Exercise and Anxiety

Everybody experiences anxiety in life; it’s a natural and normal emotion. But when you start to experience persistent worry and/or fear about everyday situations, anxiety could be becoming a problem. Anxiety can interfere with all aspects of your life and may feel like it’s impossible to control. You may start to avoid certain situations or activities to avoid the onset of anxious feelings. 

How does anxiety feel?

Anxiety symptoms are different for everyone. Some people experience physical symptoms like digestive issues, muscle tension or sleep problems. Others notice irritability, difficulty with focus or concentration or a sense of feeling “on edge.”  No matter how anxiety may be affecting you, there are evidence based practices that can help. 

What is a free, easy and proven way to combat anxiety? Exercise!

Physical activity has been shown to play an important role in decreasing mental health issues including depression and anxiety.  Research has shown that exercise can be a powerful tool to control anxiety, especially when paired with anxiety treatments like medication or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. If exercise is new to you, some forms you might consider trying first are yoga, walking, cycling or tai chi.  In fact, even walking twice a day for 30 minutes at a time can have a big impact. Especially if you can do it in nature.  Start by looking for ways to increase your basic activity level.  When going into a parking lot, try and park further from the entrance of the store.  If you need to run an errand, see if you can do it on foot if possible.  And invite a friend for a walk! That has the added bonus of connecting with those in our lives.  And of course, always consult with a physician before starting an exercise program. 

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a form of treatment that helps people learn to cope with various problems, like anxiety, by changing their thinking and behavior. CBT strategies might include recognizing one’s own thinking patterns that are creating problems, reevaluating those thinking patterns, gathering a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others and learning coping strategies to deal with difficult situations.

If you continue to find it difficult to handle your anxiety and feel that you are not making progress, it might be time to reach out to an anxiety counsellor for guidance or treatment. 

How to find an Anxiety Counsellor in BC

At Waypoint Counselling Network, we know finding the right therapist is the most important step in seeking help. We will help match you to the right couples counsellor in Victoria, Vancouver, Burnaby, Kelowna or online anywhere in BC.  All of our counsellors offer online counselling via phone or video and some offer in-person sessions. Check out our anxiety counsellors below or contact us to learn more.

At Waypoint, we will connect you with the right help at the right time.