Managing Anxiety

Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain and Neutral Bay  understand there are many people in our community currently going through challenging times due to Covid-19. Many are feeling anxious, worried and concerned about their health, safety and making plans for the future. In this blog we discuss anxiety – what it is, differentiating between normal and abnormal feelings of anxiousness and the benefits of exercise to help manage anxiety.

 

Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia, with one in four people on average likely to experience anxiety at some stage in their life (1).

 

Anxiety is our bodies physical response to threats. It can help us keep safe and motivate us to do things if we are worried about them. Normal anxiety is typically associated with a stressful event and goes away once the stressful situation has ended. Anxiety that people experience with an anxiety condition is not always connected to a stressful situation. It is more persistent, frequent and affects quality of life and peoples’ ability to do daily tasks.  For instance, feelings of anxiousness on most days and worrying about lots of different things for 6 months or more is a characteristic of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

 

Each anxiety condition has its own characteristics.

Common signs and symptoms can include:

 

  • Feeling tense or ‘on edge’
  • Nervous
  • Irritable or agitated
  • Very worried and can’t focus on anything else but your worries
  • Feeling like you can’t calm yourself down
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Fast heart rate
  • Tummy aches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Avoiding certain situations

 

There are many more possible symptoms and often symptoms of anxiety conditions develop overtime.  This is why it can be difficult to determine if your feelings of anxiety are normal.  Considering it has been a very uncertain and stressful past 2 years during the pandemic, it’s understandable if the lines are a little blurred.  It’s more important than ever to speak to the health professionals you trust and assess whether your mental health is being adequately managed.

 

Does exercise help manage anxiety?

Whether you have an anxiety condition or experience anxious feelings every now and then, exercise is one of the most beneficial tools for managing anxiety.

Here’s a few reasons why:

  • Exercise can take your mind away from anxious thoughts. When your body is busy, so is your mind!
  • Releases endorphins and serotonin which boost your mood.
  • Helps to regulate sleeping patterns which can be disturbed by anxiety.
  • It can help relieve and better deal with the physical effects caused by anxiety such as feeling tense and a pounding heart rate.

 

Finding exercise you enjoy and doing it regularly will make the biggest impact on your mental health in the long term. Exercising with a friend or getting the help of an Exercise Physiologist are great ways to help you exercise effectively and consistently. Aim to gradually progress to 30 minutes or more of exercise on at least 3-5 days per week.

 

There are many resources and help available on these websites:

  • Urgent Help – Call 000
  • Lifeline – 131114
  • Beyond Blue – 1800 512 348
  • Black Dog Institute

 

Whether you have an anxiety condition or experience anxious feelings from time to time, call Longevity Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Pymble, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain, Bella Vista and Neutral Bay on 1300 964 002 to enquire today.

 

Written by Courtney Maher

 

References

Beyond Blue. (2022, Jan). Anxiety . Retrieved from Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety

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