Play: The Ultimate Stress Reliever
Last month’s feature article on body image invited you to let go of the negative thoughts and conversations you might be having around your body. Those negative thoughts and self talk lead to negative feelings, which produce distress or stress in our lives.
Research shows exercise to be a great stress reliever. You can go to the gym, you can start an “exercise program”, and you can get yourself on a prescribed schedule to make sure it happens. That can work well, as all exercise helps the body produce endorphins, which suppress the stress hormones.
When those stress hormones are suppressed and the endorphins are swimming around your system, you naturally feel better, which allows for those negative conversations about your body and other things you are stressing about to take a back seat.
That’s a good thing and now you’re getting that relief from the stress.
For an ultimate stress reliever, try this instead:
Use playing-physical playing-to combat those negative conversations about your body and any other stress area in your life!
PLAY! That’s right, play, like a little kid!
Summertime is the perfect time to let your own “inner child” come out and physically play.
Negative thoughts will disappear like those wispy clouds floating on by and you’ll find yourself feeling good! Not to mention how much your body will love the movement.
Use your body and have fun doing it! Even if you haven’t been physically active, you can still reap tons of benefits by playing-just do it easily and put the heart of your own “inner child” into it and watch what happens!
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get the benefits your body craves, all you need to do is go outside and play and have fun!
Here are some easy ways to get play into your day, have fun doing it and feel your body mind and spirit respond in very positive ways!
Put a some fun into your walk by skipping or doing a bit of a hopscotch
At your next summertime party, organize childhood games such as relay races, burlap sack races, tag, follow the leader and Twister!
Go to your local park where they have swings and climbing bars and have at it!
Try jump roping, even a few rounds will get your heart pumping and your laughter going!
Hula hoops are lots of fun. Have a family challenge of who can laugh the most while swinging that hoop around your hips. It’s all in the stance—try it!
Play tag with your children.
Chase the dog!
Have a dance party or dance to your favorite music by yourself!
In the pool, play Marco Polo instead of doing laps!
Rent a canoe or kayak-enjoy being on the water as you glide along or go in circles, either way, you’ll have fun and being getting lots of upper body work!
Get your bike out and ride around the neighborhood!
Find an open area and throw a Frisbee! You’ll be running and laughing, stressful thoughts will be least on your mind! Don’t worry if you miss the catch…it’s all about the fun!
These are just a few things, I know there are many other ways to allow your “inner child” to come out and play and get the stress relief your adult self will appreciate tremendously!
How did you play as a child in the summer? Or how do you want to let your “inner child” play now?