Stress and anxiety are part of our life and how we handle them really matters because they can lead to anxiety disorders which are the most common psychiatric illnesses. When stress and anxiety affect the brain, it depletes your energy or ability to concentrate, and the body will feel the impact through the many nerve connections (Hint: this is one of the reasons Chiropractic adjustments create a better sense of being for those under care). You can work on stress and anxiety without taking any medication or even seeing a therapist, and this is through exercise.
Studies have shown that doing exercising is the best way to reducing stress and anxiety as it improves concentration and alertness, reduces fatigue and enhances the overall cognitive function. Exercises also make the brain to produce a chemical that acts as a natural painkiller- endorphins and also improves the ability to allow you to sleep. Physically active people are known to have a lower rate of stress and anxiety than people who are sedentary as it improves the mental health by helping the brain be able to cope better with stress. Exercises also helps you relax by reducing the body tension and increases the metabolism of the excess thyroid and stress hormones in the bloodstream.
5 types of exercises that are best for stress and anxiety include:
- Breathing exercises or deep breathing is good for relieving stress and anxiety, and they can be done anywhere while standing, sitting on a chair or lying on a yoga mat or bed. First, you need to relax and be comfortable, then breathe in regularly and gently for about five seconds. Let the breath flow deep into your belly and lungs without forcing it and then breathe out through mouth counting one to five. Repeat this for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Yoga is a gentle exercise that relieves stress and anxiety through the stationary and moving poses combined with deep breathing. It works by improving your strength, balance, flexibility, and stamina through the gentle poses and deep breathing, allows meditation and relaxation. Studies show that it is difficult to be anxious when you are deep breathing.
- Running or jogging when you are stressed or anxious improves your moods in various ways. When you run, endorphins are released, hence giving the body the euphoric feeling and promotes new neuron growth in the brain. Running improves your memory and helps you fall asleep. Running is a form of aerobic exercises, and studies show that regular participation in aerobic exercises decreases overall tension levels, improve sleep and self-esteem and elevate and stabilizes your mood.
- Hiking in the woods brings a calming effect in the brain because of nature and plants emit chemicals which slow down the decay process and also slow us down as well hence reducing our stress levels. Taking a 50 minutes’ walk in the woods and admiring nature is good for your mental health, improves memory function and makes you feel less anxious or stressed.
- Dancing also helps relieve stress and anxiety than regular physical education as it improves the connection of the body and mind. You can take Zumba or salsa classes or even dance to your favorite type of music in your home when you are stressed or anxious.
Hope your enjoyed this,
Dr. Jason B. Jones – Elizabeth City, NC Chiropractor