If you suffer from any kind of anxiety and are in the process of seeking treatment, do not be surprised if your doctor or healthcare provider includes a regular exercise regimen in your prescription. Exercise and regular physical activity have been proven to help ease and soothe the frazzled nerves of people suffering from anxiety. More than minimizing anxiety attacks, exercise also makes it easier for people to manage symptoms of anxiety.
How exercise works to ease anxiety?
Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, hyperventilation, dizziness, and stress. These symptoms are easily remedied or minimized by exercise. Regular cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs – organs affected by the symptoms. By making the heart stronger, exercise helps lower blood pressure and regulate heartbeat. A stronger heart also ensures that enough oxygen is supplied to the brain which minimizes dizzy spells. Cardiovascular exercise also increases lung power which prevents hyperventilation and shortness of breath. Exercise also reduces stress by encouraging the release of endorphins or feel-good hormones in the body.
Aside from improving your body's capability to handle anxiety symptoms, exercise also offers benefits that can make your general condition better.
Other benefits of exercise in easing anxiety
The benefits of exercise are not limited to improving your physical condition. Your overall emotional and psychological well-being can also benefit from exercise which can help ease anxiety symptoms. Below are some benefits exercise can give you in minimizing your anxiety:
- Exercise gives you distraction.
Instead of dwelling on your worries, getting into exercise can provide you with the necessary distraction. The music you listen to or the outdoor view can help your brain disengage from your worries and shift your attention to more pleasant things.
- Exercise boosts your confidence.
Aside from the obvious benefit of making you fit and look good, exercising can also boost your confidence. Treat excess pounds as hurdles you have to overcome and each pound lost, as an accomplishment. By doing so, exercise can make you feel accomplished aside from making you look good.
- Exercise allows you to socialize.
Anxiety can make you a recluse and shy away from other people. But exercise, like taking a walk or jogging around your neighborhood, can provide you with opportunities to be around other people and interact with them. Interaction can be as simple as an exchange of smiles or being reacquainted with other people around you.
- Exercise gives you an outlet to vent and cope.
There are many ways of coping with anxiety but not all of them are healthy. Some people resort to excessive drinking, drugs, getting into bad relationships, or overeating. These strategies are unhealthy and can do more damage to their mental health. On the other hand, exercising allows you to vent your anxiety into physical activity which helps you feel better and be healthier.
Exercising can contribute a lot to anxiety treatment and therapy. Aside from minimizing symptoms, exercise also allows you to improve your sense of well-being which is crucial to your recovery.