Fight Stress with Sports: All you Need to Know
The current pace of life can raise stress levels without you noticing. Nevertheless, participating in sport is an easy way to fight stress –and it’s free as well! Here’s everything you need to know about the link between stress and sports.
Most of us are aware of the many benefits of doing sports. Both on a mental and physical level, moving your body has a positive impact. Nevertheless, not many of us know how sport can fight stress. In fact, doing any kind of physical activity is a great option to clear your mind, relax and focus. In today’s article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about it!
Before we dive deep into the link between sports and stress, let’s see what we’re facing.
What is stress?
According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, stress is
“A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.”
On the other hand, the National Library of the United States affirms that stress is a feeling of physical or emotional tension that can arise from any situation or thought.
Following this line of thought, stress is a form of mental fatigue that has physical and emotional consequences. Sometimes you may feel stressed without even noticing. Therefore, it’s very important to learn to identify stressful feelings and situations to prevent them from negatively impacting your health and state of mind.
Detect and fight stress
Because of its very nature, stress has a wide array of physical and mental symptoms that can go unnoticed. However, paying attention to your body and state of mind will help you deal with stress in a healthier way.
Keep an eye out for these common stress symptoms:
Physical symptoms of stress
- Muscle tension or pain.
- Chest pain.
- Stomach ache.
- Frequent nightmares.
- Changes in sexual desire.
Psychological symptoms of stress
There are also other indications that show when a person may be under a stressful situation. Not necessarily to identify stress there must be symptoms at the physical level, but also at the emotional and behavioral level:
- Lack of motivation or concentration.
- Feelings of being sad or overwhelmed.
- Anger or irritability.
- Eating too much or too little.
- Social isolation.
How can sport fight stress?
Practicing sports can definitely improve the physical and mental state of its practitioners. Because of this, practicing sports will help you fight stress in an effective manner.
Most people are going through stressful situations. If this is your case, sport can be a great help. Whether you want to change your life for the better or just feel more comfortable in your life as it is right now, sport is your best option.
Here are some of the main reasons why sports are a great way to fight stress:
1. Release endorphins
Moving your body boosts your endorphins. Dancing, running, swimming, playing football and basically any type of physical activity increases the production of neurotransmitters called endorphins.
Endorphins cause a feeling of well-being throughout your body. In turn, this helps to lower stress levels and feel good about yourself and your surroundings. Because of this, doing sports can improve your mood and thus dissipate problems caused by stress.
2. Mental health
Exercising and doing sports relieves you from physical and psychological stress. Anxiety and depression can be triggered by high levels of stress. In turn, lowering stress can help treat anxious and depressive disorders.
Because of this, exercise works as a great way to reduce mild anxiety and depression symptoms and, in turn, promote a better sleep cycle.
Therefore, sport can be a determining factor to preserve or restore peace of mind and a sense of calmness.
3. Keeps your mind and body connected
In the same way, as stress wreaks havoc on your mind, it also has many repercussions on a physical level. Playing a sport can help you eliminate them because physical activity stimulates muscle fibers to the point of distending and strengthening them.
In this way, sports will often make you feel better with your body. In turn, this can help you manage your energy levels and focus on how your body allows you to move and live.
4. Fight stress by sharing with others
One of the best antidotes to fight stress is to share your time with other people. This means socializing in a healthy way and with people that you like and share a connection with.
Practicing some sort of sports activity usually allows you to meet people with whom you share interests and character traits.
Similarly, spending time with sports partners can help you gain motivation and thus release the stress you’re accumulating. Being with friends and having someone you can be yourself with is more useful than it might seem at first sight.
Overall, stress is a mental state that brings nothing good for your body. For this reason, it’s key for your mental health that, at any sign of its appearance, you do your best to eliminate it.
One of the best options to fight stress and anxiety is doing sports and physical activity. You just have to choose a discipline with which you feel comfortable and you’ll notice the change in your physical and mental state. Don’t let stress take control of your life!