As someone who struggles with anxiety, I've always known that exercise is important for my mental health. But it wasn't until I read "First We Make the Beast Beautiful" that I fully understood just how powerful exercise can be as a tool for managing anxiety.
In the book, Sarah Wilson writes about how exercise releases endorphins and other mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, which can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. I was intrigued by this idea and decided to experiment with different forms of exercise to see what worked best for me.
I started with gentle forms of exercise, like yoga and walking, which helped me to feel more relaxed and centered. But as I became more comfortable with these activities, I began to explore more intense forms of exercise, like running and strength training.
To my surprise, I found that I loved the rush of endorphins that came with pushing myself physically. After a hard workout, I felt more energized and focused, and my anxiety symptoms seemed to melt away.
In addition to the mood-boosting effects of exercise, I also found that it helped me to cultivate a sense of mindfulness and presence. When I was focused on my breath or the sensations in my body during a workout, I was less focused on my anxious thoughts and worries.
Now, exercise is a regular part of my self-care routine, and it's a tool that I turn to when I'm feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Whether it's a morning yoga practice, an afternoon run, or an evening strength training session, I know that I can rely on exercise to help me feel more grounded and centered.
If you're struggling with anxiety, I highly recommend exploring different forms of exercise to see what works for you. Whether it's a gentle walk in nature or a high-intensity workout, exercise can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety and improving your overall well-being.