Fitness

20 Easy Exercises to Help Reduce Stress

2. Dancing has many benefits, including physical, mental, and even emotional. The best part is that there is no list of rules, do’s, and don’ts attached.… Trista - December 6, 2020

Dancing is a fun and creative exercise that can also have the added benefits of reducing your stress levels. Shutterstock

2. Dancing has many benefits, including physical, mental, and even emotional. The best part is that there is no list of rules, do’s, and don’ts attached.

There are many perks to dancing. Anyone can participate, and there are no rules to a right or wrong way of dancing. The scientific reason why dance can act as a stress reliever stems from the concept that when the body feels good, the mind does too. Any type of physical activity releases neurotransmitters and endorphins, which serve to alleviate stress. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers to reduce stress and improve the mind’s perception of the world. Therefore after a good workout, the released endorphins cause your body to feel calm and optimistic. Endorphins help enhance the quality of sleep. That way, you can avoid sleepless nights due to stress after a day of dancing.

Your work environment may not always be the best place to express who you are. More often than not, you need to present a professional and buttoned-up version of yourself. Dancing offers a creative outlet for people to express who they are through music and movement. Since there are no rules or guidelines to dance effectively, you can participate in this easy activity and let your body go with the flow. Dancing has many emotional well-being benefits, but it also has many physical health benefits. It can increase your flexibility, strengthen your bones, and build muscle tone. In fact, dancing is a total body workout. Moving your body through dancing can be an easy way to stay fit for people of all ages. Nothing makes you feel less stressed than when you know you are doing great things for your physical and mental health.

Unlike most other exercises that require you to be physically active, mind exercises are among the best stress relievers. Shutterstock

1. Mind exercises focus on your brain rather than your whole body. However, they will ultimately have an impact on your entire body. 

You can use two main mind exercises to reduce stress. The first is guided imagery. Over and over, guided imagery is proven to reduce stress levels. Guided imagery helps you to use your imagination to take you to a calm, peaceful place. Due to how the mind and body are connected, guided imagery can help make you feel that you are experiencing something just by imagining it. You can do guided imagery with audio recordings, an instructor, or a script to help lead you through the process. While performing guided imagery, you utilize all of your senses. For instance, if you want a tropical setting, you can imagine the warm breeze on your skin, the slight of the bright blue water, the sound of the surf, or the taste of coconuts. Imagining yourself in a calm, peaceful setting can help you relax and relieve stress.

The second type of mental exercise is chanting. It is a form of meditation but in an intensified way. Studies have found that chanting can decrease stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. Simultaneously, it can increase a positive mood, feelings of relaxation, and focused attention. You can sit with your eyes closed and choose a mantra, either a word or phrase and recite it while breathing in and out. First, chant your word or phrase quietly several times, then chant without making any sound. Try to feel calm, relaxed, and comfortable. For several days you can practice saying your chant quietly to yourself while being in a relaxed state. When you experience acute stressors, chant silently to yourself. You’ll notice how this relaxes and calms you, allowing you to focus. 

Sources:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/fitness/9-exercises-stress-relief/

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-_1H-Tev5Qq53xm0amcu4HoNX_orT4fb00WiACjpT3Y/edit?usp=sharing

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