Stress is inevitable for most people, and while its impossible to eliminate it completely, it is possible to manage it effectively so it doesnt control your life.

 

In a survey by WayAhead, 75% of the Australians surveyed said that stress was adversely impacting their physical health, and 64% said it was impacting their mental health.

 

Stress also costs the Australian business sector more than $10 billion a year. This is due to workplace absences, loss of productivity, and more.

 

While stress can sometimes feel overwhelming, its a normal emotion that can be managed with some smart techniques. And sport is one of the best ways to destress. Heres why:

 

Endorphins

Theres a reason why the rush we feel with endorphins is known as runners high.And you dont need to be a long-distance runner to get this feeling. Not only does sport release these mood-boosting hormones, but youll enjoy them for 90-120 minutes after youve finished playing.

 

Diversion

Got a lot going on in your life? Participating in sports (particularly a group sport) is a good way to draw your focus away from the things that are stressing you out. Thinking about something else and being present in the moment is almost like meditating, allowing you some relief from the worries going through your head.

 

Energy

Theres a reason why so many of us are sprawling on the couch after a long day at work. Over time, stress uses up our precious energy, making us feel fatigued. Exercise gives us some of that energy back and can heighten our stress tolerance.

 

While it can seem like an effort to go and play a sport when youre tired, youll be rewarded with much more energy after the game, so you can tackle the things that need to be done.

 

Socialisation

When playing a team sport, youll also have plenty of time to socialise. And for most people, this is a huge part of an effective stress-management plan.

 

Socialisation has also been found to go hand-in-hand with a release of oxytocin, which is also known as the love hormone.This promotes a feeling of well-being, reduces stress, and helps us feel more confident in our coping abilities.

 

Self-esteem

Playing a sport has been linked to greater feelings of self-esteem. And theres little doubt that we all feel good when we manage to steal the ball or score a goal. Interestingly, our level of self-esteem can also influence our ability to cope with stressful situations.

 

One study of students who were about to take a school exam found that the kids with higher self-esteem were less likely to get upset when responding to stress.

 

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