Public health researcher Jacinda Dariotis studied the relation between stressful life events and delinquency in young people. She observed that those proactively engaged in constructive activities, such as spending time reading books or playing sports, “were twice as likely to avoid risky sexual behaviours or substance abuse”.
“We found that many of these youths who had endured stressful life events and otherwise would have fallen into the risky behaviour trap could actually have positive outcomes later in life because they chose to join in pro–social physical activities, yoga or mindfulness meditation,” she explains.
The weekly mindful yoga practice helps in teaching us how to control our breathing and emotions, which according to her contributes to the ability of developing healthier long-term skills.
She also recommends thinking positively instead of thinking about a bad event, and emphasises the importance of implementing positive coping strategies for at-risk youth.
The study also found that although testosterone can play a role in aggressive behaviours, when channelled to sports or yoga, healthy competition could bring a positive outcome and reduce involvement in violence, risky sex and crime.