Run for stress. Wait, shouldn’t that be run from stress? Scientists have found that regular exercise has been shown to decrease tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve sleep. About five minutes of aerobic exercise (or cardio) can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
When you exercise, your body releases hormones called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain and diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives and trigger a positive feeling in the body. The feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as "euphoric." That feeling can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.
Regular exercise also helps you sleep better at night. Often times the issues that are stressing you are only things you can think about. When it is time to lie down and give your body and mind a break, aka bedtime, your brain just refuses to shut off. Exercise acts like meditation in motion. It allows you to focus only on your body’s movements and forget your stressors- often times allowing your mind to process through the issues more efficiently.
If you’re not a fan of exercising, getting started can feel like a huge task. Yoga, Tai Chi, walking at a brisk pace, swimming, hoola-hooping, biking, dancing, and raking leaves are all good places to start. The point is to pick something you like doing and stick with it. Happy sweating!