Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Mindful Yoga Can Reduce Risky Behaviors

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Mindful Yoga Can Reduce Risky Behaviors

Article excerpt

For some young people, dealing with life stressors often means turning to negative, risky behaviors, such as substance abuse. A 10-year study of a diverse population of 18- to 24-year-olds sheds light on more positive coping strategies.

The study revealed that positive coping behaviors, either learned or self-generated, can actually have a protective effect.

"We found that many of these youths who had endured stressful life events and otherwise would have fallen into the risky behavior trap could actually have positive outcomes later in life because they chose to join in prosocial physical activities, yoga, or mindfulness meditation," said researcher Jacinda Dariotis.

During the study, Dariotis looked at the disconnect between the youths who had intended to have positive influences in their lives but continually found themselves engaged in behaviors that had negative outcomes. She found a link between stressful life events and increased risky unprotected sex, violence, and substance abuse.

Dariotis found that at-risk youth who voluntarily spend their time reading books, playing sports, or engaged in avoidance coping behaviors were twice as likely to avoid risky sexual behaviors or substance abuse. …

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