Anxiety exercises can be a helpful way to combat anxiety on a daily basis. For many anxiety sufferers, myself included, it’s possible to get rid of anxiety slowly by continually being aware when it starts to build up and by learning to use anxiety exercises to get rid of it. The anxiety exercises that work for one person may not work for the next, but the following anxiety exercises are worth a shot! Plus, many of them have worked in my own life and the lives of other anxiety sufferers I’ve known.
Not all anxiety exercises need to involve breaking a sweat, but if you do exercise on a regular basis, you can dramatically decrease your overall levels of anxiety. One recent study published in the Archives of International Medicine showed that regular exercise can actually decrease anxiety by up to 20%!
It may not sound like much when you’re feeling anxious almost 100% of the time. However, that’s a great start. Plus, regular exercise is good for your mind and body in multiple ways, so this is an exercise for anxiety that I recommend every anxiety sufferer use on a regular basis.
If you’ve never done a regular exercise program before, there are some easy ways to start. Try walking outside for just thirty minutes a day. You don’t have to push yourself too hard, but you should break a light sweat and have to focus on your breath as you’re walking. You could also try swimming, which is very relaxing as well as great exercise, or even jumping on a trampoline with your kids. Whatever you do, try to get about thirty minutes a day of brisk exercise, and see if that doesn’t help reduce your anxiety.
These anxiety exercises can actually overlap, most of the time, into the “actual exercise” category, but they may be more helpful for some people. Traditional exercises that focus on the mind-body connection include yoga and qi gong. These exercises really focus on your breathing, and they also stretch and strengthen your muscles, relieving tension. Perhaps the best thing for anxiety sufferers, though, is that these types of exercises help you become more connected with your own mental and physical reactions to the world.
Since noticing anxiety and fear when they first start building up is half the battle for many anxiety sufferers, these mind-body exercises can be immensely helpful for us. If you’ve never tried these exercises, I would suggest signing up for classes at a local yoga studio or gym. There are lots of great videos you can follow for instruction at home, too, but it’s best if you learn the basic moves from an actual instructor who can correct your form and posture and lead you to more focus as you’re starting your practice.
It seems backward, but, actually, when you’re stressed about money, one of the best things to do is to give a little away. You don’t even have to be giving just with your money. Being giving with your time by volunteering for an organization that you really believe in or just by helping an individual person in whatever way you can is a great way to reduce anxiety.
I believe this works in a few ways. For one, it works to take your mind off of yourself. Anxiety is mostly an inward-looking condition – it’s concerned with how you think, feel, and act. Just being able to look outside of that for a few moments or days can help decrease anxiety. Also, helping someone else who is truly in need is empowering, and it reminds you that there are people who are much worse off than you. Generosity with your time and money don’t always reduce anxiety, but for many people, they’re a good start!