When one stresses, the effects on the brain reciprocate into the body – hence when the body feels better the mind does as well. People will suggest exercise not only as a coping mechanism, but also as a way of improving your lifestyle. From getting fit to building endurance and of course shaping your body, exercise has more benefits than simply the physical. The main chemical reaction which happens when we partake in exercise, is the release of endorphins. What endorphins end up doing is reducing the feeling of pain as they emulate the same feeling as morphine. Due to this, endorphins can also cause one to experience euphoria and increased general well-being. There’s also a misconception that exercise can only consist of lifting weights and running for hours on a treadmill, but there are other ways one can get those endorphins going as well.
Your “traditional” ways of exercise, so to speak includes running, cycling as well as weightlifting or going to the gym. Some non-traditional ways to get the heart pumping are dancing, doing a BOUNCE Fit class or even try something daring- such as going to an aerial gym or rock climbing.
Another way to reduce stress is by giving your creative side a workout – it doesn’t mean you need to create a masterpiece. Creativity works well for stress relief since it has a meditative quality as one creates your work of art. The top reason to learn new creative skills, is that it can fight dementia! Another way creativity improves life is that it allows for expression as well as to learn more about yourself. Furthermore, creative outlets increase your problem solving abilities in day to day life, as it allows you to think in a different way. One might think that creating a drawing or painting might create more stress – as one strives for perfection, but the beauty of art is that no mistake is a life-altering mistake, one can always erase or repaint.
Was one can get creative or learn new skills in are drawing and painting, writing- be it poems, stories or songs. Another way to get into the creative space is to learn a new instrument, take up embroidery or even knitting or crocheting. There are more and interesting ways in which one can flex their creative muscles – it’s all about what works for you.
Yoga and Meditation
You might be sitting there and thinking just how sitting with your eyes closed or doing a few stretches will reduce your stress. Well, after sitting at least 8 hours in the same position in front of a screen, stretching can help you in more ways than you can imagine. One is increased fitness and flexibility – yes, yoga works muscles you didn’t even know existed, but also assists in keeping the muscles and joints supple for ease of movement. Through regular yoga practise one can reduce the stress responses of the body – for example lowering your blood pressure. This happens when the inflammatory response the body has to stressors are reduced. Speaking of inflammation, yoga assists in treating back pain as well alleviates symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Suffering from tension headaches? By releasing the tension in your shoulders and neck, yoga poses can assist in reducing migraines.
More ways yoga and meditation benefits you is that both practises aid in better sleep as well as in having mental clarity. As with any other physical activity, yoga boosts your mood – so does meditation, both help to assist in creating a better emotional well-being. Meditation in itself might seem as a weird and unnecessary concept – but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. When coming into a state of silence and peace, one realises how much the hustle and bustle affects our health.