Social anxiety? How exercise can help
By Ryan Light, Running/Anxiety Coach
If you want to have a healthy mind, focus on maintaining a healthy body. This principle particularly applies in social anxiety treatment. According to studies, exercising on a regular basis can work wonders in treating social anxiety by enhancing your mood, minimizing anxious thoughts and reducing the alignments of this condition. In addition to going to therapy and taking medications, you should consider incorporating regular exercise in your efforts to rid yourself of any social anxiety disorder.
How exercise for social anxiety treatment works?
Exercise works in a number of ways to relieve social anxiety and eliminate depression from your life.
Here are some examples how this is achieved:
- Channeling your thoughts on running, or other sports like playing tennis, this is a great way that you can distract yourself, preventing you from thinking about your last social problem. As social anxiety can be attributed to clouding your mind with negative thoughts. So engaging your brain on more constructive issues will allow your emotions to stabilize.
- Anxiety is often characterized with heavy sweating and feelings of sickness. Adrenaline is the reason behind this feeling. Exercise will get rid of the accumulated adrenaline, leaving you feeling less stressed and more relaxed.
- Strengthening the heart will help enhance its performance when you are stressed. This is where regular exercise comes in handy. Exercise strengthens the heart, thereby preventing it from beating faster during anxious moments.
- Exercise increases blood circulation to the brain, releasing endorphins. Endorphins are mood enhancing hormones, and so releasing them will enhance your moods and eliminate negative thoughts that make you gloomy.
- The fact that you are making an effort towards getting rid of your anxiety, instead of coiling yourself in bed the whole day, will boost your moods. After every exercise routine, you will feel better and stronger, thereby enhancing your self-esteem. Doing something will eliminate feelings of emptiness, loneliness and stress.
The best way for anxiety to beat you is to do nothing!
While you may be put off by the idea of running or other sports like tennis, engaging in such activities is the ideal way to eliminate your anxiety. Being more active will go along away in overcoming your disorder, if you want long term results. Doing nothing will only cause you to dwell on your anxiety, and most often it gets worse. The first step to overcoming your anxiety is to stop making excuses, by engaging in activities that will stimulate your mind in a healthy way and give you feelings of accomplishment your disorder will have less affect on your being. In addition to making you feel good about yourself, exercise will also give you constructive goals to pursue, like running faster or improving your skills in other sports.
A good exercise routine should be enjoyable, so make sure you choose one that you will love and wont feel like forcing yourself to do. There are so many exercises to choose from. Here are some ideas you may consider trying:
- Walking, jogging or running will allow you to get out there and meet or interact with strangers. You can even say hello to them or smile to help deal with your fears.
- Exercising gently and regularly will help you overcome anxiety by strengthening your heart and lungs and reducing its physical symptoms.
- Engaging in exercises that involve heavy bursts of energy, like weight lifting, will make you fitter, bigger and stronger. The feeling of being physically fit and toned will help you get rid of negative thoughts about yourself.
- Skillful sport, such as tennis or golf, have fulfilling goals which you can pursue as you make more effort to improve. However, try not to be hard on yourself if you are not better at it as you would like. It takes times, practice and patience to excel in such games.
- Pilates is very beneficial when it comes to anxiety treatment. It releases strain in the muscles that make you feel tense, allow your thoughts to go away and makes your mind more relaxed.
Remember these exercises will only work if you do them regularly, regardless of the exercise you choose. You should have 20-30 minute exercise routines at least three times in a week.
Exercising regularly comes with many positive effects, so you should incorporate it in your strategy of getting rid of social anxiety disorder. It reduces both the mental and physical symptoms. Moreover, its effects are natural and long term.
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.