ANXIETY- How Exercise Has Helped Phyllis!

ANXIETY. That one word alone gives you physical feelings of nervousness running up and down your body, headaches, feelings of panic, breaking out in sweats, the list can go on and on. Anxiety is different for everyone, it can manifest itself in various ways.

Six years ago after some very big changes in my life which were all good by the way, I began having little bouts of anxiety that managed to snowball into full blown panic attacks 2-3 times a week. It wreaked havoc on my body and managed to wean its way into every aspect of my life: my marriage, how I parented my daughter, my friendships, and even my faith. When you have anxiety, you feel crippled, paralyzed, almost like there isn’t a way out of how you are feeling. At times it even feels like an outer body experience. I was encouraged by my husband to seek therapy to find techniques to cope, which helped immensely at that time. By the time I was pregnant with my second daughter I was going to therapy every other week.

Once my youngest was born, I still attended therapy but wasn’t as focused, started only going once a month and just knew it wasn’t working for me anymore. I was four months post-partum, still experiencing anxiety and decided to join a CrossFit gym near my home. Talk about anxiety! Walking into my first class at One Life was tough, I almost didn’t go as I was so anxious. Little did I know after that class the anxiety had dissipated!

I have now been exercising consistently for the past two and half years since joining One Life. Exercise is my form of therapy now. I’ve managed to keep my anxiety under control, and if I’m having a tough day, I just attend class and feel ten times better afterward. Of course, it doesn’t make my anxiety fully disappear, but it helps me greatly. Exercise, whether it be attending a class at One Life or riding my Peloton has been my coping mechanism for how I deal with having anxiety on a daily basis. I can say this now more than ever. 

After being diagnosed with COVID-19 recently I hadn’t had the physical ability to work out for almost three weeks. I was itching to get back to exercising, not only because it would benefit me to move my body but because my anxiety had decided to rear its ugly head again, and my coping mechanism wasn’t available at the moment. I know now there is a definitive correlation between exercise and anxiety, and how consistent exercise helps not only your physical body but also your mental state. Exercise does awesome things for your body, but more so it does wonders for your mind. 

Luckily, this past week I was finally able to get back in the gym since recovering from COVID-19. I’ve had personal training twice with Tim and have also exercised on the Peloton. I can already tell that my anxiety levels have decreased after just working out this week alone. It’s incredibly amazing how effectively moving your body and exercising is for your mental state. 

Having COVID-19 was extremely tough, but in the end, it really taught me a life lesson that you should always appreciate your body and what it can do for your spirit, your mentality, and being physically able to move on a day to day basis.

-Phyllis Yee.


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