New Study Highlights Benefits of Exercise for Helping Treat Social Anxiety

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Yet again, studies and research have proven the how relaxation activities, such as yoga and work out exercises, help in the treatment of social anxiety. The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE and headed by Adam Heenan, a clinical psychology PHD candidate at Queens University in Canada. Heenan said that workout and relaxation exercises are able to change people’s perception of the world, thus reducing threatening and negative feelings.

The participants in the study were between the age of 17 to 29, which composed of both male and female. They give no information on their state of mental health at the time of the study and their level of social anxiety was solely assessed by some of the tests the Heenan’s given them.

The test asked participants to view a point-light display of a person walking and asked whether the figure was approaching them or not. A lot of them said that the figure was walking towards them. Heenan concluded that this was a sign of social anxiety and intimidation, with rates higher before their relaxation exercises than after.

“We found that people who either walked or jogged on a treadmill for 10 minutes perceived these ambiguous figures as facing towards them as the observer less often that those who simply stood on the treadmill,” says Heenan.

As a person who had suffered the stigma of social anxiety disorder motivating one’s self to do a simple exercise is a challenge itself. Everyday, I always promise myself to do an hour of jogging the next morning. But when I wake up the next day, I feel unenthusiastic and anxious that I might see my high school friends, an old crush or even my neighbor’s scrutinizing eyes. It’s hard to convince myself that it’s all good and that every uncomfortable thoughts were just in my head.

But when you manage to change those negative thoughts into positive ones then nothing is impossible. Any means of exercise is good for the body, soul and mind. When I started to take control of myself and took care of my health I found new goals and aspiration to live with.

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