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Anxiety is a normal, emotional reaction to danger, and has been explained as “the body’s automatic fight-or-flight response that is triggered when you feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a challenging situation.” It is the body’s natural response to stress and will manifest differently in different people. The feelings of anxiety can range from mild (e.g., fluttering in one’s stomach) to severe (e.g., heart palpitations). There are a variety of effective coping mechanisms and anxiety management strategies that can help to prevent, reduce, and even become more resilient towards anxiety. For example, studies have shown that exercise curtails responses from both the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight-or-flight reaction and minimizes hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity, which is the hormonal feedback system that reacts to stress. According to Harvard Medical School exercise contributes to anxiety management by:

  • Acting as a distraction: Engaging in exercise diverts your attention away from the source of your anxiety.
  • Increases the availability of anti-anxiety neurochemicals in the body: Getting your heart rate up changes brain chemistry, increasing the availability serotonin, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and endocannabinoids.
  • Releasing endorphins: Participating in regular exercise is a natural way for one’s body to release endorphins, triggering positive feelings in one’s body and reducing pain. 
  • Enhancing brain function: Exercise activates frontal regions of the brain responsible for executive function, which helps control the amygdala, our reacting system to real or imagined threats to our survival. Additionally, A major study found that physical activity spurs the release of proteins that cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections, which improves brain function and subsequently boosts mental health. 
  • Producing physical benefits: Engaging in routine exercise can help an individual feel better physically and as the Academy of Neurological Therapy asserts “exercise has been shown to help improve and prevent many conditions, including: weight management, stress levels, emotional regulation/ mood, memory, attention, strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and blood pressure regulation.”
  • Strengthens your distress tolerance: Exercising regularly builds up resources that bolster resilience against unwanted emotions.

The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (anything that makes the heart beat faster) each week and at least 2 days per week of muscle-strengthening activity. Exercise plays an integral role in the management of anxiety. Through cultivating and implementing healthy habits, such as regular exercise, individual can achieve an ideal mental and physical balance that can have a positive impact on reducing anxiety symptoms and improving overall mental well-being.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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