When you have a million things on your plate and are feeling stressed out, adding anything else seems like a terrible idea. But being active does more than just boost your physical health, it can help everything else in your day go smoother.
How does exercise help when you’re feeling stressed out?
You make think of mind and body as separate, but one has a significant impact on the other. When you pick a physical activity, such as a nature hike or tennis, your brain produces more endorphins that naturally make you feel good. Running has shown to cause long term changes in serotonin and norepinephrine as well, which also improves mood, even when you are not exercising. There are even studies that show exercise can have similar benefits to antidepressants by promoting the growth of new neurons in the brain. Even the simple act of focusing on your activity and movements can make other worries from the day melt away.
Is that it?
No! Not only does exercise help with feeling stressed out, it also boosts confidence in other areas of your life. Research published in the Harvard Business Review states that if you exercise regularly, you boost your confidence that you can get things done throughout the day. As various challenges and tasks come up during the day, you have the feeling that you can master them. And that work life balance conflict? No problem! Exercise helps navigate that better as well.
So what do I need to do?
Really, it’s up to you. There are benefits to any level or time of physical activity. Walking, swimming, biking, yoga, the options are endless. The good news is, it’s not just about creating “me” time. The investment you make in physical activities pays dividends to your employer, family and other areas of your life. So, if you are feeling stressed out, go grab that water bottle and spend some time today on your favorite activity!