Three Easy Ways to Relieve Stress From Your Day

Spending time in nature can benefit both your body and mind, relieve stress, and improve your mood, overall. Whatever you name it: yoga, meditation, deep breathing, hiking, camping, nature walks, or the local wilderness therapy – humans have been evolving in the wild, and nature offers many benefits to our health and mental well-being. The brain has been evolving for millions of years since our ancestors moved out of caves and made their way into nature’s fresh air and sunlight. Our brains have adapted to the needs of the nervous system and the ever-changing environment we find ourselves in today.

A healthy, mentally and physically fit brain functions at its optimum level, reducing both stress and the potential damage to cells that could lead to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, or even cancer. Exercise releases chemicals (neurotransmitters) into the bloodstream that increase feelings of well-being and reduce physiological responses to stressors, such as anxiety and depression.

Getbalancedemotions show that exercise has a positive effect on blood pressure, decreases the likelihood of heart attack and stroke, improves sleep, improves cognitive function, decreases symptoms of depression, enhances the quality of life, decreases disability and pain, and is consistently safe for people of all ages and fitness levels. By making exercise a part of your daily routine, you will be able to bring these beneficial effects to your life, one at a time, over some time.

Beyond reducing the physical effects of stress, exercise is shown to support mental health and counteract negative effects of stress, such as anxiety. Studies have shown that exercise reduces the incidence and severity of both generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder among individuals with chronic anxiety.

Other studies have shown that individuals who regularly exercise are more resilient when under stressors, have a higher stress tolerance, and are less likely to experience symptoms of stress and depression. Further, exercising regularly can help prevent or ward off depression.

Physical benefits of exercise also extend to the psychological benefits of exercise. One of the most profound psychological benefits of exercise is stress relief. The act of exercise releases the body’s stress hormones and reduces the release of cortisol, which is a hormone that binds with other stress hormones in the brain and increases the sensation of anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, regular exercise releases endorphins, which are the natural painkillers and mood enhancers found in our bodies. These substances are also released during periods of physical activity, so exercise has a dual mechanism of relieving pain and mood problems.

Another way to relieve stress is through progressive relaxation. Progressive relaxation is great for combating anxiety, as it allows the individual to calm themselves down. Relaxation can be done in several different ways; some simple stretches and deep breathing exercises are easy ways to calm yourself down. Other individuals prefer to purchase relaxation CDs and MP3s, as these options allow them to calm themselves at their leisure. Stress can cause a variety of physical ailments. Chronic pain and illness can arise from long-term stress or the stress caused by an already existing physical problem. Progressive relaxation is a great way to combat the pain of illness, and by using positive thinking in addition to regular exercise, the physical ailments can be lessened.


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