We get anxious for several reason sometimes for big things and sometimes for the littlest things in life. And when anxiety takes over your life – you don’t function as well and you can’t connect with your inner peace. People almost always assume that meditation or some form of being still is the only way to reduce anxiety. Well we’ve learned from PositiveMed that there are other activities you can do to reduce stress & anxiety – check these out!
Swimming is a great way to drown stress and anxiety as you enjoy every stroke. Other than being a fun way to exercise, Swimming also works muscles of both the upper and lower body, which helps in weight management. About sports psychologist Aimee C. Kimball, director of mental training at Center for Sports Medicine at University of Pittsburg Medical Center, swimming can significantly reduce depression symptoms like stress and anxiety. Swimming triggers the release of endorphins, natural feel-good hormone while stopping the secretion of fight-or-flight stress hormones. It also promotes the growth of new brain cells that atrophies under chronic stress and anxiety.
According to Brian Christie, Ph.D., a Canadian neuroscientist, cycling every morning can give your brain a boost while alleviating anxiety and stress. This has been scientifically proven through a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Scientists found that participants who spent 30 minutes of spinning in a stationary bike scored higher on tests of memory, reasoning, and planning than they did before cycling. Christie says that cycling not only works your glutes and quads but also your gray matter. It enhances the supply of more oxygen and nutrients to your brain, which boosts its function, said Christie. She also says that peddling forces more nerve cells to fire and promote the release of neurotransmitters for improved mood. Biking is also a great way to reconnect with nature while enjoying the beautiful scenes.
Running has psychological benefits for runners, which are essential for fighting stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety negatively affect your body systems including the function of your heart, lungs, digestive system and immune system. It is psychological known that running gives you a set amount of time to concentrate on your thoughts. Ceasing this moment when stressed or anxious can get your brain around an issue at your office or home. Studies have shown that runners tend to be happier because they are in better shape and have higher levels of endorphins, the feel-good hormone. Endorphins also slow the aging process while relieving stress and anxiety. Also, these hormones boost your immune system. Thus, the next time you feel stressed, run for about 20 minutes, and you will be surprised at how it alleviates your anxiety.
These are just some sample activities – if you want to see the full list check out Positive Med.
Featured image source: AdBrad