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April 10, 2024

Working Out Alleviates Anxiety

Posted In: Fitness, Mindset

There’s a reason therapists are using exercise as an adjunct therapy. It helps! Studies show that working out helps both anxiety and depression. If it’s mild anxiety about an upcoming interview or other situation that’s temporary, it can even help with the temporary anxiety caused by those issues. It’s not a replacement for professional counseling for anxiety disorder, but it does complement therapy. Always get professional help when anxiety is debilitating.

It’s about the fight-or-flight response.

The fight-or-flight response is a primitive response that helps you flee danger or fight for survival. It prepares the body for either, diverting blood from digestion then sending it to the extremities. That can cause a sick feeling in the pit of the stomach. It increases blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. It causes the pupils to dilate and the body to tremble. If that reaction sounds the same as what you experience when feeling anxious, it’s because it is. The hormones released during stress and anxiety are the same.

You probably don’t worry about saber-toothed tigers.

Modern men have different stressors than Cavemen, but the reaction to the stress is the same. You may not have to worry about wild animals, but that traffic jam, angry boss, or screaming neighbor triggers the same reaction. It doesn’t have to be a real threat to trigger an anxiety attack. It just has to be stressful. Sometimes, a vivid dream, a movie that triggers a memory, or a sound or smell can cause anxiety. Studies show that exercise helps reverse that reaction.

Exercise diverts your attention and changes your focus.

When you exercise, you move your muscles. That decreases muscle tension and reduces the negative effects of stress. The less muscle tension you have, the lower the feeling of anxiety. It helps change the production of neurochemicals like serotonin, BDNF, and other anti-anxiety neurochemicals by raising the heart rate and changing brain chemistry. It causes the release of endorphins that make you feel good. These hormones are messengers that relieve pain, improve your mood, and reduce stress.

  • Regular exercise changes you physically. It improves your posture, which makes you look and feel more confident. It also makes you feel stronger and more able to handle situations as they occur.
  • Studies show that exercise is as effective as an adjunct therapy as medication. The only side effect of exercise is a healthier, more attractive body.
  • Learning meditation and focused breathing techniques can also help reduce stress. You can use relaxation techniques anywhere and immediately lower stress and anxiety levels.
  • Regular exercise can help you control mild anxiety that occurs in everyday life, even when chronic anxiety isn’t a problem. It can help prevent belly fat linked to stress hormones.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC