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Author Topic: Increased heart rate and relaxation  (Read 192 times)

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Offline shaula

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Increased heart rate and relaxation
« on: January 17, 2014, 09:05:55 AM »
Hello!

I have a few questions about how some of us manage to relax, or not. I have anxiety/depression and recently signed up for an aerobics class on recommendation from my therapist. She said exercise would be a good way to release stress in addition to helping making myself healthier.

Anyway, I went to I my first class yesterday, and the instructor had us try to calculate our resting heart rate after trying to "Zen out" for five minutes or so...which, given my heightened stress state, proved to be nearly impossible. Trying to Zen out turned into me worrying about how high my heart rate was going to be, or what if it was too high, or what if it was too slow, or if it meant something was wrong with me...I became so nervous that after checking my heartbeat after this "Zenning out" it was racing at 106, which really threw off my results on the resting heart rate test, LOL.  :dazed: :sick0002: :angel-smiley-006:

Anyway, my question is two part: how do you "Zen out," but more importantly, how do you find time in the day for little moments to just breathe? I am a college student who is really busy making plans to graduate and taking exams, and I feel as though I never have a moment to rest. Yesterday was my first day in aerobics class, and even there, I didn't feel relaxed at all! It was such a struggle to do the exercise that I could hardly breathe lmao! So, do y'all have any tricks and tips for little moments to relax? Or even to just calm an anxious mind?  :fragend005:
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Offline scb07d

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Re: Increased heart rate and relaxation
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 12:09:35 PM »
Relaxation techniques don't work as well as many people claim, in my opinion. There's like Meditation, Deep Breathing, Transcendental Meditation, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Biofeedback, ASMR, Tai Chi, Yoga... and on and on.

Basically, I think all of these things just trigger the parasympathetic nervous system or relaxation response. It's a short lived response that really can be used for some level of relief, but isn't going to "cure" anxiety.

If you make a plan to do it though, you can trigger the response. Just like lie on the ground and try to breathe slowly without trying to change your thoughts in any way. Eventually you'll feel a change. The change isn't substantial though and works FAR better when you don't have any anxiety to begin with.

As for exercise, it triggers this response (or something along those lines) after you exercise.

When people say to exercise in order to help with depression/anxiety, this is what they mean. Your heart rate is going to be pretty high because of how anxiety affects you, but as long as you don't go way overboard, it shouldn't be a problem. If you do rigorous exercise, you'll get that zoned out feeling afterwards, which is essentially the best you can hope for in terms of relief from exercising. In my experience, that zoned out feeling is preferable to being anxious.

Honestly though, if you feel healthy enough, exercising can be almost as helpful as almost any other form of treatment. You just have to be willing to push yourself consistently and feel healthy enough to do it. Also... it's really cardio you have to do as opposed to weight lifting or something like that.
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