Engaging in physical and mental exercise can be a great option for managing stress. While in recovery, it’s important to use any and all healthy, forward-thinking tools to keep stress at bay and to continue living free from substance use. Below are some helpful ways to combat daily stress, decompress, and ensure we’re all operating from a balanced and positive place.
Deep breathing is a way to regulate oxygen to the brain and can relax your nervous system. This helps calm the mind and control your emotional response to situations. When practicing yoga or meditation, there is an emphasis on regulating your breath to keep your mind relaxed. More regimented breathing exercises can be helpful but start by taking a few deep breaths when stress starts to build and see how you feel. When we’re stressed, it can often feel like breathing becomes a voluntary exercise instead of an involuntary one. Take a second to just take a couple of deep breaths. If you find it helps, you can consider trying out some other breathing exercises and add them to your routine.
Exercise is a great stress reliever and a positive way to use up the adrenaline in our bodies. We’ve all experienced the feeling we get after exercising and the boost it can give to our mindset. Whether the activity of choice is weightlifting or running, you may find you feel much more at ease and able to conquer your day after a good sweat session. At The Phoenix, we have a variety of classes/activities across the country, like dance or group fitness workouts, to get your sweat on. Just keep in mind it’s okay to start slow if you haven’t had as much physical activity in your daily routine.
Daily exposure to the sun is not only essential for our immune systems to obtain vitamin D but can naturally bring down stress levels. When you combine sunlight and fresh air with physical movement like a hike, you’ve given yourself a dynamite combination of stress-fighting power.
When we are stressed, it can be hard to remember all the wonderful things we are grateful for in our lives. Making a deliberate point to practice gratitude can bring about positive emotions. Even the smallest things can have big impacts in bringing us back to a place of calm and clarity needed to keep us in perspective and let go of anything holding us back.
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