Anxiety and Panic Attacks

by Jul 25, 2019Body and Mind2 comments

Anxiety and Panic Attacks 

Have you ever had an anxiety or a panic attack?

 

I think this is a topic that many feel uncomfortable to talk about, but I believe that the first step to understanding anxiety or panic attacks is to talk to a professional.

I don’t know, that I have had either anxiety or panic attacks before, but I had a few occasions where this might have happened, and I just did not know what was going on.

There are ways to help to keep these attacks at bay, and one of them is exercising. Today, we will explore how exercising can help with anxiety and panic attacks.

You probably already know that exercising is an amazing way to keep physically fit, manage your weight, improve your cardiovascular health, and give you energy. But the benefits of moving your body go far beyond physical. There are also many mental and emotional benefits of regular exercise, including helping with your mental health.

The Relationship Between Anxiety and Activity

Though the connection is not entirely understood, a clear link exists between physical activity and a decrease in the likelihood of anxiety and its co-morbidities, including depression and panic attacks. These effects occur biologically, psychologically, and emotionally.

Biological Benefits

Physical exertion releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that function as natural painkillers. Not only do endorphins stimulate positive feeling, they also improve sleep. Sleep, in turn, reduces stress and improves anxiety. Endorphins aside, exercise energizes the body, leaving you feeling good both during and after the activity. Better mood, better sleep, and better feelings reduce the physiological and psychological symptoms of anxiety.

Psychological Benefits

Anxiety can be all-consuming, and it is this overwhelming sense of worry or dread that leads to panic attacks. Engaging in physical activity that you find both challenging and enjoyable distracts you from obsessive, harmful thinking. Your mind rests, in a sense, while your body works. It is important to find an activity that does present a challenge and an activity you’re interested in participating for the greatest benefits in this regard.

Halfhearted participation in an exercise that feels more a chore than a fun activity is not helpful, and it may lead to further stress and anxiety. This activity does not need to be hardcore exercise; a game of soccer with friends, a swim in the pool, gardening, or a simple walk will do the job. It’s all about getting your heart pumping and your mind off worries.

Emotional Benefits

Giving yourself the goal of more physical activity and following through with it will leave you feeling accomplished. Pursuing and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, too, will grow your confidence. Self-contentment and confidence are incredibly beneficial in keeping anxiety at bay since most anxiety is rooted in inner conflict.

Getting, and Remaining, Motivated

The most difficult part about increasing your physical activity to reduce anxiety and the likelihood of panic attacks is getting started. It can feel impossible for an overburdened mind to find the time and energy to decide upon and pursue change, but it is not. A professional can help you develop a plan to get started on and stick to a new regimen of activity. The most important thing is to find activities you enjoy that you can, and want to, fit into your life and schedule. As a supplement to psychotherapy and psychiatric care, physical activity is immensely beneficial in improving your mood.

It might take a few tries, to find what is best for you as an exercise and to make it a routine. I know that I tried a few different things, and now my favorite routines are walking and hiking, and aqua fitness if I have a chance to do it.

The thing is, even if you only have 30 minutes, use them wisely and make the best out of these 30 minutes. The goal is, to find an exercise you enjoy, and that will make it easy to stick with.

Most of the time, we find ourselves not having time for everything, and it is rough to cut out time for exercising. So, what I developed overtime was the habit, even if I have only 20 or 30 minutes, I much rather go outside and go for a brisk walk, than sitting on the couch watching TV. By the time I get home, I feel much better about myself and much calmer, than before my 20-minute walk. Make the little time you have, count.

Let’s get outside to enjoy the benefits of outdoor exercising – for us and our family.

Petra Jackson

Petra Jackson

Life Coach & Mentor

Thanks for following my journey through improving life by discovering inspiring tips to de-stress, have a relaxing day, make good nutrition choices and just enjoy life!  My goal is to share a little bit of what I find beneficial, interesting or just plain cute and fun!

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