Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, acts as a stress reliever. Most notably, exercise has the following stress reducing benefits:
- First of all, aerobic exercises stimulate the production of neurotransmitters called endorphins. Most notably, endorphins are chemicals in the brain that are the body’s painkillers and mood elevators.
- Next, aerobic exercises also reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
- Also, after doing several laps in the pool or going out for a jog, you’ll find that you’ve forgotten the day’s stresses and concentrated only on your body’s movements. Moreover, this focus on a single task and the resulting energy and optimism, helps you remain calm and clear in everything you do.
- In addition, exercise is play and recreation. Above all, when your body is busy, your mind is distracted from the worries of daily life and you are free to think creatively.
- Most of all, any type of exercise helps. For example, many people find using large muscle groups in a rhythmic, repetitive fashion works best. Also, even a simple 20 minute stroll can clear the brain and reduce stress. On the other hand, some people prefer vigorous workouts to burn not only stress but also calories. And the same stretching exercises that help relax your muscles after a hard workout will help relax your mind as well.
- Next, breathing exercises also reduce stress. Most notably, rapid, shallow, erratic breathing is a common response to stress. However, slow, deep, regular breathing is a sign of relaxation.
- Also, exercise improves the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.
- Finally, scientist have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise decreases overall levels of stress. And, even five minutes of aerobic exercise stimulates anti-anxiety effects.
Other popular methods to get relief from stress are illustrated in the infographic.