Chronic anxiety issues can pose a significant problem for both your mental and physical well-being. This condition often leads to trouble with getting enough sleep, as well as to dangerously high heart-rate levels. It goes without saying that anxiety shouldn’t be left untreated, which is why we recommend visiting a qualified professional in the field of psychology who will be able to help if you’re suffering from anxiety issues.
Another thing that can assist with your recovery are sports with a foundation in aerobics. Such sports are very beneficial in terms of getting your heart rate up. It may seem counterintuitive to suggest practicing sports that’ll have that kind of effect while your heart rate is already abnormally high. However, in truth, your heart will become more efficient the fitter you get. At hours when you’re not being physically active, this increased efficiency will lead to a lower heart-rate level.
And, of course, the release of happy endorphins and serotonin associated with practicing sports perhaps won’t cure you of anxiety, but it will at least make you feel nice for a short period of time after being done with each sports session. So, sports = good.
The first sport that should alleviate some of the anxiety and burnout you are feeling is swimming. In fact, some swimming pools even have organized sessions for people suffering from mental health issues. But, even if you can’t find such a program near you, going for a swim will get your heart working and allow you to enjoy the cool water (especially during the summer).
Even better, you can head to the beach and appreciate the serenity of falling waves after being done with your swimming session. Or, you can visit an isolated river shore and immerse your nerves in some lovely peace and quiet.
Research has shown that cycling can significantly reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you’re feeling. When asked about their level of life satisfaction, 15% more people who cycle every day expressed satisfaction with their mental well-being and overall quality of life, in comparison to the people who haven’t ridden a bike in a while.
By definition, cycling is done outdoors, allowing you to (re)connect with nature, which is obviously beneficial for one’s mental health. And, cycling is easier to fit into one’s schedule than most other sports, because you don’t need to go anywhere special (like, a swimming pool) in order to ride a bike.
Playing tennis is a fun (and, of course, healthy) way to get your aerobic exercise. And, playing with someone friendly will have a positive effect on your well-being due to the wonderful healing power of spending time with someone you like. So, if you or your loved one are suffering from anxiety, a game or two of tennis will certainly help with the recovery process.
Another benefit of playing tennis comes in the form of working out the muscle tension, which is caused by high anxiety and stress. And, your self esteem and body image might also improve as you get better at hitting the tennis ball proficiently.
If nothing we’ve mentioned so far seems right for you, or you’re simply looking to mix things up a little, then good old running sessions might be just what you need. Running can provide pretty much every physical and mental health benefit that the other sports we talked about offer, but with the bonus of being the easiest sport to undertake.
You don’t need a bike nor a tennis court. You just need a working pair of legs, some nice weather, a pleasant route, and you’re good to go! If you haven’t been running much before, then we envy you because that means you’ve never experienced the fabulous “runner’s high”, which occurs right after a solid running session. It’s the best feeling ever.
A bright future
So, there you have it. Practicing any of the mentioned aerobic sports for 30 minutes a day, for 6–7 days a week, will have a transformative effect and greatly help with getting rid of the uncomfortable anxiety issues.
Of course, it should be emphasized again that this only works in conjunction with getting assistance from a professional mental health therapist. If you’re suffering from anxiety but you’re not getting any professional help, don’t be shy and set up an appointment. It will be your first step on the road to recovery.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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