They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Comparatively, stress is worth a thousand lives. It kills. It destroys. It comes through like a wrecking ball intimidating everything in its path. Sadly, we give into it and it absolutely wreaks havoc on our poor deteriorating bodies. Medically speaking, stress isn’t considered a disease like we would consider cancer one. But I’m willing to bet that if stress were to be categorized as a disease it would be the largest killing disease at best. At worst, it would be the gateway drug to other disease ridden plagues such as strokes, diabetes and heart diseases.
It’s like a cigarette though. Freewill has always been our freedom to choose, and sadly, we choose to stress. It can be avoided, however. Why is it that we let our bodies, a place in which we let our thought process dwell, choose to stress. We have to challenge our minds to avoid it by choosing healthier options. One of those options is by exercising. And I’m not even calling for a rallying cry to enroll in your next cross-fit program. I’d encourage you to even just start exercising by simply moving. That’s right, just start by walking if you don’t love to exercise. By doing so, it increases the level of endorphins working in your noggin, which are your feel good neurotransmitters. If you want a bump up in your physical activity try hiking, running, surfing, volleyball, tennis etc. This quicker movement will divert your stress away towards having to focus on a quicker pace activity giving you greater amounts of optimism and energy in completing that activity. This is not only training your body, but your mind to react confidently to obstacles giving you greater chances at defeating stress in forthcoming opportunities.
As I’ve eluded to in earlier posts, it’s no secret that I hate running. In fact, I dread it. However, after finishing a nice run, I can’t even begin to explain the feeling I have that I accomplished yet another run. It improves my mood and I become much more productive in a days time. That alone is worth it to me. And as a cherry on top, exercising helps increase your likeliness of enduring a better night’s sleep, which has heaps of benefits in and of itself that could be broken down in a blog entirely on its own.
My parting words will conclude by saying that defeating stress takes a great deal of choice. We have to choose to wake up every morning with the tenacity that a healthy body starts with a healthy mind. The two are mutually exclusive. When we create positive habits mentally by exercising, we reap the benefits of both a healthy body and a healthy mind.
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