Stress and anxiety are a very common issue in 21st century. We are caught up with our urban lives too much to take out time and give it to ourselves only. While we focus a lot on our physical health by running regular checkups and eating healthy food, we often over mental health.
If you find yourself struggling with anxiety frequently, it is important to know that it is very normal and fixable. Seeking professional help is very important for long-term solution, but there are some important steps you must take on your end to ensure relief from anxiety. Maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle is essential for your mental wellbeing.
Here are some useful physical activities and exercises that can be fun and healthy both!
How exercising helps anxiety?
Any kind of physical activity that requires your body to move around and exert energy tends to have appositive effect on your mood, mental and physical health. Even tasks like washing dishes and doing your laundry can help release stress and you can have happy hormones rush through your body.
Exercising or physical activities work in two ways to help relive anxiety. One, exercising helps your mind and body to release happy hormones and endorphins, balancing out brain’s chemicals and elevating your mood. Secondly, when you are working out or doing any physical activity, you tend to concentrate on that only, taking your mind off from worrying and whatever thoughts that are bothering you.
Physical activity also helps you remain fit. You can end up losing some extra pounds, which will make you look better and give you more confidence. Doing your house chores can contribute to your physical activity and also make you happy that you completed many pending tasks.
If you prefer workouts, then you can have a close friend or a family member, or even a pet accompany you in your workouts. Go for running or take a long walk with someone, so you can catch up with them, talk about your feelings and feel better about life in general.
Here are some exercises that you could do.
Activities and Exercises to Relieve Anxiety
Pilates are known for providing your muscles with flexibility and strength. They are famous for body toning and weight loss, but can also be a great anxiety reliever. Pilates depend greatly on your breathing. So, when you focus on your breathing and normalize it with deep breaths, your attention is diverted and you feel calmer too. Deep breaths can help with reliving anxiety. In addition to this, Pilates can help decrease stress hormones, increase feel-good hormones in the body and give a boost to good chemicals in your brain. It is a tedious exercise, and therefore you can use it to regain your focus and increase presence of mind. A lot of studies show that Pilates is used for stress, anxiety and depression management.
Yoga works marvelously in releasing stress and anxiety. It is a known method for improving your mood and finding calmness around you. Yoga helps you regain your focus, being present in the movement, improves your balance, and also stretches your body to release tension within.
You don’t have to do extreme yoga poses to get help for your anxiety. You can choose very simple but effective poses like the child’s pose to release tension. Make sure you do all your yoga poses on a yoga mat or on a carpeted surface, so the hard floor does not bother you. Wearing comfortable and flexible clothing also helps achieve your yoga goals better.
Some recommended poses for relieving anxiety include the cat pose, where you get on all your fours, with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Exhale deeply, and raise your back upwards. This helps release tension in the middle and upper back area, as well as your shoulders.
The child pose is also very easy and famous for anxiety and stress releasing. It requires you to kneel on your yoga mat, with your legs folded and closed together. Now, you need to bend your upper body towards your ground in such a way that your forehead is resting on the mat, your chest and stomach are lying flat, almost touching your thighs and your hand lying flat on the floor. You can also stretch your hand forward on the floor to release some tension in your shoulders and upper back.
It is good to step out of your house, whether alone or with someone to get your mind off of worries. Taking a walk can increase your physical activity and also put a positive impact on your mental wellness. It is recommended to take a walk during your favorite time of the day, such as during sunset or at night time. Wear comfortable shoes so you don’t get tired soon. Take someone along with you so you can socialize, catch up and get healthy distractions for your mind. Listen to a podcast, music, or watch a video on your phone while you are walking. If you have a pet, this activity can be a great way to spend quality time together. If you can’t find time out of your busy day for walking, ditch other methods of traveling to work or to run errands and walk instead.
Several researches and reports suggest that gardening is an incredible method of releasing anxiety and stress. Gardens, or even small spaces in your home where you take care of your plants can be your safe haven. You need to find a peaceful spot in your home, where there are minimal people coming and going, and there is good exposure to sunlight and water drainage. Use this spot to plant plants in either pots or even in the ground if possible.
Gardening will not only keep you distracted from negative thoughts and feelings, but will also boost your sense of fulfillment and purpose. Gardening is a rewarding activity, where you see your efforts paying off when a new plant or a flower blooms. This can boost your self-belief and can elevate your mood.
Moreover, green spaces, even small gardens, are great for air quality in your home. Plants like spider plants and jasmine are natural medicines. Spider plants are known as natural air purifiers, while jasmine is known for its stress and anxiety relieving aura. Having a plant by your bedside or in your room can also help with your mental health.
Find yourself an affordable internet provider and download fitness apps on your phone, or stream workouts on YouTube if you need more guidance on how to do particular exercises. It is always a good idea to have professional assistance if you are doing workouts like HIIT or yoga for the first time. Once you get your body moving, you can finally find some peace and relief from anxiety and all other negative energies!