Health & FitnessScience

A sport for everyone – the top activities for anxious personalities

If you have trouble controlling your emotions, keeping a clear mind and you wish to overcome your fears, read on for a selection of activities for your well-being.
Anxiety is a diffused feeling of fear and uneasiness that is distinct from stress and anguish.
This state of alert is aggravated by a lack of self-confidence, overwork or a strenuous results-driven lifestyle (professional, personal or family related). Subject to feelings of self-doubt, those with anxious personalities may have difficulty making decisions and choosing. Highly dependent on those close to them, they can have a hard time dealing with separation. Oftentimes, daily hassles are perceived as amplified.
People with anxious personalities are generally split into two large categories. Some feel the need to focus on themselves in order to better understand the roots of their discomfort while others feel the need to be challenged.
Endurance sports
In 2012, a study lead by researchers from the University of Georgia was published on revealing the benefits of sports and physical activities, in particular aerobics, in treating anxiety. The recommended activities were primarily endurance sports: walking, hiking, running or cycling. These kinds of activities allow those with anxious personalities to monitor their heart rate and breathing. Benefits could include an improved control of self and the ability to become progressively calmer over time — the first step to a peaceful existence — as well as letting out negative energy.
In addition to being an endurance sport, swimming has the added benefit of inducing a feeling of peace and security as the water allows your body to float. The connection to a natural element helps accentuate these positive sensations.
Individuals with anxious personalities can find it very difficult to deal with failure. This is why activities that focus on personal performance are favored. It allows the individual to decide the speed of his or her progression and avoids situations in which others could make a performance-based judgement. The explosive nature of weight-lifting is also an excellent way to release tension.
Extreme sports
Extreme sports are well suited to those who want to challenge themselves and overcome personal limits be it rock climbing, parachuting or any other extreme activity. The high doses of adrenaline these types of activities produce allows individuals to progressively let go of negative feelings. Again, being close to nature can help anxious personalities emerge from their bubble.
Last but not least, a healthy lifestyle is essential to appease feelings of anxiety. It is important to sleep well, eat a balanced diet and limit the intake of stimulants like alcohol, coffee or tobacco.

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