|But you know it when you see it.|
Not too many people know this, but there's both good stress and bad stress. You can experience good stress when getting excited for a vacation, or waiting for contest results, or during any other positive event. Bad stress...well, everyone's experienced that.
|Bad stress makes you hungry for expensive electronics.|
The physical effects are similar, though. There are all kinds of crazy biological processes that go on during times of stress, but most people are familiar with fight-or-flight responses, sleeplessness, higher blood pressure, and the release of cortisol (a stress hormone) into their bodies. A lot of people either lose or gain weight from times of stress, from not eating enough, to eating too much, to that pesky cortisol.
Either way, stress needs to be managed or else our bodies wear down. Ever crash after a particularly stressful event? Maybe during a finals week? After a big presentation? A huge move? Maybe you felt like you could sleep for a month, or even caught some beastly illness like the flu?
You all know exactly what I'm talking about.
Exercise can help you manage stress. It helps take your mind off of what's stressing you out, and is good for your body. Exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) that make you feel better. For a good workout that also incorporates breathing techniques, which also help with stress relief, I'd recommend yoga. Even better, the stretching is soothing.
|Even this one.|
Can't make it to the gym but want to clear your head? I'd recommend trying meditation. No, you don't have to chant or sit in the lotus position, but learning to clear your mind is a very refreshing activity. And the more you do it, the better you get at it. I used to do it a lot in college, and when I'd been doing it for a while, a nice 15 minute session felt like a refreshing nap without that weird groggy feeling. It was a win-win.
How do you beat stress?