Fact: Seven out of 10 adults in the US experience stress or anxiety daily (Check it out: ADAA).
With that kind of figure, it’s almost easy to assume that you, Bootique’er, feel some level of stress and/or anxiety on a regular basis.
While it may be impossible to eliminate stress altogether, the good news is that there are ways of taking control and finding peace and acceptance to overcome those feelings.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 14 percent of people exercise regularly as a coping mechanism.
Although we would love that percentage to be higher, it’s a start and our aim is to get you on the exercise-for-stress-reduction bandwagon.
Often, when we’re really hit hard with stress, it’s an indicator of our lives being in overwhelm, where the seemingly “simple” things in life get overlooked— eating, sleeping, and exercising.
While we all can most likely understand that feeling, those are in fact the elements of our lives that deserve the most attention. In this article, we’re going to consider how exercising in an intentional and loving way can be our greatest ally.
Benefits of exercise
When you think about getting motivated to exercise, what comes to mind first? I bet weight loss, fighting disease and improving your physical condition are big benefactors of that list.
But, what about stress?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), researchers found that people who got vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years! (Read more here) That’s a figure we can stand behind.
When we’re under stress and excessive pressure, it affects our brain. In turn, due to nerves and our overall physical function, the rest of our body is impacted. Healthy minds= healthy bodies!
Stress also affects your ability to focus, which can become an even bigger problem if our work suffers. Exercise can help with this one, too.
“Routine exercise is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function”. (ADAA)
You know that feeling of elation you get after leaving a great workout?
Smiling and sweaty, your body is feeling good and ready to take on the rest of the day. So, while it may be hard to get to class or the gym in the first place, our bodies are sure glad you did when you’re done.
A big thanks goes to endorphins— our brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. (Endorphins are chemicals in the brain released to help relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria. Learn more here.)
Studies have also shown that regular involvement in aerobic exercise can decrease tension, elevate and stabilize moods, improve sleep, help with anxiety and improve self-esteem.
Time is of the essence
To experience results in relieving stress and anxiety, psychologists have found that a short walk (10 minutes or so) can be just as good as a 45-minute workout.
Do you have 10 minutes to spend during your lunch break? How about a meeting with a friend, colleague or even a client? Getting outside and walking for a short period of time can do wonders for stress reduction, leading to greater productivity and concentration.
As in all things, the Boutique family cares about you and we each have a personal story of how stress and anxiety in our lives has been alleviated through exercise, fitness, and being more kind to ourselves.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and see how we can all get through our days a little easier together. When we can build up and support each other, the world around us seems lighter, allowing more space to breathe easier through the chaos.