Anxiety can be debilitating, and too much can even make you physically sick. Suffering from anxiety on a long term basis can often lead to heart disease and cancer. While synthetic medications can ease symptoms, the best way to reduce anxiety is through natural treatment.
How exercise works to reduce anxiety and stress
Exercise can have the greatest impact on reducing stress and anxiety. By releasing feel-good brain chemicals, exercise can help take your mind off worries as well as to gain confidence. One of the biggest reasons that exercise works to prevent anxiety is by taking the mind off whatever is causing your stress. Stopping the cycle of negative thinking is easier while your body is hard at work. You don’t have to train for a marathon. Anything that gets you moving will help, from gardening or a stroll around the neighborhood to scenic hike.
According to therapist Sally R. Connolly, LCSW, “Exercise won’t cure anxiety or depression, but the physical and psychological benefits can improve the symptoms,” she also notes, “Research shows that at least 30 minutes of exercise three to five days a week can significantly make a difference.”
Regular exercise can reportedly help alleviate anxiety as much as synthetic medications, but with longer lasting anxiety-relieving effects.
Because exercise also prevents a variety of health ailments and can also help you obtain your ideal weight, it will give you less to worry about. Women who have a family history of the disorder also tend to do particularly well with moderate physical activity. For those with no family history of anxiety, intense exercise may work better at eliminating or reducing anxiety.
Which types of exercise are best?
While any form of exercise will help, if you want to participate in a more intense activity, running is one of the best at helping your body to release those feel-good hormones, endorphins, giving you that natural high.
Dancing is not only an excellent form of cardio activity, it’s fun, and by dancing to a rhythm it helps to focus your mind on something other than your worries. Biking, cycling and swimming are other great activities to participate in.
For a less intense activity, consider participating in yoga. There are many different types of yoga and all can help you to build muscle, increase flexibility and relieve anxiety. Focusing on the breath and deep breathing are natural forms of relaxation and provide instant relief.
Complement your exercise routine to reduce anxiety even more
To reduce anxiety even more, there are several options that will help complement your exercise routine. There are a wide variety of herbs that can help decrease anxiety, with a few of the most effective including: Valerian, Passion Flower, Lavender, Kava Kava, and Chamomile.
Taking flaxseed oil has many health benefits, with the most significant including the reduction of anxiety. It’s naturally high in Omega 3 fatty acids which have been proved to help many mental conditions. Maca root can also be quite effective as it contains a phytonutrient that helps to ward off anxiety and can also reduce insomnia.
Any exercise can greatly improve both your mental and physical health, leading to a less anxious life. Find an activity you love, and you’ll be set for a happier future.