Health and anxiety go hand in hand. Staying healthy means keeping the mind healthy of mental illness and stresses as well.
In this article we are going to explore…
- Health and Anxiety – The Correlation
- Health, Fitness, and Exercise Explained
- Healthy Weight Loss/Diet Plan for Anxiety
- Benefits of Exercise on Anxiety
- Deep Breathing Exercise
Health and Anxiety
Health and Anxiety as mentioned, are 2 peas in a pod. Health is your overall well-being, free of sickness and illness, body and mind. Anxiety is a disorder of the mind and thought. Mental health is health after all.
It is difficult for many to interpret mental health as health and, still view mental health separately. The stigma behind mental health still exists.
It is hard for people to comprehend something that, for the most part, they do not see. Physical sickness and sickness of the body through testing, demonstrates evidence of the disease.
Mental health however, cannot be seen. Of course through much research and from your own personal experience in dealing with mental health issues, anxiety, and stress, which every person has felt at some point in their life, you know for a fact that mental health can demonstrate in physical symptoms.
Stomach pains, irritable mood, and isolation just to name a few, yet since it is so common and experienced by all, we discourage it’s existence because we say it is a normal part of life.
Yet, still so many lives are lost from this “normal part of life” via suicide and overdose, and people are left to think “why would they do it?”
Because the thing that is hard to understand in mental health is that you do not have concrete evidence like a lab result to see what is wrong.
Each mind is different, and understanding and treating these disorders is complex. However, When depression hits an individual who is in vegetative state, does this not affect their overall health including the body when they cannot complete simple tasks of everyday life?
Therefore, mental health and anxiety are a part of overall health. They are connected and when one is nurtured, this positively impacts the other.
This is why a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, exercise, and fitness are such a key component to mental health, anxiety and, are one of the biggest coping mechanisms that is nearly free but under utilized for treatment.
Health, Fitness, and Exercise
As previously explained, it is safe to say that health includes mental health. Your mind and all it’s functions are a part of you and affect your overall health.
Health is freedom of illness, disease, injury, and anything that causes physical or psychological pain.
It is the umbrella term when discussing health related things such as fitness, exercise, healthy lifestyle, and other things that directly affect health and determine it’s level and/or value.
Fitness as you know is one of the tasks needed to be participated in, to increase the level of health and maintain health. It is the physical things we do through excerise, rest, and nutrition to maintain our health.
Fitness is the aspect of health that people refer to as “a life style change.”
Fitness and anxiety relate because, if you are partaking in this fitness routine with all 3 portions of fitness, it will demonstrate in overall positive physical, psychological, and behavioral ways.
Fitness impacts on anxiety can be seen through improved mood, better sleep quality and quantity, increased energy, increase in feel good hormones like dopamine and serotonin that are directly related to mood enhancement, and increased confidence and physical ability.
Having a fitter body means you feel less insecure in yourself and are able to do more things without pain and suffering.
This is why staying fit is so important to mental health and is one of the primary tools for battling anxiety and depression.
How often do you hear of someone that is physically fit and strong, eating nutritious food to fuel their body, and overall living a healthy lifestyle, having anxiety?
The answer is not very often. However, the human mind is complex and it is not to say that this individual cannot have issues as well.
Life however, is full of stresses and is merely impossible to avoid stress as it is an essential part of life.
If there was absolutely no stress at all for you, you would be dead and life would be real boring. Nevertheless, Fitness plays a major role in improving anxiety and anxiety symptoms.
Exercise is a component of fitness. Exercise is one that is difficult for many to do as a good exercise regime is hard to accomplish or maintain.
It requires progressive tweaking in order to improve and requires elevation in heart rate to be effective.
Although many say it is hard for them to eat healthy and maintain those eating habits. Many foods are addictive and detrimental to our health, but nutrition is something that once the benefits of it take over, becomes an addiction in itself because of how good you feel.
Everyone wants to feel good and ultimately feel content and happy. Nutrition does not require any further additional time to do and with life so busy and so many things to consistently worry about and take care of, time is precious.
We all have to eat after all, it’s an essential to life. Exercise however takes time out of your day.
It is not a natural thing we are doing in our day to day lives and therefore excuses are made for most people as to why they are not exercising and why they are skipping on exercise classes and the gym. I’m too busy, too tired, I have to do this first, I’m not ready, I cannot leave my pet or my kids etc.
Exercise encourages healthy eating habits as well. It is the connecting piece to fitness that ties in nutrition and sleep together under this element of fitness.
Without exercise, sleep and nutrition have much less in common than with exercise that ties the 2. Hence, why exercise has a tremendous impact on anxiety, stress, well being, and mental health.
Here is a list of tools that can be used from the comfort of your home in order to promote weight loss and healthy BMI.
- Exercise bike for cardio
- Resistance bands
- Yoga matt for multiple uses
- Row machine
- Zumba DVD
- Vitamix blender for health cooking, juicing and smoothies
- Guide to meal prepping
- Guide to health eating and diet change
Healthy Weight Loss/Diet Plan
It is important to maintain the appropriate BMI and weight for you. Healthy weight loss, muscle gain, and a good balanced diet is key to maintaining anxiety at an all time low.
When you feel good overall, it affects your mind. Maintaining a healthy weight decreases pressures on muscles and joints, decreases risk of disease like fatty liver and diabetes, and prevents pain. All which is greatly contributed to your anxiety.
Maintaining a healthy weight makes it easier to move around and increases energy levels in order to complete daily tasks and not procrastinate, which would further anxiety.
Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle also means consuming nutritious foods in order to get your ideal physique and, avoiding foods that will contributed to anxiety and mood disorders like alcohol, processed food, sugars, soda, and MSG.
See the list below for helpful tools to promote a healthy lifestyle and proper weight loss.
Benefits of Exercise on Anxiety
- Increased Serotonin and Dopamine feel good hormones
- Improved memory
- Improved focus and concentration
- Creates more productivity out of you, decreasing procrastination
- Increases organization which would then help tackle things causing anxiety
- Helps fight off depression
- Increases confidence
- Increases self-esteem
- Improves sleep quality
- Decreases stress and helps alleviate aggression
- Improves attention and decision making
- Increases social activity and interaction
- Plays as a positive distraction method and gives you something to do to fight off boredom
- Improves work flow in your job/career
- Boosts endorphins
- Improves blood pressure
- Improves energy levels
- Helps balance appetite
- Burns stubborn and excessive fat stores
- Improves metabolism
- Reduces mental fatigue
Deep Breathing Exercise
Deep breathing exercise is the easiest exercise to do, yielding the fastest results, and can be done by virtually anyone.
It should be done by all when feeling overwhelmed and anxious in any given moment. It can be performed laying down or sitting up, you can do it anywhere, including while driving.
It requires you to take a big deep breath and focus on getting that breath into the abdomen. There should be inflation and deflation of the abdomen only and not the chest.
In through the nose, out through the mouth. When we are stressed our breathing patterns change and often we breathe faster and more shallow through our chest, tightening up neck muscles.
Deep breathing improves oxygen consumption instantaneously and helps reduce anxiety immediately.
It helps ease the mind and refocus in order to regain control. This is an exercise that should be practiced daily.
Take control or your life by becoming the healthiest version of you. Fitness, exercise and nutrition are so important in maintain overall health including mental health.
Take the steps necessary to decrease weight, gain muscle, and become fit.
Follow this list as previously mention, especially if you are a beginner, to start living a healthy, happy life.
It is so important to take action for YOUR life because no one else can do it for you.