Anxiety and depression can occur at the same time. It’s been estimated that 45 percent of people with one mental health condition meets the criteria for two or more disorders. Although each condition has its own causes, they may share similar symptoms and treatments. It is normal to feel sad or upset, but when you feel this way consistently for weeks and months, you could be suffering from depression. This post shows you how the gym can help manage anxiety and depression.
WHAT IS DISORDERED ANXIETY?
This type of anxiety makes it extremely difficult to continue your daily routine like going to work, going to the shopping mall, or even hanging out with friends. The more you try to make it go away, the stronger it gets. Anxiety is disordered when it interferes with your ability to function. This type of anxiety determines if you meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder diagnosis.
This type of anxiety stops you from effectively facing life and doing the things that you love. When you experience this type of anxiety, you may begin to avoid school or call in late for work or generally remain uncommitted towards everything. It could even cause you to stop leaving your house and you start avoiding hangouts with friends.
Secondly, anxiety is described as disordered when you perceive danger when you are actually safe. For instance, some people are scared of heights and they get very anxious on high altitudes even if all the safety precautions to keep them from danger are strictly adhered to. This is called perceived anxiety.
WHAT IS THE ANXIETY CYCLE?
The first step in this cycle is how you interpret situations. For example, what do you perceive when you see a dog in your neighborhood? Do you feel love, care, sympathy, or fear? If you feel fear, you are most likely to escape or avoid contact with the dog. When you finally escape, you have some relief. Then, your brain thinks, you should get to show how good you are at escaping danger again by meeting the dog again, and this increases your anxiety.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION?
Long-lasting sadness and irritability, extremely high and low moods, excessive fear, worry, or anxiety, dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits are warning signs of mental illness. Have you been experiencing these lately? When people get overwhelmed with so much work in the office, they feel anxious.
When you think about your inability to meet deadlines, your need to produce top-notch work within a limited time, your need to ace next week’s presentation on behalf of your company, and how to beat traffic each morning to avoid lateness, how does it make you feel?
SO HOW DOES THE GYM HELP?
Exercising can make a big difference in your efforts to manage anxiety. Research has proven the psychological and physical benefits of regular exercise. Working out can help to ease the symptoms of anxiety and make you feel better. This article is aimed at exploring how going to the gym can help against depression. Going to the gym may help ease anxiety and depression by:
1. Socially interacting with others.
Going to the gym is an opportunity to meet and interact with people. Although anxiety can force us to stay away from meeting and interacting with people, when we are able to take the bold step of going to the gym, we will socialize with other gym enthusiasts. You could even get someone sharing a beautiful smile with you and that could lighten up your mood.
Simple acts like working out in teams, speaking to your trainer or even exchanging greetings with the customer service person as you sign out after a gym session can boost your mood and ease anxiety.
2. Releasing endorphins.
Your body releases chemicals called endorphins when you exercise. Not only do these endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain, but they also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. Can you imagine how excited your workout buddy looked after she achieved her fitness goals? Yes, those are “endorphins-at-work”.
3. Boosting your self-confidence.
The activities in the gym involve meeting goals and targets. The human brain releases chemicals that cause you to feel excited and fulfilled when you meet set goals and targets. Additionally, achieving that fitness goal you always wanted will boost your self-confidence.
4. Warding off anxiety and the feeling of depression.
As you focus and invest all your energies in your workout session, you will have little or no time to think of your depression. Workout sessions keep your mind busy on healthy thoughts both in and outside the gym.
5. Managing your condition in a healthy manner.
Some people turn to abuse alcohol, drugs or even completely avoid human interaction when they experience anxiety or depression. Going to the gym is a long-term treatment and not a one-time unhealthy fix. And that is definitely news worth celebrating.
Going to the gym is an option you might not consider when battling depression or anxiety, but because physical activity directly affects the brain, choosing to manage this condition by going to the gym is the best choice that will benefit you greatly both in the short and long term. Exercising will help you ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety and even help you maintain good health even after you completely manage the condition. After a few weeks of exercising, you should begin to feel better.
The World Health Organization reports that an estimated 650,000 people living in Ghana are suffering from a severe mental disorder and a further 2,166,000 are suffering from a moderate to mild mental disorder. Pills are not the only solution. Research shows that exercise is also an effective treatment. “For some people, it works as well as antidepressants, although exercise alone isn’t enough for someone with severe depression,” says Dr. Michael Craig Miller, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Remember to always seek medical advice and pick a workout routine that you enjoy and can sustain. You are already going through a hard time, so choose an enjoyable workout routine that will motivate you to always go for your gym sessions.
At the end of the day, a gym is a great place to meet new people and to get an escape from your regular routine. Your routine visit to the gym is an opportunity to interact with others to fight off feelings of loneliness.
We do have to keep in mind that we are still facing a threat with the Coronavirus hanging over our heads; however, by practicing proper social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks when interacting with others, we can minimize our risks of contracting an illness.
If you need a release from stress and to fight off anxiety and depression, join us at the gym. Our hope is that you will feel better than you did.
You are worth fighting for. Attack depression and anxiety with regular physical exercise. Good friends listen to your troubles and provide solutions to them. The gym is your friend in fighting mental illness. Live healthily, boost your self-confidence, get socially interactive, and manage your mental health in the gym. Come and get fit with us.