Releasing Anxiety Through Repetitive Motion: anxiety can be thought of as an accumulation of stress that builds up in our minds and bodies creating a host of unwanted symptoms which only perpetuate the cycle. Releasing this stress before it becomes anxiety is the secret to stopping the cycle, but even if it’s already out of control and flooding you with anxiety symptoms you must learn to release the unwanted energy in a positive way in order to free yourself from it. There are a myriad of methods for doing this, any which might work for you, but a simple, common technique involves repetitive motion. Using repetitive motion as a way of releasing your anxiety is easy and effective.
Repetitive motion works in several ways. One is that it redirects our mental and physical focus away from the anxiety inducing stimuli. When we engage in the repeated actions, after a short while our minds slip easily from the conscious, active, aggravated state to a subconscious, passive, calming state. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon that many people have learned to take advantage of, including creative geniuses, common children and even ancient shamans. Another way that repetitive motion works is that we release actual energy through the repeated action in a steady, balancing manner. In this way we are actually ‘burning off’ unwanted, negative energy that has been stored up in our minds and bodies in a process that is consistent and constructive. To release all of that energy at once would leave us feeling off and spent, but to let it out slowly through repetitive motion allows us to adjust to the decrease in negative energy build up as it happens.
Numerous ways exist for engaging in repetitive motion and the trick lies in finding the one that is best suited to you and your lifestyle. Generally, it is preferable if it is something you enjoy at least somewhat, if only for the fact that you are more likely to utilize it when needed. Perhaps there is something you already participate in that is repetitive and could be applied as an anxiety reliever? Exercise, knitting, or rocking in a favorite chair are all examples. Others include running or walking on a treadmill, painting, swimming, or vacuuming. Less common examples that could work for you are writing (by hand of course), drawing, stretching, or even word puzzles so long as they do not increase your mental load. Repetitive motion doesn’t always have to be productive. Fidgeting is a great way to release energy. Try sitting down in a comfortable chair and kicking your legs, tapping a pencil, or playing with Silly Putty or Playdough. Get a bowl of water or a plate of sugar, flour, salt or shaving cream and twirl your fingers through it writing letters, making pictures or doing nothing particular at all. Don’t forget the assortment of commercial products available sold expressly for this purpose. All of those ‘stress relief’ office toys are perfect for this sort of release. Anything that engages you in consistent steady motion and redirects your mental attention is good.
Whenever you feel stress piling up within your mind and body, or if your anxiety is too much for you, take a moment to practice your choice of repetitive motion. It may only require a few minutes of your time, or you may prefer to give it a couple hours, but so long as you can feel the anxious energy draining away to a level that is easier for you to cope with then you are on the right track. It may sound silly, but a simple, repetitive activity can be the difference between living with your anxiety and living without it.