One of the best ways to relieve stress is through a physical activity. It is common knowledge that exercise is an essential aspect of life to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a good evening’s rest. Oftentimes people will turn to addictive behavior in order to escape a stressful lifestyle; however, exercise and meditation is a constructive method to release daily stress.
Meditation has a long history, and today many practice the art which in theory allows the meditator to sit in harmony, eliminating all thought and desire from the conscious thought process. This is supposed to relieve stress and be very relaxing. Many find meditating in the morning during the dark hours to be quite peaceful and fulfilling, and even experience an increased energy and focus throughout the rest of the day.
Others meditate by imagining what lies ahead. Professional athletes often visualize their movements and victories in their mind as a type of meditation in order to perform better in their field of sport. Actors meditate as a warm up exercise in order to better focus on the scene that they are about to perform. The idea is that the actors focus purely on their breathing and nothing else, which allows for an increased cognitive thought process during the scene post-meditation.
Physical, strenuous exercise is very similar to meditation in this aspect. Oftentimes people find the most successful time to exercise is after a long stressful workday. Many people often feel too tired or lethargic to exercise at the end of the day, but those who do find themselves acquiring energy and personal satisfaction. Not only that, but fit people often report higher overall energy levels and positive influences on their social life.
Every sport has a certain level of stress-relief and meditation involved: A bowler will pause before rolling his ball down the lane and focus on his positioning and angle of release, a golfer will test the wind and focus greatly on getting their ball on the green, a climber will pause on the rock finding a solid handhold to hang off of, and a basketball player will stand at the free throw line and visualize the ball swishing in the net above.
These physical activities and meditation both often fill the individual with a clear focus and energy that persists throughout the day and the weeks ahead. Those who build a habit of regular exercise multiple times a week will find much greater benefit than those who only exercise when time permits. Those who are undecided should know that daily exercise is a wise investment. Just remember one hour is only 1/24 of a single day, less than 5%. Those who exercise will notice an overall improvement in the other 95% of their day, even when asleep.