Stress is now considered to be a regular part of everyday life. The economy is struggling, relationships are failing, and men and women are engaging in behaviors and activities that lead to consistent, recurrent stress that impacts the mind and body. Yet we know that stress has the potential to cause serious physiological and psychological damage.
While the mind and body may "get used to" the feeling of being stress, there is no denying that the long term repercussions of allowing that stress to continue are incredibly problematic. That's why finding a way to unstress is so important.
The problem is that while many relaxation techniques are effective, they're not always plausible. Those that depend on these techniques need to have the motivation to continue them regularly, and they must be able to free themselves of negative stressors before, during, and after the technique is used – something that, were it possible, would have been considered a long time ago.
Jogging as a Relaxation Strategy
There is one method of relaxation, however, that has been proven effective at relieving short and long term stress and anxiety – jogging. While most people focus only on the fitness aspect of jogging, the truth is that jogging has a variety of qualities that make it extremely effective at combatting daily stress. These include:
• Releasing Endorphins
There are a lot of negative behaviors that people engage in to relieve stress, of which many actually increase stress in the long term. Alcohol consumption and drug abuse are examples of negative behaviors that people cling to in order to relieve stress, but ultimately lead to greater amounts of stress and ill health in the future.
Jogging, on the other hand, releases a natural painkiller known as endorphins. Endorphins are the same neurotransmitter that causes drug addiction, but in this case is completely healthy and natural. Endorphins regulate the mood and create a "runner's high" that makes the entire body feel satisfied, making it a great way to control stress
• Physical Calmness
The mind and body are linked in a variety of ways, and one such example is with stress. Inactivity causes the body to have too much energy, and that energy becomes physical stress, which eventually becomes mental stress. Jogging tires the body, and as a result the mind becomes less prone to experiencing stress through the mind-body connection.
• Physical Health
Jogging benefits physical health as well. Byond simply "feeling fit" or "losing weight" (both of which can reduce stress), jogging helps your body regulate hormones and improves the strength of your organs. Because of the mind-body connection, these physical changes lead to less mental tension.
• Personal Time
Finally, jogging can be a valuable time that you get to spend by yourself. In that respect it is similar to other relaxation exercises, except the very nature of jogging – going out on your own, letting fatigue kick in, etc., give you a greater opportunity to relax without the same stress that you might otherwise experience in your home or office.
Controlling Stress with Jogging
Even small amounts of daily stress can affect your long term health, and while the world seems to have started to accept stress as a regular part of life, stress is far too dangerous to ignore. Since not everyone can make the tremendous amount of life changes necessary they would need to make in order to control all of their stress, jogging represents a simple solution that can have a profound effect on your ability to cope with stress and anxiety in the future.