Spell Stress Relief ACTIVITY

Sharon Rekieta, Fitness and Wellness Director - 8th November 2013

Stress happens so it’s safe to say that occasionally feeling anxious is normal. 
However, experiencing chronic stress or continually reacting negatively to what happens in your life is not normal and is definitely not a healthy way to live. 
So what is the remedy to relieve stress when our mood slips in the negative direction?  ACTIVITY!

The benefits of physical activity are well documented and stress relief is one of the more valuable outcomes.  Physiologically, exercise improves our mood by decreasing stress hormones such as cortisol and increasing the production of endorphins—our body’s “feel good” chemical.

Mentally, exercise provides an outlet for releasing negative emotions such as frustration, irritability and moodiness.  With those out of the way, it’s easier to have a more
positive, peaceful, playful mood and outlook.

If you are wondering what activity is best to relieve stress, keep in mind that there is no one specific type that is best for everyone. 
Since personality characteristics and how you manage your emotions also influence your choice of activity, a little experimentation and some honest soul-searching will be necessary.   

For example, when feeling stressed, do you seek solace and comfort and find yourself spending endless hours zoned out in front of the television? 
Are you hoping to simply find peace of mind?
If so, the best approach might be to ease into milder forms of activity. 
Scenic nature walks or relaxing stretch classes
will gently add a little pleasant movement into your life.

Or, do you manage stress by stomping around, driving recklessly or yelling impatiently? 
Is your body asking for an outlet or an effective form of distraction?
If so, a safer and more productive approach might be vigorous options to release that negative energy. Group cycling, kickboxing, or fast-paced hiking will help you
pedal, kick, or stride out your frustrations.

Bottom line: physical activity brings about an enhanced sense of wellbeing,
increases our feelings of enjoyment and lifts our mood. 
Once that happens, stress just seems to melt away.