It’s likely that you or someone you know has a hard time coping with anxiety.
Chronic stress has reached epidemic levels among the younger generation contributing to the rise of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. While therapy, meditation, and in the most extreme circumstances, medication can help people soothe their anxious minds there is another method that people sometimes forget: exercise.
In fact, exercise might be more effective in calming anxiety than we thought. A
A 2013 Princeton study found that exercise actually creates new, vibrant, brain cells. These cells, during exercise, are even known to be shut down in stressful situations, effectively calming you down and keeping anxiety at bay. That reason alone should be enough to make you want to hit the gym!
But once you get there what kind of exercise should you do? Here are some of…
The Best Exercises to Help You Release AnxietyUse That Nervous Energy
As Elle Woods told us all those years ago, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” When stress, depression, and anxiety are creeping in fight them off with some high-energy exercises that will flood your brain with endorphins. Zumba, spinning, even an old-fashioned run (yes, runner’s high is real) are all great choices. But really, anything that gets your heart rate up will do the trick, so find what works for you!
Make it a Team Effort
Maybe running a quick 5k just isn’t for you. No worries! You can get that same aerobic exercise plenty of other ways. In fact, we’re pretty sure that once upon a time, aerobic exercise was a breeze for you. This is because back in the day (we’re talking playground days) you and your friends used to play some team sports. Basketball, kickball, even capture the flag will get your heart pumping and the endorphins flowing. Also, as an added bonus, you’ll be able to log some needed social time with the people who care about you.
Try a Mindful Yoga Practice
When you Google “best exercises for anxiety,” articles about yoga will be all over your search results. This is hardly a surprise; the fluid movements of yoga are inherently soothing, and the practice encourages meditation and mindfulness – practically an essential when warding off anxiety. Yoga can provide immense benefit no matter your skill level, and the low-impact movement is great for those of us who have a harder time exercising. Yoga can even be a great way to stretch after a long day at work.
Commune With Nature
Nature is beautiful. Who wouldn’t want to spend time exploring the incredible scenery right outside their window? But even if a hike in the woods isn’t awe-inspiring or much fun, spending time in nature can be a remarkable balm for anxiety. Studies have shown that time outside is a natural antidepressant. Time in nature decreases rumination and stress, according to numerous studies. And with all that anxiety vanished into the air, you’ll really be able to enjoy yourself and live in the moment.
Of course, the most effective exercise will be one that you enjoy. So get on your shoes and get out there – and sweat all that anxiety out!