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Whether you are experiencing high anxious energy and need a way to release it, or experiencing low energy due to depressive symptoms, exercise can help.

Exercise and Anxiety

Anxiety is very common. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a human response to a real or perceived threat and it’s trying to keep you safe. With anxiety symptoms such as racing heart and feeling restless, frequent anxiety can make you feel as though you have a lot of pent up energy that needs to be released. Fortunately, there are many coping skills that can help reduce anxiety and create more peace of mind.⁠ One of the first steps to take is to recognize anxiety-causing situations and common anxiety triggers. This can help you better understand what brings on anxiety and how to manage it in the future. ⁠Another way to combat anxiety is regular exercise. Daily exercise provides you with mood enhancing endorphins that can help you feel great and get that anxious energy out of your body. This does not mean that you have to participate in high intensity exercises everyday to see results. Something as simple as a brisk 20-30 minute walk a day is enough to see a difference in your anxiety.


Exercise and Depression

Along with combating symptoms of anxiety, regular exercise has also proven to improve symptoms of depression as well. I know that when you are feeling depressed, the last thing you want to do is get up and get outside. One way to make exercise more desirable is to include something that makes you happy with your exercise. For example, you can put on your favorite podcast and listen while you walk around. Or, you could make your destination your favorite coffee shop and reward yourself with a treat at the end of your exercise. According to an American Psychological Association article by Kirsten Weir, there are experimental studies that show that exercise is generally comparable to antidepressants for patients with major depressive disorder.


Therapy Healing

While regular exercise is great to add into your daily life, sometimes getting outside and walking around is not enough to combat deeper symptoms of anxiety and depression. A lot of the time, anxiety and depression are traced back to much larger issues such as childhood trauma, poor nervous system regulation, difficult relationships, etc. When there are deeper issues contributing to your anxiety and depression, it is definitely recommended to reach out to a therapist in your area. There are plenty of therapy modalities to address anxiety and depression in your life, such as ACT, attachment focused therapy modalities, EMDR, the list goes on. If you are feeling like your anxiety and/or depression symptoms are overwhelming you, please do not hesitate to reach out. There are therapists ready to help you along your healing journey.