Feeling Anxious – Try Exercise or Dance

Feeling Anxious - Try Exercise or Dance

Studies suggest that regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long lasting. One vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.

Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but anxiety disorders which affect millions of people, are the most common psychiatric illnesses. The benefits of exercise may well extend beyond stress relief to improving anxiety and related disorders.

It has been suggested that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout, to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed moods in many people. The effects may be temporary, but they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief, similar to taking an aspirin for a headache.

There is evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than inactive people. Taking part in exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. Those that get regular vigorous exercise are 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.

To reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people, and the effects can be long lasting. A vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.

Like all forms of therapy, the effect of regular exercise can vary: Some people may respond positively, others may find it doesn’t improve their mood much, and some may experience only a modest short-term benefit. Nonetheless, experts say that the beneficial effects of exercise on physical health are not in dispute, and people should be encouraged to stay physically active.

Inactivity is not the cause of anxiety for everyone. Some people are genetically prone to anxiety. Others have had experiences in their lives that shaped their anxiety symptoms. Whether inactivity caused your anxiety or not, there is also reason to believe that exercise alone can be one of the best ways to manage it.

Recent guidelines for adults recommend at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking) each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity (such as jogging or swimming laps), or a combination of the two.

Anxiety management is about performing behaviours that fight anxiety, and exercise – of all possible behaviours – is potentially one of the best anxiety cures:

  • Preventing Inactivity;
  • Releasing “Relaxation” Neurotransmitters;
  • Burning Cortisol;
  • Improved Sleep; and
  • Healthy Activity.

There are countless other reasons why exercise may also help with anxiety. Exercise improves confidence. It ensures that your body is healthy, and good health is important for every mental health issue. It also helps your body run more efficiently, and prevent any “misfiring” that may be causing persistent anxiety.

Exercises To Improve Your Anxiety?

For some of the benefits of exercise on anxiety – especially endorphin release – you need to exercise as intensely as possible. But the most important thing you can do is get up and move, and if you simply go play some basketball or go for a bike ride once a day, you’ll see a noticeable difference even without added intensity.

While all exercise is valuable, added intensity will burn away more stress hormones and improve neurotransmitter release. When you feel like you’re ready to increase the intensity, try the following:

  • Yoga;
  • Join a Team;
  • Swimming; and
  • Light Jogging.

All activity helps with anxiety and the more exercise you complete, the more likely you’ll see the results. Those are some examples of how you can increase your exertion without too much intensity.

Intense Exercises

Of course, it’s all leading up to the most intense exercises you can complete. The greater the intensity, the more beneficial the exercise will be for anxiety. Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program – especially an intense one.

  • Long Distance Jogging;
  • Joining a Gym; and
  • Daily Healthy Living.

The more you can increase your exercise, the better you’ll be, and the easier time you’ll have managing your anxiety.

The Power of Dance

Dancing can significantly influence our moods, emotions, and attitudes and can be used to impact our mental health.

How do you typically respond when anxiety kicks in? Do you step back and take a deep breathe? Do you leave the room? Do you put on some music and dance? The last option may seem farfetched, but according to some psychologists and therapists, it could be an effective response.

To see someone dance is to witness release, self-expression, and often, joy

Many therapists who treat anxiety are finding that dance has the potential to act as an effective treatment for anxiety. Dance can be a method of accessing a peaceful state of mind.

Tell me the last time you danced, and I will tell you the last time you were happy

Studies have shown that dance in particular can decrease anxiety and boost mood more than other physical outlets.

Therapy can be a frightening word, but there are fun forms of anxiety therapy, and one of those is dance therapy.

Among all the different types of dancing, the tango is one of the best since it is good for fostering both “cognitive and emotional health”. The Tango provides help with memory and attention deficit issues.

Researchers speculate that the complex Tango dance requires so much concentration and new skill development that the participants become wrapped up in what they’re doing and don’t have time to worry about anything else.

Lose yourself in the music and movement

You don’t have to attend dance therapy to get the benefits of dance.  If you’re a bit shy or feel your dance moves aren’t that good, don’t let that stop you turning up the music and busting out some moves all by yourself.  If you’re not up for the tango, below are a few other suggestions or just make up your own moves and… dance like no one’s watching!!!

  • Ball room dancing;
  • Ballet;
  • Line dancing;
  • Salsa;
  • Hip hop; and
  • Belly dancing.