Physical activity has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of dealing with excess stress and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain, which help regulate your mood and act as a natural pain killer. By exercising regularly, you encourage your body and brain to release these endorphins.
Physical activity also helps lower the levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol. This doubles the anxiety easing effect that exercise has on your body. Here are our four tips for using exercise to relieve anxiety, helping you to manage your stress through regular exercise.
Trust in the Calming Effect of Yoga
Yoga has been used for centuries to relieve stress and anxiety and to clear your mind. Yoga brings with it a huge range of benefits, including improved flexibility, strengthening core muscles, and improving blood circulation. The peace of mind regular yoga practitioners achieve can obviously do a lot to reduce stress and anxiety, but the exercise has also been proven to reduce blood pressure and heart disease too.
Use Breathing Exercises to Manage Your Anxiety
If yoga sounds too much, breathing exercises can help a lot without having to go to too much effort or attend classes to learn the practice. Rapid and shallow breaths are a common physical response to stress, and slow and deep breathing is the antidote to this effect, helping you take back control of your body from anxiety.
Breathe in a deep and full breath slowly, extending out your chest and stomach so your diaphragm is fully utilized. Hold this breath briefly, and slowly exhale. Don’t rush this exhaled breath, slowly release it through your mouth while trying to relax and repeat this process five or ten times.
Breathing exercises are easy to do and can be done anywhere and at any time. They can help you deal with sudden attacks of anxiety and regular breathing exercises may help you reduce the number of attacks you suffer from.
Try Some Light Cardio Workouts
Swimming, running and cycling are all excellent cardio exercises that can help relieve stress and anxiety. They are a great way to start the day, giving your body a burst of endorphins to give it the momentum it needs to carry it through the rest of the day.
Cardio exercises like running can also give you a chance to clear your mind or think through problems in your professional or personal life that can also help reduce stress and anxiety. Rest is an important part of recovering from cardio workouts, and good sleep helps manage anxiety and stress too. A new mattress may provide the support you need while you sleep if you have been exercising and your body needs to recuperate.
Martial Arts May Be the Exercise Regime You Need
One form of exercise that is great for dealing with anxiety is martial arts. From kickboxing to karate, and judo to jiu-jitsu, these forms of self-defense are great exercise, but also help build confidence and self-discipline that can help you manage anxiety and stress elsewhere in your life.
They are also social disciplines that help you become a part of a community and a team, and this releases endorphins in your brain that reduce anxiety and stress too.
There are many forms of exercise for you to choose from, but the four that we have listed offer you the best chance to reduce your stress and anxiety while staying fit and healthy. Whatever form of exercise you choose, make sure you stay consistent and persevere. It can take time to see the positive results of regular exercise, not just physically, but mentally too.