Great post, NinjaGirl. I cannot speak highly enough about the healing power of exercise!
I have become addicted to the endorphin rush of working out. Without it, I get crabby.
Working out while in recovery is hard to do because it is the last thing you feel like doing. However, I have found certain exercise can help you channel your anger. Kickboxing is a great exercise for this purpose. My kickboxing instructor used to say:
"I love watching Lisa kickbox because it's so obvious she has a very specific target in mind when she is kicking and punching."
And he was right. I did! I was getting over my EXN and to picture him as a target when I hit helped incredibly with my anger.
Recently, when all the drama on the board occurred, I asked my trainer if we could box. It was such a great release and I really needed it. I got out so much agression that I ripped the skin open on both my forefinger knuckles. They're still healing!
Research on anxiety tells us that the physical and psychological benefits of exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. I can personally testify to the fact that working out can make help you relax and feel better. Next time you’re feeling anxiety, cope in a healthy way and choose to RESPOND to it by working out and getting physically active.
Physically, exercise releases feel-good brain chemicals (neurotransmitters and endorphins) that ease depression and lift your overall mood. Exercise reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen depression. It increases our body temperature, which has a calming effect.
Psychologically, exercise helps you gain confidence by challenging yourself to meet goals. Getting in shape makes you feel better about your appearance. Working out is a wonderful distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
By exercising, you can take your mind off your worries and give yourself time to think about how to respond to anxiety in the most productive manner. Keep in mind, we all experience anxiety. The key is learning how to respond to it. Exercise can also help anxiety and depression from coming back once you’re feeling better.