PHOTO CREDIT: ELIZABETH LIES
Life is tough. Whoever you are, whatever you do, chances are you will come across some stresses in your life. Life is also beautiful. There are many weird and wonderful ways which we can rid of these stresses, bringing us back to our calmer, happier selves, such as boxing, meditation, or even just taking time out to read a book or colour.
Meditation is one of the oldest methods in the book, when it comes to winding down and reducing stress. Take a moment away from your busy world to simply sit and breathe and be mindful of the present moment. Focus on the breath, and keep any external thoughts absent by watching your breath. Although in theory it sounds simple, meditation is a skill and takes practice, so don’t be put off if you find it near impossible to begin with. Try 10 minutes per day to start with and gradually build up. There are classes and apps to help if you need further guidance.
Escaping from the office or home to run or dance off some pent-up stress is always a winner. Exercise results in the release of endorphins meaning you'll get a natural high simply from working up a sweat. Find something you find fun, and even someone to work out with to lift your spirits. Boxing in particular is known to be one of the most effective forms of exercise for releasing stress. Not only does punching away your stress offer a physical and emotional release but when throwing those complex combos, you can think of little else other than what punch is coming next. Thus giving your mind a well needed rest from it all.
Fake it until you make it. By smiling we lift our mood. We fool ourselves into actually being happy. Researchers tried getting people to smile and watch a cartoon, and others to watch it without smiling. The smilers reported the cartoon to be funnier than the non-smilers did. So smile, and your mood will follow.
Playing used to be considered child's play, however, activities such as mindful colouring is now becoming popular amongst adults as a way to release stress and relax. By getting lost in the simplicity of the activity, you can switch off thinking and release tensions in your mind and body.
Stretching is often last on people’s mind when you are feeling super despite its many stress busting benefits. Besides the obvious of increasing flexibility, it improves circulation, aids digestion, balances hormones and calms the nervous system. These benefits combined greatly shift the way our brains operate thus boosting our mood and improving mental productivity and resilience to stressors. Stretching brings on a whole-body relaxation response giving you the opportunity to tune in to yourself both mentally and physically.
If you are feeling super stressed after a tough day, give our boxing or stretch workouts a try for guaranteed tension relief and an instant mood booster!
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