The Instant Stress Reducer

    Let’s wrap up our week exploring stress reduction with the simplest and most effective way to instantly break through those cycles of stress—exercise. It doesn’t have to be high-intensity, all-out, P90X-type exercise, just getting up and moving–moderate exercise.

    In the moments of intense time pressure that often accompany stress, you may think that you just don’t have time for it. However, there’s really no better time to exercise than when you’re totally stressed out.

    In the heat of stress, you’re probably not functioning at your best. You may find yourself reactive and not thinking clearly. You may not be able to see the best alternatives or feel able to choose them. Stress actually inhibits your higher brain centers from coming on line.

    A short exercise break can calm your nervous system, energize your body and brain, and clear your mind for what you’ve got to get done. It can be as simple as taking a ten-minute walk outside. Walk at a pace that elevates your heart-rate and deepens your breathing slightly. Look up at the sky and take in the environment around you. Give your mind a break from figuring things out as you move your body.

    I’ve often found that great insights and solutions come naturally while I’m taking walks. Also, when I get back to what I have to do, I’m more relaxed, centered, and focused.

    When you exercise, your brain and body get more oxygen. You pump stagnant blood back to your lungs for refueling. You release the static tension in your muscles, you stimulate the production of energy at a cellular level, and you even stimulate neuro-genesis, the creation of new brain cells. At the same time, your body produces positive neuro-chemicals called “endorphins” that boost your mood—even better than anti-depressants or stimulants and with only positive side-effects.

    Most importantly, exercise breaks the damaging neurological groove of your stress response and initiates your body’s natural recovery mode—the relaxation response.

    No matter what time you choose to exercise, find some time for a little movement every day. Starting your day with exercise can put you in a great mood and set the stage for better management of all the things you have to do. Consider taking short exercise breaks during your day and/or ending particularly stressful days with a good workout.

    Though you might not feel like exercising when you are wound up in stress mode, once you get into it for even a few minutes, you’ll be glad you did.


    Kevin Schoeninger

    P.S. To learn more about how exercise can powerfully affect your ability to attract what you want in your life, check out this report: “The Unexplored Parallel”

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