Even the thought of going to the gym can be stressful. Account for the amount of time it takes to commute to get your daily exercise, the traffic, the changing room, the availability of the machines you want to use, the energy you need to be productive during your workout and, just like that, you have a healthy behavior that is overshadowed by stress.
If you are hard on yourself for feeling these pressures, don’t be! Truth is, it’s normal to feel that way, even for people who go to the gym regularly. In fact, it’s not a bad thing that you feel that way at all.
Stress is actually a healthy response to life’s changes. Being prepared to deal with life’s changes is what sets good stress apart from bad stress.
Stress Comes Along with Change
If there is one constant in life, it’s that things change. The weather changes. Your mood changes. Relationships change. This is not unique to any one person or group of people. Everyone experiences it.
Stress is simply the body’s reaction to change that requires some type of adjustment or response, according to the clinical health website WebMD. The body reacts to changes with physical, mental and emotional responses.
Your body’s response can include things like tightening muscles, strengthening your immune system or, in some instances, an inclination to sleep. Extreme cases of prolonged stress can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety and depression.
The body’s response to stress has as much to do on how your train yourself to react in certain situations as it does with the stressful event itself.
A Fact of Life
Stress is a normal part of life. That cannot be stressed enough! Healthline says stress is a reaction to both bad and good experiences that can be beneficial to your health and safety.
As this article points out, even exercising itself is a form of stress. Physically and psychologically, you put stress on yourself when you lift weights and push yourself to achieve results like running faster and farther. As a result, exercise is proven to reduce the level of stress hormones in the body and even build greater resilience to stress overall.
Embrace the Stress
Believe it or not, we’re better off with stress!
Research shows that healthy doses of stress are necessary to allow us to reach our peak performance at work and in general. Stress forces us to focus on the values we really care about when making big decisions. It triggers the same “fight or flight” response that makes us survivors.
A 2013 study by the University of Southern California showed that in times of great stress, people tend to fall back on their habits. Those who deal well with stress have the best habits to fall back on. One researcher pointed out that it is even more important for people who lack strong willpower to have good habits.
Using SMS texting services to send reminders and positive messages are proven to help people build positive habits quicker. This can be the perfect start to dealing with stress in a healthy way.
While dealing with the stresses of incorporating new, healthy habits into your lifestyle may seem difficult at first, it is a key part of personal growth that gets much easier over time.
No matter how much you try to avoid or minimize stress, it will find ways to creep into your life. Identifying stress, preparing for its effects and finding positive ways to deal with them are the answers to making sure stress doesn’t rule your life.