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Handling High Anxiety

When that really crummy day happens and you find you let yourself become anxious, the neurochemicals that work best to calm it down are endorphins and oxytocin. Anxiety makes it really hard to experience serotonin and dopamine. Studies have shown that oxytocin and endorphins are best for triggering relaxation and calm. Is it any wonder we are wired to get the fastest dose of oxytocin from our partner? I guess evolution understood marriage could be tough at times.

To get a big dose of endorphins or oxytocin, have a great night of sex, cuddle with someone you love, sit with an infant, or spend time nurturing your children. Even being with your pet or volunteering at an animal shelter can do wonders. The most consistent way is get to the gym for some aerobic exercise (at least thirty minutes, if you are healthy enough); It is safer and works more efficiently than any drug we have on the market. Do an intense or endurance sport such as skiing, jet skiing, running, snowboarding, or biking. Research has even found that sunbathing can release endorphins; that is why a day at the beach can rejuvenate almost anyone and why tanning can be addicting. The majority of the people I meet at my gym who are over forty claim that the main reason they exercise is for the emotional benefits—even more than for physical conditioning. Exercise done right can get you out of a state of anxiety and keep you out for forty-eight to seventy-two hours. Guaranteed. No drug can promise that.

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