You Have Anxiety Disorders? Start Running!

Guest Blog: Ryan Light

Running can help with anxiety disorders such as OCD & Panic

Treating anxiety disorder these days is more frequent than ever. There are different kinds of professional help that you can turn to for anxiety medication. Because when it comes to treating an anxiety disorder, you need to make sure that you only turn to a trusted technique that will have no side effects but rather leave you well treated for your OCD or panic attacks.

For some, dealing with anxiety and panic can be a daily battle and something that somebody not suffering an anxiety disorder would simply ignore can play havoc with those affected. Phobias are common. Some are dreadful of spiders and snakes, other people would almost rather die than have to make a speech facing a group. Small places (such as elevators) put some into a chilly sweat, while fear of heights is also very popular. Running as a relaxation technique for anxiety can alleviate most all of these disorders.

Benefits of running as a mechanism of anxiety treatment

When your body goes into panic attack mode, you’re basically losing control of your body’s reaction to what it is experiencing around it. You’ll find that you’re sweating, your heart is racing, you have blurred vision, you might have chest pains and you probably feel quite dizzy. Your body has engaged the sympathetic nervous system to help protect you from whatever you perceive to be threatening you. And with a panic attack this threat is almost always a perceptive one – you’re afraid of something happening that it hasn’t actually happened yet. But the fear of this event occurring is enough to send you into an emotional and psychological nose dive.

In the height of a panic attack your body is flooded with adrenaline that can cause the urge to run, it will cause your heart to race, and it can cause the sudden sweating you experience too.

Production of endorphin chemicals

Running exercise floods your body with a different type of chemical called endorphins or what some people call “feel good chemicals”. These are naturally occurring in the body and basically make you feel really good. And they’re an ideal way of breaking yourself out of any kind of emotional or psychological rut you’ve found yourself in – they can shift your emotional state quite quickly. The highest levels of endorphin release in the human body are found when we either have an orgasm or sneeze – you know how good a sneeze feels, right?

Run, walk, swim or do jumping jacks

Running for obsessive compulsive disorder minimization doesn’t translate to training for a marathon to get an endorphin rush. Anything as simple as just going for a walk before or after your dinner each day can do. Or perhaps walking home from work in the evening – assuming it’s safe to do so. You could treat your dog to a walk, or if you don’t have a pet that can be walked you can cycle, swim, jog, skip, do jumping jacks, hit the bag for 5 minutes or just do some push-ups.

Even the gentlest forms of running can greatly increase your endorphin levels to the point where you feel that natural high. And how does this help with anxiety? Simply because you’re changing your mental and physiological state away from one of anxiety and stress to happiness and relaxation.

Try including some running exercises in your day each day and stick with it for at least seven days straight – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to your overall mood and feeling of well-being.

Help your anxiety and obesity

With a rise in obesity over the last decade, it’s quite possible that your anxiety and weight issues are going hand-in-hand; so why not possibly kill two birds with one stone – or one step…and then another..and then another, and see if running can help you mentally and physically?


References for this article:

  • https://iocdf.org/
  • www.webmd.com
  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/

 

Athlinks Staffhttp://blog.athlinks.com
Posts by the Athlinks Staff are authored by our in-house group of athletes and subject matter experts in the fields of performance sports, nutrition, race organization, and training.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Dear Sir/ Madam,

    My name is Yuven and I am a PhD candidate at Leiden University, The Netherlands. I would like to use the image accompanying this article (anxiety with scribbled writings) for my PhD thesis cover.

    May I have your permission to use this image?

    Best regards,
    Yuvendran

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