Activities like mediation and yoga are popular ways for people to relieve stress. But what if those activities aren’t your thing? Worry not! Improving the connection between your mind and body can be done with any physical activity. Creating this connection between body and mind is an important part of learning to ground yourself in times of stress.
Test Your Threshold for Discomfort
Stress-testing can occur wherever any type of physical activity takes place. Your home gym or favorite hiking trail can serve as a “laboratory” where you monitor the frequency and intensity of your physical efforts. By collecting and assessing data, we can see exactly where it is that we’re being challenged. With this information, we can gauge how resistant or open we are to experiencing discomfort. Avoiding discomfort or pain generally leads to greater distress, in turn lowering the flexibility of the psyche.
Learning to open your mind and body to discomfort, rather than avoiding it, increases flexibility when dealing with stress. Exercise is an excellent way to condition the flexibility of your body and mind. Usually, there is progression from the baseline data if an individual remains consistent with their exercise routine. It is important to not only find the boundaries of our physical and mental health, but to push the limits of these boundaries. This is a key concept in any sport or physical activity and should also be applied to your exercise regimen.
The Irony of Stress and Exercise
Exercise introduces manageable amounts of stress to the mind and body. This increases our willingness to accept and remain in the present moment of discomfort. Eventually, exercise will make you feel less overwhelmed by the stress of physical activity. Ironically, the best way to alleviate stress is to create more stress, in a controlled and useful way.
Considering exercise to help de-stress your body and mind? Contact one of our Chico mental and behavioral health professionals today.