Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting an estimated 40 million adults every year. These disorders have a common denominator – debilitating anxiety or a state of excessive worry, fear, and apprehension that interferes with daily functioning and quality of life.
Anxiety disorders are generally treated using medication or therapy, but some people may also benefit from lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise.
How Exercising Can Help Alleviate Anxiety
Stress Reduction: Exercise is a powerful stress reliever. It helps reduce the levels of stress hormones in the body, such as cortisol, and releases tension in the body – promoting a state of calm and relaxation. Regular physical activity can enhance your ability to cope with stressors and improve your overall resilience.
Mood Enhancement: Exercise has a direct impact on mood in that it increases the production of feel-good chemicals in the brain known as endorphins. This can result in improved mood and reduced anxiety symptoms. Additionally, regular physical activity can distract you from anxious thoughts and provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Improved Sleep Quality: Regular exercise can help you to sleep better, which is key for reducing anxiety levels. A well-rested body and mind are far more resilient to stress and can better cope with anxiety-provoking situations. Exercise helps you to relax and wind down before bedtime, resulting in a more restful night’s sleep.
Increased Self-confidence: Engaging in regular exercise can improve self-esteem and self-confidence. Achieving fitness goals and feeling physically strong can boost self-image and create a sense of empowerment. This increased self-confidence can extend to other areas of life, helping to manage anxiety in various situations.
Exercises That Can Help Manage Anxiety
Engaging in aerobic exercises such as running, brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling can all have a significant positive impact on anxiety. Aerobic exercise triggers the release of endorphins and provides a constructive distraction from anxious thoughts.
Yoga combines physical movement, breath control, and mindfulness, making it an effective way to alleviate anxiety. This mind-body exercise promotes relaxation, releases tension, and enhances body awareness.
Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting or resistance training, offer more than just physical benefits. They can also positively impact mental health. Strength training improves muscle strength, increases confidence, and enhances self-esteem. Additionally, focusing on specific exercises that target different muscle groups can help release tension that has built up in the body and redirect your attention away from anxious thoughts.
Dancing is a fun and expressive way to manage anxiety. Whether you join a dance class or dance from the comfort of your own home, moving to the rhythm of music can help uplift your mood and allow you to let go of your worries.
Incorporating Exercise Into Your Routine
The key to reaping the benefits of exercise for anxiety is consistency. Start by finding an exercise routine you enjoy and can do regularly. Set realistic goals that challenge you but aren’t too overwhelming, and try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. With time and consistency – you will reap all the mental health benefits of regular physical activity.
While exercise alone may not be enough to manage your anxiety, it can be a valuable tool in managing symptoms alongside other medical interventions. However, despite the best efforts, not everyone will respond to traditional anxiety treatments and lifestyle modifications. If you or someone you know is struggling to find an effective anxiety treatment, you may have to consider exploring personalized ketamine treatments at Alchemy Wellness Clinic.
Ketamine infusion therapy is a novel treatment that has proven effective and fast-acting in managing severe anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions, especially in cases where traditional treatment options have proven ineffective.
Our experienced professionals will work with you to develop a tailored treatment plan to support your mental health journey and help you find the relief you need. Contact us to schedule a consultation today and get started on the path to recovery.