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How Exercise Can Make You Happy


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I have many more reasons for working out than just to lose weight; it is a critical for treating my anxiety, depression, and insomnia... it also boosts my mood and overall wellness. This article explores why:

"Over time, chronic stress can erode connections between neurons, leading to a communication breakdown in brain cells. That may partly explain why depressed and anxious people get locked into a negative mind-set. "They lose flexibility and have trouble thinking their way out of a mental rut," Dr. Ratey says."

"Exercise triggers a surge of hormonal changes. Expose yourself to this 'stress' enough and your body builds up immunity to it. Eventually, it will get better at handling the rest of life's stressors," says clinical psychologist Jasper Smits, Ph.D., coauthor of Exercise for Mood and Anxiety. But stay sedentary and your body can become more sensitive to stress, so even minor triggers leave you tied up in knots."

"Vigorous exercise may be key for people who have panic attacks," Smits says. "You experience rapid heartbeat and heavy breathing—the same symptoms that occur in anxiety. But when you exercise, you can get accustomed to those symptoms and stop seeing them as negative." In a study from the University of Georgia in Athens, sedentary women with generalized anxiety disorder started doing two 16-minute sessions of cardio a week. After six weeks, 40 percent no longer met the diagnostic criteria for the disorder.
Yoga works, too. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine find that yogis who practiced for an hour, three times a week for 12 weeks, had sharper dips in anxiety and felt calmer than a group who walked slowly for the same amount of time."

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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
DATMAMA4 10/30/2012 10:07PM

    Neat study. I especially like the part about changing how panic attack-prone people view their symptoms.

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WINDSONG27 10/30/2012 9:34PM

    Thanks for sharing. I needed to read that today :)

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KIPPER15 10/30/2012 8:51PM

    thanks for sharing emoticon

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KIMCOLLINGS 10/30/2012 6:31PM

    Very interesting. I should run now (literally).

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-MOJOJOJO- 10/30/2012 1:35PM

    Thanks for the read! I suffer from anxiety/attacks and depression and notice a difference in my feelings and sensitivity as well as my negativity diminish.

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PLANTAGO 10/30/2012 1:06PM

    Works for me always. Thanks for sharing the article.

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SHANSHE 10/30/2012 12:19PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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LOTUSLIFE 10/30/2012 12:17PM

  Wow...this is a great article. Thank you for sharing it Jamie. It really makes total sense speaking as a person who deals with anxiety issues...i know it's true.

Comment edited on: 10/30/2012 12:18:01 PM

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CALICOANNEFLINT 10/30/2012 11:55AM

    Thanks for sharing this! emoticon

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BOOKWORM27S 10/30/2012 11:26AM

    I totally agree with Dr. Ratey. That is a very accurate statement that I've experienced.

Comment edited on: 10/30/2012 11:27:12 AM

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WILDFLOWERMA 10/30/2012 10:21AM

    Another great reason to exercise

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MIRAGE727 10/30/2012 10:15AM

    I've so embraced exercise as a release! If everyone does that, they find a higher quality of life! Stay strong, stay focused, and be well!
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