February 6, 2023

Stress Relief

Stress. Just the word makes me want to take a deep, cleansing breath. Stress is a normal part of life, but it can become debilitating when it becomes chronic and affects our mental and physical well-being.

We interpret our stress levels by what we feel we can handle. I’ve known times, as I’m sure you have, where the pressure of stress felt almost more than I could bear. In these times, my interactions, moods, and even physical health have become negatively affected. But stress is not always negative. Some types of stress can be positive; it gets us going, keeps us moving, and keeps us striving, trying, and succeeding.

Part of our response to stress has a physiological element and affects our physical state. Did you know there is a connection between exercise and stress relief? Exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage stress and improve overall health. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries. Endorphins are anxiety-fighting superheroes. Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can relieve stress. If you’re not an athlete or even downright out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management.

Research has found that when you exercise regularly, you have a milder physical stress-response reaction to stress before, during, and after the stressor. Therefore, people who exercise regularly can cope with stressors with an overall sense of well-being. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the main one is that when you are in a stressful situation, your body mobilizes energy sources and prepares you for an “emergency.” So, in theory, if you do not exert yourself physically when stressed, you are not completing the energy cycle that the stress creates.

Try this when you feel stressed. Walk away – literally. A simple walk can be very effective! A brisk 10-minute walk may be enough to help you put things in perspective and get you back to a more composed you. It can leave you feeling more relaxed and energetic. If 10 minutes is not long enough, keep walking until you feel better.

3 Ways to Relieve Stress




Don’t think about too much; look around, notice your surroundings, take some deep breaths and walk it out. Occasionally, if I know I have a particularly stressful conversation coming up with someone, I will invite them to walk with me while we talk it out. It is amazing how much mental clarity I can keep when I walk and talk.

Jesse Owens, an Olympic athlete, said, “If we walk long enough and talk long enough, we might come to understand one another.”

If walking is not your thing, find an exercise you enjoy, whether it is cycling, hiking, swimming or even dancing in your front room. Exercise helps you take control of stress, it boosts self-esteem and confidence, it improves sleep, makes it easier to unwind and helps you feel better overall.

If you are looking for more ideas, greater detail on this topic, or health and fitness programs, join me on my website, www.karencreasey.com

I am here for you, rooting for you along the way!