Everyone has those days when you want to scream at the store clerk, kick the dog or knock off everything on the counter. It’s often created by an extremely stressful situation that occurred earlier, but sticks with you for a long time. You can get rid of that bad mood by working out. It doesn’t take long before you feel the mood lifting back to your normal, relaxed self.
Exercise burns off the hormones of stress.
Why do you feel so much better? It’s easy. When you’re under stress, your body creates hormones for the fight or flight response. In the days of the caveman, it was extremely important. It sent the blood to the extremities, raised blood pressure, increased breathing and got you prepared to run from the danger or stay and fight. Today, stress comes from many places, yet the body still prepares as though it’s a physical threat, not the boss screaming or a traffic jam. By working out, you’re mimicking fighting or running, so you burn off those hormones that make you feel bad and replaces them with ones that make you relaxed.
Exercise helps with anxiety.
Trying something new, talking in front of a group or even worrying about your children can cause anxiety. It’s a normal part of life, unless it happens constantly and takes over your entire life. That’s when you have to take action. When it’s mind-numbing and stops you in your tracks, then it becomes a problem requiring professional help. Many therapists are now using exercise as part of their therapy for clients suffering from severe anxiety. It helps you to relax and even sleep better. You don’t have to wait until it’s out of control to start, you can use it as part of your mental wellness program. I have a client that runs up and down the stairs until she’s tired when she starts to get anxious and she says it really works.
You’ll love how you feel after you workout.
Not only does the body burn off hormones created by stress, it replaces them with ones that make you feel at ease and relaxed. When you consider that early man who had to run or fight when stress occurred, you probably already realize he or she didn’t always come out unscathed. Providing the body with a pain blocking endorphins that bind to the opioid receptors of the spine and nervous system, any injury wouldn’t be nearly as devastating. Endorphins also trigger the release of dopamine, which gives you that great feeling often called the runners high.
If you’re going to a stressful meeting, consider walking there or parking further from the meeting place to walk more. That brisk walk can help you improve your mood.
Learning breathing techniques and meditation can also help reduce stress immediately when you’re faced with it. That helps minimize the stress you have to deal with until you can workout.
Exercise increases serotonin, that hormone that helps you sleep and regulates your appetite. It also helps neurons grow by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
When you workout in the gym, it not only reduces the feeling of isolation, it takes you away from most of your problems, at least for a short period. You can get lost in your workout, relieving you from worry at least for a while.