How Pilates Can Help You Control Anxiety

By On September 16, 2019 · Leave a Comment

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The world around us has more distractions than ever and moves at such a fast pace that we may find it hard to stop and live in the moment. As a result, our mental health can take a toll and our anxiety increase. Therefore it is important to be aware and opt for a holistic solution to the demands on our mental health.

Fortunately, an article on Healthline states that public stigma surrounding depression is decreasing with recent generations since they understand the impact depression can have and in general show more awareness. Not only do these generational trends encourage more people to take care of their mental health, but they also have paved the way for new wellness methods. In fact, a report on Maryville University shows that health care in the U.S. has become a trillion-dollar industry, with much of that care existing outside traditional clinics. From new workouts to modern therapies, there are plenty of opportunities to help people reach their best mental state.

This is where Pilates comes in. While it has plenty of physical benefits, it does so much more than just tone your body and increase strength. In our post “How Physical Fitness Can Promote Successful Addiction Recovery” we discussed how Pilates is great at promoting self-awareness, improving concentration, and calming the brain—all fantastic traits for relieving stress and anxiety.

If you’re looking for a way to de-stress and clear your head, read on to see how Pilates may be a good fit for you.

Encourages Single Focus

Pilates targets the body’s core muscles mainly with slow, controlled movements. In Pilates, proper form is much more important than the number of reps you can do. Each exercise requires a great deal of focus to gain the most benefit. Because these exercises require attention, purpose, and listening to your body, your mind is forced to channel all its energy into awareness and control. As a result, you are provided a moment of respite from negative thoughts.

Trains the Brain

Since there is so much thinking involved in this particular exercise, Pilates can also effectively train your brain. Learning new activities increases the density of white matter (the part of the neurons that allows them to communicate) in the brain, which can not only make you “smarter” but also allow you certain control over your emotions. After all, most of your feelings, whether positive or negative, are mostly controlled by the different chemical reactions in your brain.

Helps with Stress Management

You may have heard of the “runner’s high—that rush of feel-good chemicals during or after performing an exercise. This phenomenon, which is scientifically referred to as an endorphin rush, helps boost your mood and alleviate anxiety and symptoms of depression. Current research from the University of Turku suggests that the amount of endorphins released varies with the type of exercise of you do and the duration of the exercise. Thankfully, Pilates can keep you moving for a long time, with a typical session lasting an hour.

Teaches Proper Breathing

Pilates is well known for its emphasis on breathing. Even outside the studio, these breathing exercises can be used for relaxation and meditation. Psychologist Alice Boyes states that breathing exercises are an excellent solution for stress and anxiety relief since they almost automatically slow down your heart rate.

Of course, Pilates is not the be-all and end-all solution to anxiety. More than anything, it is always good to seek professional help and have a holistic wellness solution—from adhering to a healthy diet to having a reliable fitness routine.

Written by Alana Keith exclusively for PilatesStudioCity.Com

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