For people who suffer from anxiety, have high stress jobs, or are just in a stage of their lives where they’re under a lot of pressure and stress, exercise can be a welcome distraction. It also has quite a few benefits long term for stress relief.
The Chemicals Behind Stress and Stress Relief
Stress tends to either cause or be caused by (depending on its source) an excess of the hormone cortisol. This hormone controls your “fight or flight” instincts, putting your mind and body on edge.
When you exercise, not only does the physical activity lower your cortisol levels, it also causes your brain to release endorphins like dopamine and serotonin. Both of these “happy chemicals” help elevate your mood - and explains why a good workout can boost your mood.
Additional Stress Relief Benefits
There are quite a few other stress relief benefits to working out. Many of the side effects of stress can be balanced out by the benefits of exercise.
For example, exercise improves your sleep patterns and immunity levels. Stress can take a toll on your immunity and make it difficult to sleep with or without the aid of supplements and medications.
Exercise can also help you regain energy that you lose to stress both from the lack of sleep previously mentioned and during the day.
Another mental side effect of constant stress is often depression or hopelessness. Completing a workout, even a small one, can give you a sense of accomplishment to help you work through some of those symptoms.
Workouts, particularly ones such as our Pole or Burlesque burnout classes, allow you to take a few steps out of your comfort zone and improve your confidence. Those two classes in particular help to get you in touch with your own inner sexiness and confidence.
If you go to an exercise class, it has the added benefit of getting you out of your everyday routine at home and work. A class forces you to be around other people, which is excellent for your overall mental health since one of the common symptoms of stress includes isolating yourself.
While exercise is not necessarily the “cure” for severe and/or chronic stress, many people have seen short and long term improvement by taking the time to work out regularly. If you’re struggling with chronic stress, it’s definitely worth trying!