need to frame the community-based interventions so that they can benefit both the advantaged and disadvantaged members of the community. Jost and Hunyady (2002) conducted a study to demonstrate the relevance of the system justification theory in promoting positive ideologies among communities. Based on the findings from this study, it is explicit that the theory can help in the development of appropriate intervention strategies for people with psychological disorders in the community.


Based on the theories discussed above, it is evident that a community-based approach that focuses on the promotion of a positive self-concept is effective in addressing the issue of depression. Individuals with depression are less likely to establish social networks (Seaward, 2017). However, a community program that helps them to get in touch with their inner self and mind can help them overcome the depression and establish remarkable social connections. Yoga exercises represent one of the most effective intervention strategies that a community can embrace to help people with depression (Swann et al., 2004). Particularly, participation in yoga-based community programs will help individuals to develop self-enhancement and achieve a higher level of self-determination. For this reason, yoga-based interventions at the community level are likely to help the people exhibit a higher level of social functionality and develop a better psychological wellbeing.


Community yoga programs will serve as an effective intervention to help people with depression and anxiety. There will be a need to create awareness on the effectiveness of yoga programs in the treatment of anxiety and depression. The intervention plan will include the development of a television advertisement that will deliver an important message concerning depression and anxiety and how community-based yoga programs can help individuals overcome the psychological disorder. The television advert will target both the young and the old who exhibit symptoms of depression. The advert will highlight the potential benefits of the yoga programs in calming the mind and helping the individual undergo a process of self-rediscovery (Cramer et al., 2013). The advert will further emphasize the potential of creating social networks during the community-based yoga programs. The television advertisements will use a yoga expert who will highlight the benefits of yoga-based exercises in relieving the symptoms of depression. To persuade the people, the expert will explain the science behind yoga-based exercises and their effects on a person’s mental and psychological processes.

We can write
your paper for you
100% original
24/7 service
50+ subjects

An internet advert will serve as an effective way of calling upon young people with depression to join community-based yoga programs that can help them overcome the condition. Particularly, the internet advertisements will make use of celebrities who participate in yoga as they can appeal to young people easily. Notably, the celebrity will emphasize the benefits of yoga in helping people with depression and anxiety using a language that is appropriate to the young people. The internet commercials will emphasize the benefits of community-based yoga programs in the development of exciting social networks (Gilovich et al., 2015). The self-verification theory will be of critical importance in motivating young people to join the program to promote self-enhancement.


Evidently, the use of television advertisements to encourage people to join community-based yoga programs presents outstanding strengths. Television advertisements can reach a wider audience and encourage people of different genders and cultures to embrace yoga-based exercises as an appropriate intervention strategy for depression and anxiety. On the other hand, the use of the internet will attract young people with depression to join community-based yoga programs because they can promote positive outcomes. The community-based yoga programs have the potential to register mental and psychological well-being and foster better social networks. Individuals who will join the programs will have an opportunity to seek self-enhancement and develop new social connections. Undoubtedly, the intervention will promote the theories of self-determination, self-verification, as well as system justification.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Cramer, H., Lauche, R., Langhorst, J., & Dobos, G. (2013). Yoga for depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Depression and Anxiety, 30(11), 1068-1083.
  2. Gilovich, T., Keltner, D., Chen, S., & Nisbett, R. E. (2015). Social psychology. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
  3. Jost, J., & Hunyady, O. (2003). The psychology of system justification and the palliative function of ideology. European Review of Social Psychology, 13(1), 111-153.
  4. Levecque, K. (2006). Generalized anxiety and depression in the general population: Risk factors according to the Belgian Health Interview Survey 2001. Depression and Anxiety, 23(8), 509-511.
  5. Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.
  6. Seaward, B. (2017). Managing stress. S.I: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  7. Swann, W., Polzer, J., Seyle, D., & Ko, S. (2004). Finding value in diversity: Verification of personal and social self-views in diverse groups. The Academy of Management Review, 29(1), 9.
Related topics
More samples
Related Essays