Like stress, managing anxiety sadly is commonplace in today’s world. Let’s face it, only the toughest of individuals won’t be bothered by the state of our planetary health, the outbreak of war on our doorstep, the loom of further wars globally, Covid and the post-Covid life. It takes resilience to stay on a strong path. Luckily, science proves that resilience can be learned and built up over time.
How do you build up resilience to ward off anxiety?
There are several aspects to becoming more resilient as an adult. As always, start with small changes in your daily life, and consider it a journey to building yourself up and to building a stronger, better you.
Reducing your experience of anxiety relies on many factors including getting connected to other people, building strong relationships, making every day meaningful (Daily Gratitude), allowing yourself to learn from past experiences, and also taking care of yourself.
Be proactive! You’re in control of how you feel.
The basics of building resilience against anxiety are these: make time in your week to fit in (in order of importance):
- Healthy eating
- Relaxation or mindfulness
- Good sleep
Which types of exercise are best for anxiety?
All exercises release endorphins, the feel-good hormone.
Running is a great way to clear your mind while reducing stress, building genuine fitness (which also increases resilience) and releasing endorphins. Start slow and short, 10-15mins alternating walking/running, and you will be surprised to see how fast you build up to a light 30 min jog.
This is hugely popular for reducing anxiety. It is a mindful exercise that requires you to focus inwards and teaches you to control your movements, deep belly breathing and control of breathing. Controlling your breathing is a hugely powerful tool in managing anxiety.
Being outside in nature is hugely powerful to ward off anxiety, calm a troubled mind and exercise at the same time. Pack your rucksack, don your hiking boots and start exploring the outdoor beauty on your doorstep. Ireland has countless places of outstanding natural beauty, explore these and learn to be free in yourself.
Lifting heavy weights is an acknowledged therapy tool for calming a racing mind. Putting weight on your body makes your muscles wake up and contract. If this is an exercise you might enjoy starting up, speak to the Personal Trainer in your local gym.
Other forms of helpful exercise to reduce anxiety include going for long walks (it doesn’t have to be a run or a hike every week), going swimming or taking up dancing.
Whatever type of exercise it is that tickles your fancy, take it up. The most important step in building resilience against anxiety is the very first step you take. Without that first step taken, you can only lose. Take heart, step out.