You already know that exercise is good for your body. And, we’ve touched upon the ways it can help you to feel better when we talked about nature walks and journal writing for stress relief. Getting physical has a lot of benefits for your mind, and I’d like to address that topic today. It can’t be overstated how good it is for you to get out and move your body. Allow me to focus a bit more on how exercise can reduce stress.
How Exercise Can Reduce Stress
Amp Up Happy Brain Chemicals
Endorphins, known as the brain’s happy chemicals, are released when you work out. These chemicals produce a euphoric feeling, and you can get them from even moderate exercise. It can also improve clarity and focus as research shows how exercise benefits kids with ADHD. I certainly found that to be true for my own two kids with ADHD, especially my son. So, it not only improves your mood, it helps you become more productive and effective. Just a half hour of movement a couple days a week would be a good start. For those who are prone to depression and anxiety, exercise can sometimes produce effects similar to that of a prescription.
Along with feeling happier through exercise, you can also gain a sense of calm. When you’re feeling anxious or amped up, a workout session might do the trick to level out your mood. People with anxiety disorders have been shown to experience symptom relief through physical exertion. This is because you work off all the adrenaline and as mentioned above, you trigger the release of calming happy chemicals.
When you’re feeling too hyped to sleep, an exercise session might be what you need to promote slumber. Timing is important if improving sleep is your goal. Choose about five or six hours before your bedtime to work out. Your body’s core temperature will rise due to the physical activity. Then right before bed, it should drop to a temperature that helps to promote sleep. In other words, do your exercise before afternoon snack time.
Sometimes when you’re feeling sad, a quick boost in energy can help to alleviate your mood. A short stroll or quick session at the gym might just give you the shot of adrenaline and endorphins you need to get through the afternoon slump or to shake a blue mood. It can also give you the drive to be more productive and creative once you’ve cleared your head.
Exercise Can Reduce Stress
Another beneficial brain chemical exercise releases is norepinephrine, which reduces the effects of stress and helps you cope. This is great to know when you’re already feeling stressed to the max. So, head to the gym when you feel like you’re about to burst. You’ll likely feel much better afterward.
Exercise is good for your body, mind and soul. Even when you’re stressed or overloaded and simply don’t feel like moving, pushing yourself to get out there and workout may be the best medicine for the situation. Give it a try next time you need an outlet for the tension you’re dealing with. You might just be surprised by the results.