Having a bad day? You have two options: pout about it, or work it out – physically. Physical activity has a powerful influence over feelings of stress, anxiety and other negative emotions. Here’s how exercising on a bad day can help you feel more in control.
Stress hormones are the worst. Feeling stressed puts you in a bad mood, which makes just about everything else impossible to deal with. Stress is why you sometimes lash out at people you like, struggle to concentrate or don’t feel motivated to do anything. You can use exercise to cope, reducing stress hormone levels and relieving physical tension in your muscles.
ACHIEVE A NATURAL EXERCISE INDUCED “HIGH”
While stress hormones are everyone’s enemy, mood-boosting hormones like endorphins are everybody’s best friend. Exercise both lowers stress hormone levels and raises levels of endorphins. So when you’ve had the worst day imaginable, though it won’t make all your problems go away, a good workout can make you feel happier, at least for a little while.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO THINK
Exercise is in a way its own form of meditation, even strength training and cardio workouts. While your body is busy lifting weights or pedaling away on a stationary bike, your mind has the freedom to process all the thoughts tumbling around up there in your head. You have at least 20 minutes or more to reflect on the day you’ve had and decide what your next step should be. With fewer distractions, you can finally address what’s bugging you and how you’re going to deal with it after you finish your workout.
FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF
Exercise has psychological benefits that can completely change the way you feel. With more endorphins pumping through your system, you will feel happier – and this can change the way you feel about yourself, in a good way. Plus, knowing you’re out doing something good for your body and mind instead of sulking on your couch can make you feel pretty accomplished, in comparison.
Bad days are the best days to work out. You might not feel motivated to get up and do it, but all that negative energy needs a place to go. You’ll feel much better after you’ve physically worked through your frustrations and taken some time to gather your thoughts. Just do it; you won’t regret it.