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Can Fitness Bands Lower Anxiety and Improve Mental Health?

September 22, 2016 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Fitness bands are designed to improve an individual's physical fitness, but can fitness bands help improve anxiety and general mental health as well? When I purchased a fitness band a while back, it was with the intention of boosting my physical health and fitness level. Little did I know, this fitness band lower my anxiety and improve my mental health (The Effects of Physical Health on Mental Illness).

Fitness Bands for All Health: Mind and Body are Connected

A fitness band lowered my anxiety and improved my mental health. Learn five principles to use to lower your anxiety with or without a fitness band. Read this.Really, it makes perfect sense. Mental health and physical health are intimately intertwined. Some argue that the term "mental illness" is irrelevant because the brain is an organ, as much a part of the body as the heart, lungs, or any other organ. It's not separate from the body.

The entire body and mind, when working properly, works as a system, a metaphorical, well-oiled machine. Sometimes, though, things get "off," and when that happens, we can feel physically unwell, mentally unwell, or both (The Effect of Physical Health on Mental Illness). We can have vague mental and physical complaints, or we could experience something specific like anxiety. Therefore, when I started using a fitness band for my physical health, my mental health, including anxiety, improved, too.

How a Fitness Band Lowered My Anxiety and Improved My Mental Health

As I worked to improve my physical health, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that my anxiety decreased and my mental health and wellbeing increased. Here's how my anxiety improved as I wore my fitness band:

Routine exercise -- Fitness bands track steps and workouts, and in so doing encourage people to get moving throughout the day. Exercise has many mental health benefits, so as I walked more, climbed the stairs more, and just got moving during the day, my anxiety was reduced significantly.

Deep breathing -- Some fitness bands allow people to schedule breathing breaks in which the band sets a slow pace for its wearer to follow. Slow, rhythmic deep breathing reduces stress and lowers anxiety and induces a sense of calm. Sometimes we forget to breathe properly, especially when our anxiety or other mental health stressors are intense. I found that taking deep breathing breaks during the day lowered my anxiety levels (Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress).

Water -- Drinking plenty of water is vital for both physical and mental health. A lack of water can lead to things like headaches and muscle tension, which can be both a symptom and a trigger of anxiety. Entering my water helped me remember to continue drinking as the day progressed.

Sleep -- Adequate sleep is vital for mental health (The [Dysfunctional] Relationship Between Sleep and Anxiety). When I'm sleep deprived, I'm anxious. This fitness band tracks sleep and reports quality. I'm reminded to get a good night's sleep, and going to bed on time rather than wandering around tidying up or reading one more chapter in a book has had a positive effect on my anxiety.

A visual reminder -- It's common in anxiety treatment to have something tangible to remind someone of anxiety management strategies (Using Objects to Reduce Anxiety). I discovered that simply wearing the band on my wrist came to be a reminder of all of the great health benefits, physical and mental, I'm experiencing. It has come to be a symbol of health and vitality, of increased self-confidence, and of living life without anxiety.

Using a fitness band has lowered my anxiety and improved my mental health and wellbeing. That said, a fitness band isn't a required anxiety-reducing tool. Exercise, deep breathing, water, sleep, and a symbolic reminder can all happen without technology. Whether or not you use a fitness band, you can use the principles to lower anxiety and increase mental health and wellbeing.

Let's connect. I blog here. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. My mental health novels, including one about severe anxiety, are here.

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2016, September 22). Can Fitness Bands Lower Anxiety and Improve Mental Health?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, March 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2016/09/fitness-bands-for-anxiety-mental-health



Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of 101 Ways to Help Stop Anxiety, The 5-Minute Anxiety Relief Journal, The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and five critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges. She also speaks nationally about mental health. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

JohnT
September, 22 2016 at 10:21 pm

Routine exercise and good sleep I think are the best. For fullness, you must feel good about who you are. You must find your purpose on earth.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 23 2016 at 2:33 pm

Hi John,
Well said! A sense of purpose is vital to mental health, wellbeing, and overall life satisfaction. Exercise and sleep help us be fit to feel and fulfill our purpose.

Sofia Cano
September, 22 2016 at 5:00 am

Hello Tanya,
great recommendation to us. But I think everybody has a different choice and everybody has a secret tools which is really works fine and that is the weapon to become happy. Thanks for sharing the post.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 22 2016 at 1:51 pm

Hi Sofia,
Thanks for your comment! The beautiful thing about anxiety treatment (and any other mental health treatment) is that each individual does have the power to choose for themselves. Something might work great for one person but not at all for another. HealthyPlace.com and Anxiety-Schmanxiety as part of it exist to expose people to lots of ideas from which to choose. I love how you worded that: using one's own secret tools is the weapon to become happy. I appreciate your sharing your insights.

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