In this week's podcast we answer the question: Does exercise help with anxiety?
Points covered in our discussion include
- Does exercise help with anxiety?
- Exercise as meditation. How does it benefit the mind?
- Different types of exercise for different personality and body types.
- The Spinning Story
- A caution about exercise and exertion (how exertion might feel like a panic attack to some)
- Being open to experiment and find what works for you.
- Keeping a log so you can develop awareness of exercise types that suit you best.
Listen to the podcast here to hear the inspiring story of a film director who found relief from panic attacks by using exercise to move away from medication and begin managing his anxiety naturally.
Points for Consideration in Using Exercise for Relief from Anxiety
Movement and Meditation
Exercise helps you get out of your head, it helps enormously with feelings of disconnection that often come with anxiety.
Sometimes, in the initial stages of conquering anxiety, exercise is even better than meditation - here's why. An anxious mind can expand into your quiet space and bother you with negative or catastrophic thoughts. Exercise helps your mind relax while keeping it engaged which can help you relax without your mind bothering you.
Mindful walking , yoga, swimming, and tai chi are particularly good forms of exercise that you can practice with relaxed awareness. The more you can bring Mindfulness to your chosen exercise the better.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
The benefits of understanding your individual nature and what type of exercise can support you best.
Ayurveda - India's ancient Science of Life - teaches that you are a unique individual and that it's important to find a form of exercise that suits you and helps you feel more relaxed and in control of anxiety.
Not all exercise is equal. It's important to find a form of exercise that feels right for you. Experiment with exercise types, formats and locations.
Sometimes people say I've tried exercise and it didn't work. That's like saying I've tried fruit and I didn't like it when you tried an apple. There are hundreds of fruits and there are many forms of exercise.
Be flexible, and journal your experiences so you know what works for you. Play and persist and you will soon feel the benefit of using exercise to help you with anxiety and a more relaxed body and mind.
Healing without Freud or Prozac by Dr David Servan-Schrieber