Anxiety affects millions of Canadians and others throughout the world each year. If you are one of those affected, know that you are not alone and that there are ways in which you can work to ease your anxiety.
Regardless of whether your anxiety only sneaks up on you from time to time, or it lingers, prominent and problematic throughout your day-to-day life, it should not be ignored. There are steps that you can take, both on your own or with the help of a professional, to manage your anxiety.
Common Causes of Anxiety
Anxiety can be caused by a variety of both internal and/or external factors.
In this situation, internal factors refer to mental conditions that one may be facing. The mental conditions that are most commonly recognized as causes of anxiety include:
- Panic Disorder
- Different Phobias
- Stress Disorders
While mental conditions can play a role in one’s anxiety, it is external factors that tend to be the highest contributing factors. External factors are certain situations or circumstances that one may be exposed to. Some of the most common anxiety-causing external factors include:
- Stress Caused by Work or School
- Relationship Problems or Financial Problems
- Emotional Trauma
- Stress of Dealing with Medical Issues
- Use of Certain Drugs or Alcohol
- Side Effects of Certain Prescription Medications
Of course, we are not saying these are the only possible causes of anxiety. Each person is different and will react differently to any number of internal or external factors.
Yes, understanding where your anxiety stems from is an important step in overcoming that anxiety. There are, however, a few coping techniques you can implement that will help you begin to overcome your anxiety regardless of where it stems from.
How Physical Activity Can Help
One of the best ways you can combat your anxiety is by staying active.
Staying active not only benefits your body physically, but has a number of positive effects on your mental wellbeing as well.
This is because physical activity releases chemicals such as endorphins (which help relieve stress), and serotonin (which boosts your mood and overall mental well-being0.
We aren’t saying you need to join cross-fit or even hit the gym every other day – psychologists’ studies show that even a brisk 10-minute walk can work quickly to boost one’s mood, providing temporary yet effective relief from stress and anxiety.
It can be difficult – especially when feeling anxious and stressed – to try to fit even a short walk into your day. Our advice is that you schedule fitness the way you would schedule a therapy appointment – that’s essentially what it is anyways.
If you make sure to pencil your exercise into your daily schedule – whether it’s that 10-minute walk, a yoga class, or following an at-home workout video – you are more likely to commit and follow through.
It doesn’t matter your gender – give it a try and you’ll see just how helpful it can be.
It’s Just the Start
As you now know, exercise is one of the best ways to combat your anxiety.
While we urge you to introduce some physical activity into your routine – both for your physical and mental well-being – we want to remind you that there are a number of other ways with which you can keep your anxiety at bay.
No one habit, medication, or therapy session will cure your anxiety for good – but using combinations of these various coping and healing techniques is sure to help you find some respite from your worries.