Ways to React to Anxiety and Stress
A parent emailed me last weekend, we were talking about our how fast and how drastically life has changed since Covid-19 appeared. She said … “while it’s devastating in so many ways, there are silver linings too, as we don’t know what we are capable of until these sorts of things come to test us!”
She’s absolutely right. And while we all wish it wasn’t happening maybe we can find a way to react positively to the pandemic, so we come out of it feeling it’s given us something we wouldn’t otherwise have gained.
Anxiety, Exercise and Immunity
Covid-19 is causing stress and fear across the world. There’s no immunity from the disease, or from feelings of anxiety about what the future holds regarding our jobs, businesses, finances and our kid’s futures. Above all those concerns is the anxiety about being healthy, avoiding the virus now and maintaining our health in the future.
The search for ways to safeguard ourselves from the pandemic, since there is no cure currently, has raised many questions regarding how physical workouts can protect a person from infection by boosting immunity.
In general, exercise helps you lose excess weight and reduce the risks of certain health conditions. When you exercise regularly, it can decrease your risk of developing diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, obesity, and respiratory disorders. People with any of these health conditions are more vulnerable to infection.
While there’s no guarantee that being fit and healthy will give you immunity from disease, some studies show that regular physical exercise can flush out microorganisms including bacteria and viruses from the airways and lungs. Exercise can cause changes in the white blood cells and antibodies, which are the core components of the immune system that fight diseases. So, to put it simply, regular exercise can strengthen the immune system. It can help the body fight off viruses and infections.
The primary reason for stress and anxiety comes from feelings of uncertainty. Many people are worried about the usual rhythm of life which has changed since the covid-19 outbreak. There is an economic shutdown and almost all avenues of socialization are now out of reach. Compounding this issue are the known harmful effects of confinement, social distancing and self-quarantines on immunity. Cortisol – a glucocorticoid, is elevated during self-isolation, which can inhibit certain functions of the immune system.
Unfortunately, we have no control of the lockdown restrictions other than to follow them in order to beat the virus as soon as possible.
What we can control – Our Reaction
The only thing we can control right now is how we react to what we cannot control.
There a large body of scientific evidence that supports the benefits of physical activity for mental health as well as physical fitness. Yes, exercise, in any form, can reduce stress and anxiety.
In general, many research studies have shown that exercise is effective at decreasing fatigue, enhancing alertness and concentration, as well as improving overall cognitive function. In particular, this is helpful when stress and anxiety start depleting your energy and ability to think and concentrate.
While walking and running are possible during the lockdown situation, experts also recommend practicing a traditional martial art. You may not know but traditional martial art training is focused on you absorbing and learning to carry out martial arts skills to the best of your ability. That means that during training your brain is absorbed in what you are doing and the way you are doing it. There’s no room in your head to think about anything else when a training partner is aiming his foot or fist at your body. That’s why learning martial arts techniques can keep you both physically and mentally fit.
They can help reduce stress and anxiety by teaching you how to control certain aspects of your mind and body. One of the major parts of practicing taekwondo is breath control,
Lastly, taekwondo, karate, and martial arts therapy are useful for people of all ages with major depressive disorders including stress, anxiety, bipolar disorder, social anxiety, panic attacks, etc. Traditional Taekwondo for adults, is one of the best ways to exercise and boost the immune system due to it’s focus on self-improvement, becoming fitter, stronger, healthier and more in control of yourself. So, if you want to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy it’s well worth looking at starting traditional Taekwondo classes, Brisbane.
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