7 Ways Running Helps Reduce Anxiety, Stress and Panic Attacks
You may be surprised how much running helps reduce anxiety and stress. Moreover, running enhances your immune system and even slows down the aging process. Is it all about endorphins, the happiness hormones of the body? Why running is so good not only for physical but also for mental health? Learn the 7 ways running helps you relieve anxiety, stress and panic attacks.
Running is one of the easiest methods used to clear one’s thoughts and feel relaxed and stress free. Instead of locking yourself in your bathroom and screaming to release the stress, why don’t you try running? Believe me, running will not only help you to achieve fitness goals but it will also give you positive energy to keep you going. What are the advantages of running for mental health?
The feeling of stress is typically caused by an imbalance in the person’s emotions. Fear leads to traumatic and disheartening situations. Stress management is an important skill you should learn and practice. While many people think it is about doing the things you like to do (like meditation and sports, for example), it is a matter of recognizing the reasons you are getting stressed and finding a method to alleviate your stress.
Responding better from the inside out can improve your entire life. Sometimes a stressful circumstance just needs a fresh attitude. Running has an upside that is beneficial in helping you manage the stress in your life. Running can change your mood and aid you to manage stress, panic attacks, and depression.
Whereas most of the stress management procedures can be time-consuming and expensive, adding a running program to your routine often works great in counteracting the stress in everyday life. Your exercise routine can be customized to your busy schedule. Learn the top 7 reasons why running helps relieve stress.
#1 Running helps elevate your mood
Regular running helps to lower feelings of fear, anger, as well as worry, while endorphins contribute to the elevated overall mood. In times of threat, stress triggered the heart along with the nervous system to race so as to prime them for either the fight or the quick escape. The rush of energy that came helps them to stay alive and the safety valve, which, when the emergency ends, brings on the relaxation response.
Aerobic training enables you to release energy followed by relaxation. Prolonged involvement in moderate running leads to a feeling of contentment and hence it elevates the mood. Regular running helps you reduce the stress and relax.
# 2 Running releases endorphins
After a running exercise, endorphins are produced by your body. When the hormones are released in the body, one may experience a feeling of happiness. Endorphins are natural painkillers that give your body an overall sense of delight and a good feeling. Such mood enhancers improve the sleep quality, which often becomes disrupted by depression, anxiety and, of course, stress. Stress will certainly be with us forever, but it can be controlled through a regular running routine.
#3 Running helps to lower cortisol
Cortisol is a form of a steroid hormone that is generated in your adrenal cortex of the adrenal. This hormone is heightened during stress. If the body fails to use hormones like cortisol appropriately, the body starts producing feelings of anger and eventually put one in jeopardy for stress related illnesses. Although individual running sessions cause a temporary increase in cortisol production, regular running helps lower your cortisol levels. However, too much of any good thing is poisonous.
Cortisol changes from good to bad when chronically generated in excess, persistence training shifts from healthful to unhealthful when an athlete overstrains. In the overtrained athlete, high cortisol levels may have adverse health effects, although high cortisol levels are one of many imbalances observed in persistence athletes who work too hard and do not rest enough. Regular running helps your body in the absorption of cortisol, which in turn lowers cortisol levels, leading to a decrease in stress signs. The benefits of running surpass the high cortisol level.
#4 Running enhances sleep
Various research studies show that doing regular exercises such as running help in improving your sleeping habits. If you are suffering from lack of sleep during the night or have an erratic sleep pattern, this may be because of the heightened sense of anxiety. Even if you are exhausted, heightened levels of anxiety lead to a lack of sleep. This cases an interruption of your internal clock, leading to erratic sleep patterns. This will cause an increase of stress, as you do not have enough time to let your body relax. Running helps in changing your body’s response to sleeping pattern, allowing your body to have enough time to sleep, which will make feel more relaxed, more in control of your life and less stressed.
#5 Running helps reduce anxiety
Individuals who are regularly stressed can often undergo heightened feelings of phobias, anger, or fear. This happens as a result of an increase in hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol. When you are stressed, these hormones are discharged into the body and start circulating in your blood. If you do not burn them up through running, these hormones tend to have an adverse impact on your mood by producing anxiety and ill feelings. When you participate in high-intensity exercises such as running, your body burns these chemicals and releases endorphins. These hormones elevate your mood and reduce anxiety.
#6 Running reduces depression
Can you treat depression with exercise? The study shows that people who engage in a regular running have lower rates of depression. Decreased rates of depression are due to high levels of endorphins. These hormones help you feel happy. Additionally, running can contribute to high self-esteem and self-perception by improving your appearance, which may then lead to lower levels of depression.
#7 Running calms the mind
Running is an effective method to clear the mind. Running across a field or taking a quick walk, you enjoy positive energy that helps you deal with your daily challenges efficiently. Exercising on your treadmill can also help you calm down your mind.
Before we conclude, did you know that running makes you taller? Yes, it can. The medical experts say that your body produces a growth hormone while running, increasing the chances of becoming a little taller.
All in all, if you have a stressful and hectic life, go running. Running regularly does not only help you to achieve fitness goals but is also a great way to manage your daily stress. So, take a step towards managing your stress today. Whenever you feel stressed, try and run a few laps around your neighborhood and let me know how you feel. I bet you will feel relieved and relaxed, right? Post your comment, please!
We have more articles on running:
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- Beginner’s Guide to Running
- How to Start Running: a 10-Week Plan for Maximum Results
- 5 Yoga Poses for Runners – Video Workout for Beginners
- Are Treadmills Better Than Street Running
- Running to Lose Weight: Learning to Run
About the author: Emily is the founder of GoAheadRunne. The blog provides information on latest training, running gears and supplements and much more!