Exercise, I am convinced, is the single most important factor in my own personal life, for reducing stress and anxiety. I have been under a ton of pressure at work lately, and the stress I feel really has boiled over into my life outside of work, I’m sort of ashamed to say.
While I was always able to keep my work and personal life separate and leave my problems “at the office”, this time it’s just been different, and the troubles that I felt during the day at work followed me home at night.
So much so, that I actually started logging on to work a lot in the evening from home, just so I could not tear my hair out the next day under all the demands being thrown at me rapid fire from the various business groups I work with.
It was the only way I had to cope. And guess what? When my stress levels were their highest, I stopped going to the gym at work on my lunch so that I could work straight through my lunch. This only compounded my stress more, and even lead me to have some instance to rapid heartbeat and panic attacks.
I knew that I was actually compounding the stress by not going to the gym and working during that time instead, but I felt I had no choice and that I really had to do it. The fact of the matter is, I was probably making myself a less productive person by working instead of going to the gym in the end.
I realized once I started getting that workout in during the day, that I was actually able to focus more, I was able to control my responses to stress better, and I was also able to control the way I dealt with demanding people better as well, whereas I felt like I might explode on them before.
Exercise also helps you to regulate your breathing better, which means that you can also control your heart rate and your physical responses to stressful situations.
Exercise is excellent for reducing stress and anxiety because it reduces the hormones ciruclating in the body, and balances the hormones that are supposed to always be kept in balance as well. Also, by working out, you literally “work out” your stress issues.