Stress Less, Live More: How Exercise and Breathwork Can Alleviate Stress

Monday 01 Apr 2024
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What is stress?

Stress is a natural reaction that the body has to challenges or demands.

It's the body's way of responding to any kind of demand or threat, commonly known as the "fight or flight" response. While some stress can be beneficial, excessive stress can have negative effects on our physical and mental wellbeing.

April is Stress Awareness Month, so why not try small actions to help make you less stressed?

Long term stress can take a toll on your health. Symptoms of stress vary from person to person, they can include:

  • Chest pain and accelerated heart rate
  • Stomach and digestive problems
  • Sleep issues
  • Weakened immune system


Looking out for the physical effects of stress can help you recognize when you’re under too much pressure.



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Small actions can help to make a larger impact on your stress levels.

Relaxation techniques can be a useful way of managing stress. Whether you take part in a group practice or alone, the important thing is to find what works for you and to give yourself the time to do it regularly.

Some healthy ways to relax include:

  • Exercise: This doesn’t have to be strenuous or a huge workout, even just a walk can help
  • Playing with pets
  • Listening to music
  • Reading a book
  • Taking a long bath
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Spending time in nature


10 tips to help you manage stress


How can exercise help with stress?

Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, the chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. It also helps to reduce the levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, in the body. By decreasing these hormones, exercise can help to alleviate the physical symptoms of stress and promote relaxation.

In fact, regular exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Exercise can also become a healthy distraction from stressors, while you’re focusing on the physical activity, your brain is less occupied by stressful thoughts.


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Combining exercise and breathwork

Exercise such as Yoga can help to relieve stress and anxiety, as it helps to relieve physical tension whilst calming your mind. Relaxation is created through breathing, deep stretches, and muscle tension. Even just 10 minutes of light yoga can do wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing.

In fact, studies show that yoga can help to reduce cortisol levels and negative emotions, and encourages relaxation. Taking some time each day for yourself will help you to manage your stress levels.



By Fiona Perryman