Previously I had written about the findings in some new Japanese studies that suggest drinking matcha can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Another natural option to help lessen these conditions is running. Pairing running with drinking matcha daily, and reducing your media exposure can help you to achieve some pretty magnificent results.
How do I know this? I am my own test subject to this combo. Plus, all the evidence provided by multiple studies in each strategy helps to back it up.
Several years ago, I found myself suffering from daily mini panic attacks, heart palpitations, sleepless nights, shortness of breath, and several other anxiety symptoms. I was consistently unable to focus, and would frequently find myself lashing out and/or breaking down at what was really nothing at all.
I had gone through what most would consider being a lot of loss in a pretty short period, accompanied by a fair amount of family turmoil. On top of the financial strain of helping my husband run a business and failing to make ends meet more often than not.
The pressure started to add up, and my body had had enough.
I went to see a Naturopathic practitioner for the 1st time. THANK GOD, with her expertise and support, I was able to get my anxiety and my life back under control.
She prescribed to me specialized breathing techniques with meditation, dietary changes, cardiovascular exercise, supplementation.
Running was not my first choice. LOL. I was a sprinter for 2 years in high school and ended up with the worst case of shin splints both years that I could barely even walk.
My husband was actually the one who turned me onto running long distances. He had started running faithfully and was accomplishing some pretty amazing results.
He looked better, felt better, and I could tell it was making his own state of mental health better. Even though he wasn't the one with anxiety problems.
I decided to give it a try. I tiptoed into it at first. Just running here and there. I can't say that I enjoyed it and I certainly didn't look forward to it. (lol)
But I stuck with it. Soon I felt the need to push myself a little harder, run a bit further, and walk less.
It wasn't long at all until I was challenging myself with every run. I had worked up to the point where I could run the 3 miles my hubby had laid out for us without stopping, including running up some pretty decent hills. (thanks to the back roads of PA)
Now it was, how much faster could I run? It gave me something else to focus on. I could hammer out whatever I was feeling on the road without any talking back.
I felt alive, invigorated, liberated, and so much better. I was sleeping at night, getting a grip on my emotions, and handling the business pressures much more easily.
According to Dr. Kevin Gilliland in an article published by welland good.com, running falls under the category of what is called "green exercise" (exercises done outdoors)
He states that green exercise requires us to use other parts of our brain that allows the anxious part to relax. We do this by focusing on cars, pedestrians, and uneven terrain.
Dr. Gilliland goes on to state that as we hit mile after mile, our brains put focus on our stride and the changes we need to make while we encounter the road ahead. He quotes, "it's a pure meditative distraction."
Running also produces endorphins (feel-good hormones) and can help give you a little extra pep for the rest of the day.
I've tried other cardio. But nothing is as therapeutic as hitting the play button and pounding some pavement.
As of today, I am still running, still drinking my matcha, and still continuing to get better with managing my anxiety.
It's pretty easy for me to admit. The matcha and running combo quite literally changed my life!
Are you a runner? What has it done for your life? Let me know in the comment section below.