How exercise can help reduce anxiety

Generally, anxiety is considered a normal emotion especially in reaction to stress and toxic situations. However when it becomes intense to the extent that it interferes with our day-to-day activities, then it becomes a disorder. Common symptoms of anxiety disorder include insomnia, excessive worrying, laziness and impaired concentration.

Anxiety also helps in survival. It makes us alert so that we won’t make mistakes in dangerous situations. For instance, worrying about your own safety or your loved ones’ safety is considered harmless anxiety. It is only for a short period. Another example is when you have to write a test. You will be conscious about not failing and some students can even sweat during the test. However once the test is over, you will feel relaxed and may even want to celebrate ending the test successfully!

But when the anxiety continues it becomes a disorder. This is what happens nowadays when we worry about our jobs, marriage, family, money and other important issues in life. We are in a constant state of worry, not allowing ourselves to relax. Unfortunately many people aren’t treated for anxiety disorders.

Many non-medical techniques are used in reducing anxiety such as meditation and psychotherapy. One other method of treatment is by doing exercise. When it comes to exercise, usually we think of professionals who can do it without breaking a sweat. However even a simple activity such as walking is also exercise. We don’t need to learn how to lift weights or run laps on a track.

Many studies have shown exercise reduces anxiety disorders. Not only that, it also helps in keeping the body healthy and reduces the risk of developing other conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Exercise can help reduce anxiety disorders in the following ways

  • Takes your mind off worry
  • Build confidence
  • Increase social interaction
  • Makes you feel good
  • Keeps you healthy

To do an exercise, you need to decide what type you are comfortable with. It could be cycling, running or simply walking. It can be done three to five days in a week. Despite that we are busy with so many responsibilities but we can spend at least 30 minutes to do a simple exercise. Also trying to keep the routine can be helpful. If you miss the exercise one day, there’s no reason to stop. It only means that you need to continue with the exercise as much as possible until it becomes part of your daily routine.

Apart from exercise, you can also consult your doctor on personal treatment. If necessary your doctor can prescribe medication or psychotherapy which can also aid in reducing anxiety.

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