How your workouts reduce stress and increase your happiness

Have you ever come away from a workout glowing? That on top of the world feeling that no matter what the day brings, you've got it covered? A modern mindfulness philosophy to reset your state.

This afterglow effect brings clarity to the present, making you feel where you are right now. The rush you get after exercise is caused by a couple of things: one is that the brain produces endorphins that make everything lighter afterward, the other is the sense of achievement we get. Even if it's getting out to walk the dog, this sense of having something on your to-do list and ticking it off proves that today is going to be productive.

The endorphin release of mindful movement in the way of a walk, bike ride, or light lunchtime workout can be likened to that of a meditation session yet you are also getting closer to the day’s movement goals at the same time. Plus, it’s a lower barrier to entry than trying to carve out time to master the skill of a new meditation practice as well as daily exercise.

All change starts with identifying the problem areas and working on a realistic plan. Take a look at your current routine and plan in some time that is pure recharge time. ‘You cannot serve others from an empty vessel’ is a quote that springs to mind, meaning that without your energy being high, it is challenging to give to others all that you need to give.
Identify the times in the day when energy is at its lowest. For a lot of people, this is that post lunchtime lull where you could easily reach for another coffee. Instead, what about a quick stretch? Or a walk around the block? Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised with how energised you feel for it. A midday reset to the system. Remember to make it easy and frictionless; all the best additions to your routine are. 

 

Three ways to reduce stress and increase your happiness right now: 

  • Become a strategic planner. Look at where the natural energy dips in the day lie and plan in mindful movement 
  • What exercise lights you up without draining all your resources. Mindfulness is whatever takes you from your day-to-day and brings you to your present self. 
  • Test, change, and test again. Like all things, the chances of being perfect the first time are incredibly slim. Expect some trial and error to find your perfect mindful movement routine. 

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