Stress is a hot topic. There are tons of methods and tips for handling it. So, is it even possible to be entirely rid of it? Or is stress that pitiful ex that just won't leave you alone by passive Facebook posts and tweeting about his great hot new date he had Saturday night?
I believe that stress is on a scale. Stress is actually an amazing biological release that is telling your body some seriously important messages.
Since we live in the age of the iPhone, the stresses Americans faced 100 years ago a significantly different then they are now. And, in my opinion, much more complex and harder to diagnose. This is because we live in a time where we honor approval addicts. We praise perfectionists. Oh, you'll work a 60 hour week and be extremely motivated and successful? Don't stop!
To balance the stress scale and properly manage stress I think the best answer is movement. Now, I know that it isn't a quick fix magic pill, but it is the quickest fix our body is dying for. However, just a simple walk can feel like a marathon if you have been extremely busy. But I promise you, it will help more than any amount of deep breathing while holding your inner shakra. Here is a small explanation by The Mayo Clinic:
Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.
- It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner's high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
- It's meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you'll often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated only on your body's movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
- It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
Read the whole article by clicking HERE.
Not only is any type of exercise going to help manage stress, but it is one of the best things you can do if you are feeling down, lethargic, depressed, or just sad. Now, if you are anything like me, that may be the LAST thing you want to hear about stress or depression management. But if you stick to even the smallest routine (walking on the Green Belt, playing with your children at the park, going for a hike, etc) your body will reward you with deeper sleep, more energy, and feelings of happiness and peace (just to name a few).
Besides, not a whole lot of people remember those nights of sitting on the couch watching TV. But a hike with your honey? Now that will remembered! Test my theory (but consult your doctor first if it has been a while) and I know you'll feel a difference.
Now, to all of my fellow couch potatoes, visit our blog next week and we can talk some serious relaxation in How To Break Up With Stress: Chill Out!