How running can help with anxiety disorders such as OCD & Panic
By Ryan Light, Running/Anxiety Coach
Anxiety disorder is not a case that cannot be treated. It can be minimized until finally controlled that the person who experiences it can actually stop the debilitating effects from happening. The great news is that help for treating anxiety disorder these days is more frequent than ever. There are different kinds of professional help that you can turn to for anxiety medication. Because when it comes to treating an anxiety disorder, you need to make sure that you only turn to a trusted technique that will have no side effects but rather leave you well treated for your OCD or panic attacks.
For some, dealing with anxiety and panic can be a daily battle and something that somebody not suffering an anxiety disorder would simply ignore can play havoc with those affected. Phobias are common. Some are dreadful of spiders and snakes, other people would almost rather die than have to make a speech facing a group. Small places (such as elevators) put some into a chilly sweat, while fear of heights is also very popular. Running as a relaxation technique for anxiety can alleviate most all of these disorders.
Benefits of running as a mechanism of anxiety treatment
When your body goes into panic attack mode, you’re basically losing control of your body’s reaction to what it is experiencing around it. You’ll find that you’re sweating, your heart is racing, you have blurred vision, you might have chest pains and you probably feel quite dizzy. Your body has engaged the sympathetic nervous system to help protect you from whatever you perceive to be threatening you. And with a panic attack this threat is almost always a perceptive one – you’re afraid of something happening that it hasn’t actually happened yet. But the fear of this event occurring is enough to send you into an emotional and psychological nose dive.
In the height of a panic attack your body is flooded with adrenaline that can cause the urge to run, it will cause your heart to race, and it can cause the sudden sweating you experience too.
Production of endorphin chemicals
Running exercise floods your body with a different type of chemical called endorphins or what some people call “feel good chemicals”. These are naturally occurring in the body and basically make you feel really good. And they’re an ideal way of breaking yourself out of any kind of emotional or psychological rut you’ve found yourself in – they can shift your emotional state quite quickly. The highest levels of endorphin release in the human body are found when we either have an orgasm or sneeze – you know how good a sneeze feels, right?
How running can help with Anxiety Disorders
Running for obsessive compulsive disorder minimization doesn’t translate to training for a marathon to get an endorphin rush. Anything as simple as just going for a walk before or after your dinner each day can do. Or perhaps walking home from work in the evening – assuming it’s safe to do so. You could treat your dog to a walk, or if you don’t have a pet that can be walked you can cycle, swim, jog, skip, do jumping jacks, hit the bag for 5 minutes or just do some push-ups.
Even the gentlest forms of running can greatly increase your endorphin levels to the point where you feel that natural high. And how does this help with anxiety? Simply because you’re changing your mental and physiological state away from one of anxiety and stress to happiness and relaxation.
Try including some running exercises in your day each day and stick with it for at least seven days straight – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to your overall mood and feeling of well-being.
Even if you’re not a big fan of getting regular exercise by running, experts advise that those suffering from the disorder should not dismiss the possibility. However, they are encouraged to take on the challenge as running might actually help with your anxiety disorder. Lately, people are becoming more and more lazy and more and more obese with each passing generation, and this general lack of health has seen our healthcare system put under extreme stress and it seems to have also caused an explosion in the number of people suffering from anxiety disorders and similar types of medical conditions.
Looking for an anxiety coach? Please reach out to contact me as I’ve helped dozens of people beat their anxiety and get back to living life.
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