5 Ways to Exercise the Stress & Anxiety Away

I have never had any serious injuries, I do not take any medications, and I have never been diagnosed with a medical issue. That doesn’t mean there is nothing wrong with me (lol I am batshit crazy). I have never had a great relationship with patience, stress, or irrational thoughts. I did not fully understand all of this until I became a mother. Let me just tell you, patience is not my virtue. Oh how it has been tested. After 5 years of motherhood, I have learned so much about myself and how my thought processes work. After 5 years of motherhood, I have also identified generalized anxiety that has been escalating.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, occasional anxiety is normal, but for anxiety disorders, the worry and fear lingers over long periods of time. Feelings can disrupt activities of daily living, work, school, relationships.

Symptoms of anxiety- generalized, panic disorder, & social:

  • restlessness, feeling wound-up or on edge
  • easily fatiqued
  • muscle tension
  • difficulty controlling worry
  • sleep problems
  • sudden & repeat attacks of intense fear
  • feelings of being out of control
  • anxious about being around groups of people
  • being very afraid people will judge
  • worrying about events for weeks before
  • feeling nauseous or sick worrying 

I let the littlest situations bother me, I make the simplest thoughts into the most irrational ideas, I have difficulty falling asleep and am very restless, and get bouts of intense heart pounding, and shortness of breath. Luckily, stress and anxiety was a highly talked about topic in many of my last semester college courses which allowed me to 8ffd0810a1b3a54767e0395bad45bfb5identify triggers and self-help, stress management techniques. One thing I personally need to do more of is EXERCISE. Exercise is a wonder drug! Exercise increases productivity, lowers stress, and boost moral. Exercise ramps up endorphins in the body which are the “feel-good neurotransmitters”. You are able to shed tensions through movement which allows your mind to clear and calm itself to be refreshed.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America released an article highlighting facts about exercise and anxiety. There is evidence that there are lower rates of anxiety and depression in those who live active lives. “…researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.” TWENTY FIVE PERCENT! Ok, sorry for yelling, but I would say that there is a lower percentage of a child actually picking up all their toys before moving on to the next activity. Yet, you still expect it to happen. May the odds ever be in your favor on that one, but you have a chance at reducing anxiety and stress through simple daily exercise habits.

  1. Park the car at the far end of the parking lot anywhere and everywhere you can. The few extra moments of walking increases your step count and gives you a little time to let your mind relax.
  2. Walk, jog, dance at least three times a week for 30 minutes. The moderate to vigorous activity amps up the endorphins. It may feel hard at first to be into it, but in the end you will thank yourself.
  3. Create a 10 minute routine to rotate through at least three times a week. There is no doubt in my mind, you will say time is a barrier, but braking physical activity down into 10 minute increments is fast, easy, and convenient yet effective.
  4. Working mom? Utilize 10 minutes on your lunch break to walk. Better yet, grab a friend. Make it social and fun if you can and feel comfortable doing so.
  5. Find an activity you enjoy. Do what you want, as much as you want, and as often as you want. As long as you are moving your body, increasing your heart beat and taking some time for yourself, you are doing it right!

 

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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