One of our societies esteemed values is a persons ability to get more work done in less time and we tend to reward “doing” and give little merit to “being.” The end result is that many of us are being pulled in many directions at once constantly running, striving, performing, and endlessly accomplishing tasks at great risk to our body, mind and spirit. This can cause anxiety and stress which can harm our health.
We can be so focused in seeking to serve and please others that we often neglect our own needs and it sometimes can take a major illness or breakdown before we take time to stop and take stock of our situation.
The pressure of balancing a career, child care, marriage, family responsibilities and household chores leaves little time for self care. Women, especially, are programmed to sacrifice personal time and the first thing that drops off the priority list when we get busy is taking care of ourselves.
A proper exercise program is the best stress busting remedy there is. But to change your schedule to make time to do it you must push it up on the totem pole of priorities. People who exercise don’t necessarily have more time than you, they are aware that what they are getting out of exercise is worth more than whatever else they could be doing during that time (sleeping, watching TV, surfing the internet, lunch with friends, chores, etc.).
The right exercise decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases endorphins, your body’s ‘feel good’ hormones to relieve stress, tension, anxiety and frustration. By dissipating any negative emotions and adrenaline through physical activity you can enter a more relaxed, calm state of being from which to deal with the issues and conflicts that are causing your anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important coping mediums to combat stress and tension and can turn potentially unhealthy emotions into a motivational tool to increase your health and well being. Not only can exercise counter current stress but as you become stronger and fitter you will become less affected by any stress you face. Your boiling point becomes higher and you will react less when someone pushes your buttons during the day.
The most effective and efficient type of exercise to relieve stress and anxiety is strength training exercise. With just 2-3 short sessions per week you can experience the stress busting power of proper exercise. You will also receive many physical benefits such as increased strength, fitness, endurance, and energy. Your metabolism will be stimulated so you burn an increased amount of calories (fuel) which will burn off any excess body fat.
People who exercise regularly tend to feel better about themselves and the increased feelings of self-worth and self esteem also contribute to wanting to eat more nutritious food. These things help your body to manage stress better and also help the body mend itself from the harmful effects of stress.
When you leave yourself off your own priority list, you actually cheat those you love out of the “whole” you. Instead, you bring to “a diminished version of yourself,” to all relationships, spouses, children, parents, friends and pets. If you don’t take care of yourself you don’t have anything to give.
When you accept that your health and fitness has to be a priority and you have fully accepted its importance in your life you can then set about making time – as this is the key, time is not something that is just found. When you take care of yourself in this special way with exercise you will have more to give to your family, your work and your own life.
Carolyn Hansen has worked in the Fitness Industry for over 30 years. Currently the co-owner of 2 Fitness Centres in Northland New Zealand. A National Champion Bodybuilder with over 25 years competition experience. Enjoys writing health and fitness articles for local newspapers and magazines. If you want a second chance to right the wrongs you have committed against your body, you can be rejuventated. You can regain vitality, muscular strength, endurance and a higher quality of life. Go to for a FREE Report “I’ve Found the Fountain of Youth”- Let Me Show You Too!