Yes, you CAN control your anxiety It’s easier than you think

First, let’s consider the common physical symptoms of anxiety – increased heart rate and rapid breathing. Anxiety creates those symptoms, and when you become aware of them, that awareness can trigger more anxiety. The physical symptoms get worse, the anxiety intensifies, and the anxiety cycle continues. It can be debilitating, making it difficult to function normally throughout the day. For some it can progress to a full-blown panic attack. It may seem like there is nothing you can do, but that’s not true.  You can train your brain not to react to those symptoms. You can stop the cycle.

Control your anxiety by involving your heart

Here’s how. Get moving, literally.  Do any activity that increases your heart rate and your breathing.  It could be running, hiking, swimming, cycling, or whatever other aerobic activity you enjoy.  You will flood your brain with chemicals that lift your mood and calm your brain circuity. As your anxiety begins to fade away, your brain will learn that an increased heartbeat and rapid breathing are associated with positive feelings. It will no longer react to those sensations by amping up anxiety levels. As your brain learns to respond differently to those physical cues, your mind will learn that when anxiety flares up, you can get it back under control. Yes, you CAN control your anxiety. It no longer controls you.

Can’t do it on your own?

Want to get started with an exercise program? We can help.  Strides in Recovery, Reach Out Recovery and Phoenix House California are teaming up to host a free weekly virtual walking/running group. We all get on a Zoom call, led by a certified coach, and we all walk or run together wherever we are. You’ll learn how to warm up and cool down property, and you’ll hear an   inspirational or educational talk about the benefits of exercise in recovery. This group is open to all, whether you are in recovery or a supporter of the recovery community.

What have you got to lose? Just the mental, emotional, and physical discomfort of anxiety. In its place, you’ll gain peace of mind, knowledge, connection and empowerment.

Check it out. Invite your friends. We have two weekly options:

Wednesdays at 2:30 Pacific / 5:30 Eastern:  https://zoom.us/j/95455837330?pwd=NkxiUkw5TXNkbm8vbUFyK3VLNlZhQT09

Wednesdays at 5:30 Pacific / 8:30 Eastern:


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Leslie Gold

Leslie Gold, Founder and Executive Director of Strides in Recovery Leslie is an RRCA-certified running coach who specializes in training the newly sober. As a volunteer at a residential addiction treatment program, she has coached hundreds of people in early recovery across the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon, more than any other coach in the country. Years later, many of the participants still credit the group training and life lessons learned as critical to their long-term sobriety. Inspired by these success stories and numerous testimonials about the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits of training for a challenging endurance event with the support of a team, Leslie started Strides in Recovery. The mission of this non-profit is threefold: 1) Bring running/walking-based relapse prevention programs to more recovery communities 2) Strengthen and grow the community of sober runners/walkers 3) Educate addiction treatment providers about the healing power of goal-oriented group training Prior to starting Strides in Recovery in 2018, Leslie spent three decades leading clinical and financial performance improvement projects, implementing decision support solutions, and generating analytics for hospitals and health systems across the US. She holds an MBA from UCLA and a BA from the University of Virginia. She regularly runs 40-50+ miles/week and has joyfully completed a 50K, 9 marathons, and numerous shorter distance events. She is also an avid cyclist.

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