We live in the kind of world where stress management is talked about daily, but which is less often put into practice. You’re too busy to notice that you’re stressed, and how this is affecting your body. The current times do not allow for too much leisure time, and work is never light and relaxing- the more you work, the more you need to work to surpass your previous level and show that you should be promoted, and stress management becomes an essential part of surviving in today’s society. But how do we practice stress management? The easiest way we know: exercise. Here are a couple of tips on why your workouts are the best stress management tools you can find.
Exercises releases endorphins, which are also known as “the happy hormone”. Therefore each time you practice your workout, whether it is running or lifting weights or whatever you choose to do, you get a small “hit” of our body’s favourite drug.
The endorphins act as a pain killer, first of all, which means that you can work out consistently and for longer periods of time if needed, but secondly endorphins are a stress management tool. They relax you, they make you feel a little more positive, and it’s all natural.
Exercise is a positive addiction, and when it comes to stress management that can be a huge thing. It can replace negative addictions- and I’m not referring only to hard drugs, but also smoking, alcohol drinking, even internet addiction. You stop obsessing over something that negatively impacts your life- and which consequently stresses you out- and you focus instead on something that brightens your mood and improves the way in which your body functions.
And if turning your life around isn’t’ stress management, I don’t know what is.
Exercise is self-empowering. There is no doubt about it.
Do you remember the first time you started working out, do you remember how you felt? If you’re like most of us, you probably felt a bit discouraged to see how weak or unfit you are. But as you progress with exercise, you notice small but consistent improvements. You become stronger, your stamina increases, and you even start to look better- and all this of course has a tremendously positive effect on our lives.
Apart from the direct observations on exercise, we can practice stress management by taking the small victories from the exercise and applying them in real life. You think “I was consistent with my squats, and I got from barely doing 10 bodyweight squats to sets of almost 40 kg barbell squats? I can surely take this discipline in my work field as well. Or my family life, which needs organizing through patience and persistence”. You take the lessons you learn about yourself during workout or on the street as you run and run and run, and it’s empowering because you realize that your self-progress does not stop here. A big part of stress management is knowing that you have what it takes to persevere in all aspects of life, with patience- and exercising is the perfect tool for practicing this!