Make a Move to De-Stress: How Exercise Clears Your Mind
Never mind that you weren’t able to finish that task delegated to you on the last day of the work week. If your boss gives deadlines as tight as the company budget for recreation, you have all the reason to slow down.
There are things far more important than your job. There’s your family, friends, and most importantly, yourself. For how will you be able to perform well at work if you feel burned out or your health is compromised? This is something every boss in every office in the world should keep in mind.
Unfortunately, some things are out of our control. Your boss has his own mind. The great thing is that you have yours, too. So choose to prioritize your health. The last thing you want is to get stressed out of your senses.
Causes and Symptoms
There is a long list of disorders — from physical to emotional — associated with stress. In addition to the more common ones like depression, anxiety and hypertension, stress can also affect your skin and gastrointestinal system, and can contribute to insomnia as well as some neurological disorders. That’s apart from aggravating any condition you may have.
So how do you know if you are stressed? Is it something you just feel?
There are many sources of stress, and work is just one. It can also come from school and your own home.
In my case, my job was becoming too much of a chore. Make no mistake, I love it and my colleagues are fine (well, most of them). But you see, there’s a reason I started the article with the word “boss” inserted somewhere.
I slowly felt stress was taking over my behavior and emotions. Because of the stressful events at work, I started to have frequent headaches, difficulty breathing and panic attacks. Often, I would find myself stuttering and easily getting irritable, anxious and frustrated. I just knew I was beginning to get overwhelmed by stress.
Upon consulting my doctor, I learned that apart from the obvious symptoms, other signs that a person is stressed include:
- Frequent mood swings
- Chest pain and palpitation
- Forgetfulness and disorganization
- Lapses in decision making
- Difficulty focusing
- Odd dreams and nightmares
- Decreased sexual desire
- Constant grinding of teeth
- Trembling of lips
- Mouth ache
- Swallowing problems
- Heartburn and stomach pain
- Frequent urination
Exactly How Does Exercise Reduce Stress?
When I asked my doctor how exercise combats stress, he was straight to the point: stress has negative effects on the brain, and because exercise increases heart rate, it is able to reduce any damage caused by stressful situations to the brain. That’s because exercise produces neurohormones that promote cognitive function.
Exercise produces happy hormones, therefore improving the mood, raising energy levels and memory and normalizing breathing patterns.
Finding Time to Exercise
Fortunately for us, if stress is everywhere, so is exercise. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to visit the gym or it is simply not your thing. You can do your exercise anywhere, even at the comfort of your home. In fact, there are countless exercises that can be done without going out.
This is why I keep exercise equipment at home. When I feel like stretching some muscles, I pull out my yoga mat for some body weight exercises or hop into my stationary bike and start pedaling. Really, excuses are just in the mind.
The Glaring Benefits of Exercise
When I started exercising, things changed. My newfound positive outlook allowed me to cope with the stresses of work itself, deal with difficult colleagues and office politics, and most importantly, stretch my patience and deal with my boss while being productive.
Exercise has enabled me to dig deep as to why I am holding on to my job in the first place — I enjoy it and I will stop at nothing to achieve my goals. Thanks to exercising, I have my eyes set on success. My boss is still being himself, though. But hey, I’d love to influence him to exercise, too. That will come.
They say stress can shave off precious days in your lifetime, and if you plan on living longer, regular exercise is key. On that note, maybe you can forget about influencing your boss to exercise.