I have a client who has recently experienced some symptoms of anxiety. We have – with the support of a doctor – determined that it is in fact stress-induced anxiety and not an underlying condition (i.e., irregular heart beat or atrial fib). I have suggested the client read more about relaxation techniques, breathing techniques and suggested that when the anxiety feeling is coming on, rather than focus on it thus making it worse, reach for some calming techniques. Exercise has absolutely improved the condition: just wondering if there is anything else we can do? Thanks!
Do you mean they get anxiety symptoms during the workout, or as a general thing?
If the first I think Noel’s technique is really great. Allowing the client to have space to come back to baseline is really helpful. And it is quite a great idea to have a way to let them be private about it, so they don’t feel more stress that they are being singled out, or that they are keeping anyone else from their workout, which can cause some people to be even more stressed.
I also think it is great that you had the client go to a physician. It puts you in a good position of not trying to treat outside your scope of practice.
I come from the world of yoga, and that is a practice that I think can be very helpful in developing skills to battle anxiety and stress. Adding some yoga practice, especially yoga that focuses on the connection of breath and movement can be really helpful.
I did a blog on this, if you are interested: http://blog.ideafit.com/blogs/ariadne-greenberg/stress-reduction-and-med…
May I recommend some music? Look for things by Steven Halpern (non vocal music specifically designed to help the brain relax), or Snatm Kaur or Krishna Das (Kirtan greats) (actually I also did a blog on yoga music, which has a number of suggestions).