Have you been more stressed than usual at work recently? Perhaps you’ve been dealing with an increased workload, shifts have been under-staffed, or maybe you’ve got a new manager who you just can’t seem to see eye to eye with. Either way, bringing your work home with you is never a good idea and it can lead to heightened stress levels that affect your health and wellbeing. It’s always good to have a way to put your stress to one side and forget about work after clocking off, and playing sports can be an ideal way to do this. Here’s how playing a sport can help you with workplace stress.
Whether you engage in a solo or team sport, physical activity of any type can help you to maintain a stress-free career and manage your mental and physical stress levels by stimulating the production of neurotransmitters known as endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are the chemicals that are responsible for the ‘high’ that you get after a workout, and can lead to positive changes in your mood, making it easier to manage your stress levels and see the positive side of many situations. They cause a ‘feel good response’, which can help to relieve symptoms of tension and stress while acting as a pain reliever.
For many people, socialising with others is a crucial part of managing stress. Spending time with other people promotes the release of the hormone oxytocin, which in turn can reduce anxiety and help you feel more relaxed. Participating in a team sport can be a great way to get the many stress-relief benefits of social contact and bonding with others by working together towards a common goal.
Mental Health Relief
Sports and regular physical activity can provide relief from mental stress and the symptoms of certain mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. These mental health disorders can often be triggered by high levels of stress, and even mild exercise can help to decrease the symptoms and provide an improved quality of sleep, which can often be a problem for people who are struggling with their mental health.
Finally, engaging in a sport can help to boost your self-esteem, which can in turn transfer into the workplace and help you feel better about yourself overall and the work that you do. Being inactive can leave you feeling apathetic and sluggish, which can quickly become feelings of depression and self-loathing – neither of which are helpful for your stress levels at work and can even cause certain workplace triggers to become less bearable. Regular exercise by playing sports can help to increase your feelings of self-worth and encourage you to take better care of yourself, which in turn can make you mentally stronger and better able to deal with workplace stressors.
Whether you’re dealing with workplace stress or high levels of stress in your personal life, there are many reasons to consider using playing a sport as a very powerful form of stress relief and management.