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Here's the Anxiety Coach® Newsletter
February 01, 2011

Simple Ways to Tame Anxiety

February 1, 2011
Volume 11, Issue 2

This month's issue of Anxiety Coach® looks at exercise, and how people get fooled into avoiding it.

You'll find this newsletter in your e-mail box the first week each month. I'll bring you tips for overcoming fears and phobias in each issue.

If you like this newsletter, please pass it on anyone who might be interested. If you received this issue from a friend and want your own subscription, please subscribe.

The Key to Exercise

Everybody knows exercise is good for you. It's especially good to help you relieve feelings of anxiety and depression. There's plenty of research that shows this, and I know it to be true from my own personal experience.

Still, most people don't use exercise to improve their mood. There's a number of reasons for this, but I hear one particular reason a lot from my clients. I'm going to take a few minutes to explain what this reason is, show how it works to stop you from getting helpful exercise, and suggest a way to make exercise work for you.

What's the reason people don't exercise to soothe their emotional state? It's this.

"I'm too tired!"

When the idea of exercise occurs to my clients, people who could reduce their feelings of anxiety this way, they put it off. They put it off because they feel a state of low energy, and think they need to have high energy in order to exercise.

Exactly the opposite is true.

You don't give up energy when you do moderate exercise. You get energy. When you finish, you generally have more energy than you did before. A person who's tired and irritable generally feels calmer and more energized after a good walk than he did before.

The Most Important Benefit of Exercise

What are the benefits of exercise? You can lose weight, burn fat, and tone your muscles. But these all take time, maybe a month or two of regular exercise before you start to see these effects.

The most immediate benefit you can get from exercise is that it improves your mood. Most people will find that they get this benefit very quickly.

If you feel tired, anxious, or depressed and think this means it's not a good time to exercise - you're getting fooled! There isn't any better time to exercise. This is when you need it, and can benefit from it, the most!

It's a special case of the Rule of Opposites. You get a feeling, and think it's a sign not to exercise. In fact, it's a sign to exercise!

What Kind of Exercise?

I'm not talking about setting any world records. Any kind of moderate cardiovascular exercise - walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, running in place, and so on - for 20 minutes a day, three or more days a week, is a good start.

When's the best time to start? The next time you feel anxious and down. Don't try to calm down. Don't wait till you feel more energized. Just take your anxiety for a walk.

Fear of Driving

The newest addition to my web site is a page about overcoming the fear of driving. There's also a chapter in my Panic Attacks Workbook about the fear of driving. Want a free copy? Download the chapter from the fear of driving page.

Anxiety Disorders Conference in New Orleans

The annual conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America will take place in New Orleans, March 24-27. It's three days of professional workshops for therapists interested in the treatment of anxiety disorders. I'll be presenting a workshop on treating the fear of flying.

For information and registration, visit ADAA. See you next month!


Dave Carbonell, Ph.D.

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