Yoga and physical activity are not only good for your physical health, but also for your mental health. They are remarkable ways to handle and release stress.
Therefore, instead of using unnatural methods to manage and handle your stress. You could practice a physical activity to regain serenity and relaxation in order to take care of your mental health.
Some people wonder if yoga is better to release stress than physical activity. And that’s what we are going to answer here. But before that, let’s talk briefly about stress.
What is stress?
Firstly, we need to explain what really stress is.
Stress is a natural mechanism, which allows you to face new situations, face pressure, urgent situation or even it can increase your performance in certain case. There are many sources of stress: health, family problems, professional life… When it is controllable, stress is generally a good thing that keeps you alert actually.
However, stress becomes sometimes incessant in which you can no longer control the situation: then we talk about chronic stress. It is this type of stress that includes the risk of developing mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, sleeping troubles, etc.
A physical activity to release stress
A physical activity is a great way to release stress.
Facing a stressful situation, your body releases hormones of stress, including the most important of them, the cortisol.
Similarly, when you are doing a physical activity, your body releases that same hormone of stress. Consequently, exercising stress your body. It means that the more physical activity you do, the better your body will regulate cortisol level and the more efficient you will be at managing stress. However, you need to practice a physical activity regularly to help your body being far more efficient at releasing stress.
Moreover, you might have already felt particularly happy at the end of a physical session. Then, it shows that exercising is an important source of well-being. Indeed, physical activity releases the hormones of endorphins.
Endorphins play several roles: they provide physical and mental well-being, reduce pain and promote pleasure, among other things.
Thanks to them, physical activity is an excellent way to maintain good mental health, as well as to release stress.
Practicing a physical activity also requires you to focus on something other than your dark thoughts, your professional or personal troubles. It allows you to have moments for yourself, outside the worries of daily life.
Yoga to release stress
Ideal for learning to concentrate and refocus on yourself, yoga is both a sport activity and a spiritual activity. Thanks to its calming properties, you empty your head and your whole body relaxes. This activity is perfect to learn how to better manage stressful situations.
Same as the physical activity, the effects of yoga on cortisol are particularly efficient to reduce their levels and help you to release stress situations.
Yoga is also about harmonising your body and mind.
In fact, yoga requires a work of focusing and allows to extricate yourself from stress because you are fully dedicated to the movements of your muscles, your breathing, your meditation, and so on…
Once your yoga session is over, the stress will be there again, but it will be weakened. Your mind will be recharged, and you will regain the power to fight it effectively and solve the problems that cause it. Little by little, yoga will help you to strengthen your self-confidence. It will give you access to a better knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses. In this way, you will no longer be helpless in the face of stressful events because you know who you are. These are all the reasons why yoga is a good manner to lower and handle better your stress.
Stress, when it is a chronic one, is an important matter with a long path to release it. Through yoga or physical activity, you can definitely handle it. Indeed, when you are releasing stress hormones and ‘wellbeing’ hormones, you can understand better your stress troubles. And by the way you can know what is better for you and your mental health.
So I guess now you understand if yoga or physical activity better to release stress. It will actually depends on your taste cause both are great option.
Sources and further readings:
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