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Natural Awakenings Fairfield & Southern Litchfield Counties

More Exercise, Less Anxiety

Oct 31, 2022 09:31AM ● By Jessica Chichester
Reports of anxiety are up 25 percent over the past couple of years. This number is a low projection since anxiety shows up in different ways for different people—and it’s not always easy to recognize it as anxiety.

A few ways anxiety can show up include: feeling restless or agitated, having headaches and/or unexplained pains, trouble focusing, feeling tired, disrupted sleep, worrying or rolling the same-old, same-old thoughts over and over in our head.

One of the best natural ways to get almost immediate relief from anxiety is to exercise—especially workouts that get your heart rate up. It works in a few different ways to help you feel better, and studies show it rivals some prescription medications.

How Exercise Helps with Anxiety
Exercise can get your mind off of whatever is making you feel anxious. It can also help you work through problems, clarifying them and offering solutions. The very act of moving stops your muscles from being so tense.

Getting your heart rate up boosts anti-anxiety brain chemicals, while also boosting clarity, lessening brain fog and increasing positivity and productivity. Plus, it activates the part of the brain that helps control the amygdala (the amygdala can trigger feelings of fear and anxiety). 
Exercising regularly can help you become less vulnerable to strong emotions. It also helps you become more resilient, helping you bounce out of a negative state of being more rapidly.
The more regular you are about getting exercise, the better your anxiety-killing results. For the best results, find activities that get your heart rate up and that you like doing—and keep doing them.

It could be an after-dinner walk, a dance class or going for a bike ride. Switch it up and don’t be afraid to be spontaneous. You can find classes through your local gym or wellness center, or on YouTube. If you are experiencing serious anxiety, be sure to talk to your doctor.

On a Mission to Move
Getting started on a consistent exercising routine is all about your mindset. To encourage you to get started, think about that good feeling you always experience when the workout is over. Keep visualizing this experience, the feelings you feel post-workout, and do so multiple times throughout the day. This positive association will keep you encouraged to do your desired workout, even when you don’t feel like it. Consistency in this visualization exercise will allow your brain to make positive associations with moving.

Sometimes anxiety can freeze us, so setting up healthy routines can help alleviate distress. Look at the whole picture of your life, habits, routines and mindsets.
Get enough sleep. Limit caffeine, and cut it out early in the day.
Meditate and/or do breathing exercises first thing in the morning and have mindfulness check-ins during the day. Set a timer to take a conscious breath.
Eat mostly plants and whole foods and meal prep to ensure success in choices and in gut health. Our gut is our second brain, so make sure to take a good probiotic and eat gut-healthy foods such as fermented veggies. Drink plenty of good, clean, alkaline water.
Utilize high-quality CBD, herbs and essential oils that relax you.
Limit time on electronics and use blue light glasses, which protect your eyes and cells.
Pay attention to things that trigger your anxiety.
Throw your thoughts to paper and journal.
• Connect with others.
Make yourself smile for one minute, three times a day and make yourself laugh three times a day. Observe your emotions and watch your increased feelings of happiness grow.
Create healthy routines. At the end of the day, organize your calendar for the next day, which includes creating time to exercise (three to five days a week for 30 to 60 minutes) and do some self-care recovery, like meditation or healing services at your local wellness center. Set some practical goals and celebrate their completion, while offering grace to those you didn’t finish.
Create good rituals post exercise that keep you looking forward to coming back for more. Studies show that when we’re positive and celebratory in the little things, we experience more satisfaction and motivation in life, and with our exercise routines.

The old way of doing things was by pushing. With so much anxiety over the last several years, we’re moving into a state of experiencing how love, tenderness and nurturing ourselves and others is the only way. By organizing your schedule, carving out time for movement and self-care, and by celebrating the smallest of successes, we pull peace into our lives, mitigating anxiety before it can take our breath away.  

Jessica Chichester has been in the health, wellness and spiritual science field for over 25 years. She has been a Kundalini, Vinyasa and Hatha yoga and intuitive fitness coach for over 20 years, and specializes in NLP, Dream Linguistics, self-hypnosis, DNA activation and more. She combines the power of breath work and visualization to get clients to their goals at Haute Healing Oasis, in Stamford. Connect at 203-595-5304, [email protected] and See ads, pages 9 and 23.

Haute Healing Oasis - 792 Pacific St Stamford CT

Haute Healing Oasis - 792 Pacific St, Stamford, CT

HHO is your feel great place! A 3500 square foot wellness spa and healing center featuring over a dozen wellness services in a caring feng shui inspired atmosphere. If you need relaxation... Read More » 


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