Exercise and Stress

We all know (or should know) that exercise can reduce stress. For me, sweating up a storm can reduce mental, emotional, and physical stress.

We’ve all had days where the work day wears on us. If you haven’t, please don’t talk to me. Or maybe you should so I can find out where you work and go try to steal your job. No, seriously, you’ve had that day where work has worn you down. Where you don’t want to think about anything because you’ve thought too much all day. You don’t really want to talk it out because you’ve either tried talking it out and it’s not working or you’re not ready to talk to anyone yet. So what do you do? You go work out. You sweat up a storm and you work out that stress. Whether it means walking and stopping to smell the roses, running and hearing your feet pound the pavement, boxing at some imaginary face, lifting heavy weights, or dancing your heart out. Sometimes exerting yourself physically is the only thing that will clear your head.

Sometimes our bodies physically experience stress. Whether it’s because you’ve had something wearing on your body (e.g., driving long distances, sitting/standing all day) or you’re experiencing psychosomatic symptoms. My personal psychosomatic symptoms include chapped/dry lips, watery (left only) eye, twitch in (right only) eye, and recently a particular point in my back that aches to the point of nausea. I’ve never had all of these symptoms happen at once…until recently.

Usually no matter the type of stress I’m experiencing, a good sweat session cures me. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes just the thought of feeling like I have to workout adds to the stress. When that’s the case I try to rest that day. Adding to stress isn’t ideal, right? Sometimes I try to get a good workout in and I want to get a good workout in but my body and mind just aren’t having it. Yesterday I knew I needed a rest day because the thought of working out at the end of the day made me want to cry. I didn’t want to add something else to my day. I just wanted my comfy clothes and my couch. So I got it. Tonight I was working at Curves and was gung ho for a workout. I assisted someone with their first workout, which meant really only about 20 minutes of working out for me. I kept thinking I’d go back for more but it never happened. My back was hurting, my mind was wandering and I just wasn’t feeling a workout. So I didn’t force it.

The point of me saying all this is that you need to listen to your body closely. Sometimes your body and mind are stressed and you need to work them out but sometimes your body and your mind are stressed and you just need to sit back and watch the world go by.

Do you have any psychosomatic stress symptoms? What are they?


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