Wednesday 6th November is National Stress Awareness Day. At BLK BOX we encourage our team to not only manage their physical health but their mental health also. We aim to be as physically active as possible; we regularly have team workouts or morning stretches to start the day.
What Is Stress?
Stress is our body’s response to a harmful life event or threatening situation, regardless if the threat is genuine or not. When we encounter stress, our body is stimulated to produce stress hormones that trigger a ‘flight or fight’ response. This helps us to respond quickly to a dangerous situation.
This day is a great opportunity to take a moment to think about our wellbeing and find advice or support on managing stress. The aim of the day is to raise awareness, publicity, and profile of stress and its impact, and reduce stigma while promoting the importance of well-being and stress reduction for individuals and organizations.
Stress serves a solid purpose in human biology, but our modern lives have brought about a surplus of causes that can challenge our thoughts and behaviors. Whether you are dealing with a job that puts you under severe pressure or face struggles in your personal life, stress can soon dictate your life. Stress Awareness Day was designed to allow us all to set aside time to allow reflection on how stress affects us and how we can look at controlling the emotion.
According to Mental Health UK, 1 in 4 people in the UK are affected by mental health problems every year and 1 in 6 will be diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives. ranging from mild to severe, and 1 in 10 people in the UK are likely to be experiencing an anxiety disorder.
Why Exercise Is Important
It will come as no surprise that exercise is a powerful tool to combat stress. Physical activity improves your body’s ability to use oxygen and also improves blood flow. Both of these changes have a direct effect on your brain. Exercise also increases your brain’s production of endorphins. Endorphins are the “feel-good” neurotransmitters that are responsible for the coveted “runner’s high.” This is the sense of well-being and euphoria that many people experience after exercise.
According to research, people who exercise regularly have up to 30% lower risk of suffering from depression (Mental Health UK). Virtually any form of exercise, from weightlifting to pilates can act as a stress reliever. Everyone is an athlete in their own right, and everyone can make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management. Discover the connection between exercise and stress relief — and why exercise should be part of your stress management plan.
In addition to having a direct effect on your stress levels, regular exercise also promotes optimum health in other ways. Improvements to your overall health may help indirectly moderate your stress levels. By improving your physical wellness and heart health, you’ll have less to feel stressed about.
Among some of its additional benefits, exercise can help:
- strengthen your muscles and bones
- strengthen your immunity, which can decrease your risk of illness and infection
- lower your blood pressure, sometimes as much as some antihypertensive medications
- boost levels of good cholesterol in your blood
- improve your blood circulation
- improve your ability to control weight
- help you sleep better at night
- boost your energy
- improve your self-image
Whatever you do, don't think of exercise as just one more thing on your to-do list. Find an activity you enjoy — whether it's a game of tennis with a friend or a 10- minute stretch, make it part of your regular routine. Any form of physical activity can help you unwind and become an important part of your approach to easing stress.