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The Healthiest Ways To Deal With Stress

By Samantha Samuelson
Posted on 01 Sep, 2015

It is a modern cultural phenomenon that people in the slightest bit of distress turn to professional psychiatric help or to mood-stabilizing medicines, when it might not be necessary. It reflects the culture around us: where every need must be fulfilled and met with instant gratification. We have had the patience and determination trained out of us. Sometimes, digging deep and taking on long-term challenges can solve a lot of issues and bring about self-discovery and healing.

Studies have conclusively shown that physical activity that releases endorphins into the bloodstream is a powerful tool in counteracting depression and mental imbalance. In a world consumed by social media and electronic devices, getting up and out for physical exercise is an overlooked option for improving not only your health but overall mood and state of mind. Here are some options that you can try:


Kickboxing for Anger

Kickboxing is a powerful means of reducing stress. It involves controlled punching and kicking movements carried out with discipline. You can get quite a rigorous workout in a kickboxing class, and that’s only one of its excellent benefits. Kickboxing regularly will help improve your balance, flexibility, and coordination. It’s also a great way to work out frustration — having an outlet to release energy and anger can relieve stress.


Yoga for Relaxation

Yoga can strengthen your body’s natural relaxation response and bring you into a healthy balance. Yoga helps us slow down for a moment and tune into our breathing. By focusing on just one thing -- which is the very definition of meditation -- yoga allows us to decompress and have the stress dissipate from our body.


Tai Chi To Improve The Flow Of Positive Energy

Like yoga, tai chi is a series of self-paced, flowing body movements and breathing techniques. Although the movements have their roots in martial arts, they are meant to calm the mind and condition the body — making tai chi an excellent choice for stress relief. According to recent studies, tai chi can help build bone density, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, and even ease symptoms of conditions like heart failure, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.


Running for Problem Solving

Running in a park or on the streets, with your favorite music playing, is also a great time to think through dilemmas. For some reason, it seems easier to focus on an idea when running – unless, of course, you do it with a partner. Also, outdoor settings such as mountains, forest trails, or a neighborhood park are pleasant places to spend time in. Beautiful settings, especially in spring and fall, can lift your mood and shake up your workout routine.


Spinning for Tough Love

By far the trendiest workout of the moment, spinning classes have a unique way of breaking down your emotions and then building them back up again, with an extra dose of confidence. The addition of being in a group – which provides a sense of teamwork and peer pressure, but also gives a very personal level of challenge on the bike – makes for a perfect workout.


Weightlifting for Inner Strength

Weightlifting is being proven, by new studies, to be much more helpful with weight loss than previously thought. In a big-picture sense, the process of investing time in building muscle tissue and watching your body transform slowly and incrementally is a great mind/body lesson in patience and hard work. You are capable of whatever you set your mind to. Please consult a trainer if you are inexperienced with weights and the correct way to use them.


Pilates For Self Esteem

Pilates, a series of controlled movements and mat exercises named after their creator, Joseph Pilates, is designed to build your strength, flexibility, and endurance — all of which make practicing Pilates, an anaerobic (as opposed to aerobic) exercise, a great stress reliever. Pilates also tones your body, which in turn helps you look good and feel better.

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